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Case studies

Advocacy in a sensitive location in Asia: Protecting employment rights for people with disabilities

A Tearfund partner influences a national government to provide better access to employment for people with disabilities

2022 Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

In a sensitive location in Asia where Tearfund works, it used to be common practice for job advertisements to explicitly state that applicants must be healthy and without any disability. These issues were hardly ever discussed in the country’s regional parliaments due to ignorance in public discourse and a period of political instability throughout the nation. However, this clearly infringed on people with disabilities’ rights to have access to an open, accessible, and inclusive work environment. Therefore, a national Tearfund partner took hold of an opportunity in a more politically stable context, to utilise their longstanding relationships with important decision-makers, and went to the state Parliament to raise parliamentarians’ awareness of disabilities and disability rights law. The partner continued to strategically build relationships with parliamentarians to continue to advocate on this issue and promoted public understanding on this topic. They also provided resources, like research data and inputs, to strengthen the parliamentarians’ proposal before it was voted on. As a result, one of the parliamentarians that Tearfund’s partner met with, proposed job opportunity protection for persons with disabilities and a budget to fulfill this proposal. At the next regional Parliament’s vote, this issue was included in the agenda and won the vote. Now, job advertisements must be amended to not discriminate against people with disabilities and the government will use a budget to ensure job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Other languages

This short case study, on the themes of health, human rights, stigma and discrimination, and livelihoods, illustrated the impact of using the following advocacy approaches:

  • Government officials: educating
  • Government officials: lobbying
  • Educating community members
  • Building relationships
  • Legal mechanisms
  • Research and analysis
  • Government budget tracking
  • Social accountability

Case studies can be used alongside the Advocacy toolkit, giving practical examples of the approaches it sets out.

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