- December 10, 2018
Increasing the access of people with disabilities to inclusive employment opportunities is a key component to advancing inclusive economic growth across all of APEC’s 21 member economies.
By integrating persons with disabilities, who represent about one in every six – or 650 million people in total – in the region, into the workforce, economies enhance the economic well-being of a significant number of people and provide an outlet for their unique contributions toward regional economic growth and innovation.
This report aims to provide APEC with a regional baseline of the opportunities and challenges facing persons with disabilities in the region. The impetus for this report arises from APEC’s commitment to increasing the economic empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities to enhance quality growth and human development. In 2014, APEC, under China’s leadership, created the APEC Group of Friends on Disability (GoFD), which aims to raise the visibility of disability issues across APEC working groups to advance the participation of persons with disabilities in the economy. APEC Leaders subsequently highlighted their priority of inclusion for people with disabilities in both the 2015 and 2016 Leaders’ Declarations. The intent of this report is to further that commitment to understand the employment landscape for people with disabilities in APEC, which then can be used to determine priority action areas for the GoFD and the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG).
The report begins with an introduction to the definition and conceptual models of disability; then explains the causes and prevalence of disability, and describes key challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the labor market. The report then presents an overview of key international frameworks on disability rights. This provides the groundwork for a discussion and analysis on laws and regulations across APEC economies regarding employment of people with disabilities. The report then describes economy-level efforts that support people with disabilities through employment practices, quotas and incentives, job search and placement, and education. The last section highlights how economies interact with the disability community and the private sector to collaborate to further inclusive employment opportunities. The report concludes with a set of recommendations, both at the economy-level and specifically for the GoFD and HRDWG action plan level.