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‘People with disabilities must no longer be treated like second-class citizens’

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December 2014)

“People with disabilities must no longer be invisible to the rest of society or treated like second-class citizens. That has to change,” said Carmen Quintanilla (Spain, EPP/CD) as the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a report on equality and inclusion for people with disabilities today in Paris.

“We live in a democracy but we do not all participate in it on equal terms. The mismatch between international standards and the reality experienced on a day-to-day basis by people with disabilities is particularly striking,” said Ms Quintanilla. “Accessibility, access to employment, legal capacity and violence towards people with disabilities are all issues demanding attention and action on the part of the States,” she added.

With this International Day of Persons with Disabilities devoted to the promise of technology, Ms Quintanilla reiterated that “developing an adapted work environment is key to raising the very low employment rate of people with disabilities” and called for “resolute action to that end from States and the business sector”.