People with disabilities are overrepresented among the poorest in the world. People with disabilities are at greater risk of experiencing poverty and are at the back of the line when it comes to employment and income-generating work.
The reasons why poverty and disability is a vicious circle include poor living conditions, low employment, limited access to education, health care, and other social services. Disability does not only affect the person, it also affects their families, surroundings and society in general. Thus, poverty is both a cause and a consequence of disabilities.
UN Convention on equal rights
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), established in 2006, states that people with disabilities have the right to work on equal ground with others. It also states that they must have equal access to job opportunities and careers in the labour market, as well as the right to aid in finding and maintaining employment. The Convention states that people with disabilities must have the same rights to occupational and professional rehabilitation as others. In this way, the convention secures this group a sufficient standard of living for themselves and their families, including sufficient food, clothing and housing. Unfortunately, there is a long way to go before people with disabilities in the global South get the same rights as others.
The Atlas Alliance’s program for work and income
A superior goal for the Atlas Alliance's program for work and income is that people with disabilities become financially independent. Important activities in this work include inclusive savings and loan groups, competence development, mentorship, lobbying (by both authorities and financial institutions) and access to microfinance services. The program enables strong connections between disabled people's organizations, microfinance institutions, private sectors, local authorities and local communities. It ensures strong sustainability of both results and activities.
The program is based on the disabled's own organizations and financial institutions in the global South helping to give people with disabilities access to:
- Financial services at a local, regional and national level.
- Increased income.
- Social support arrangements.
The most important target audience for the program is people with disabilities of working age. These are people who benefit from increased access to financial services, social support arrangements and increased income. The primary target audience consists of the following subgroups that are directly involved in our activities:
- Disabled people's own organizations and their members.
- Financial institutions.
- Public authorities.
If you have questions regarding the Atlas Alliance's program for work and income, you can contact the head of the program department, Marte Onstad-Svare, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org