Although there are around 87 million persons with disabilities in the EU, they can often be the target of unfair treatment or discrimination. The employment rate among persons with disabilities is well below the EU average employment rate − only 50 %. Their access to education is also low with less than 30 % having higher education. In addition, over one quarter of them are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The EU is working hard to address these challenges through various measures. All EU Member States are committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities, building on the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
The European Pillar of Social Rights
Principle 17 of the European Pillar of Social Rights states that people with disabilities have the right to income support that ensures living in dignity, services that enable them to participate in the labour market and in society, and a work environment adapted to their needs.
2021−2030 Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In March 2021, the European Commission also presented the ambitious 2021−2030 Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The strategy aims to ensure that persons with disabilities participate fully in society, on an equal basis with others in the EU and beyond. The content of the strategy was guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been signed by all Member States.
European Accessibility Act
Contributing to the strategy, the European Accessibility Act ensures that everyone has access to a range of everyday products and services. As part of this Act, companies now have until 2025 to make their services and products compliant with the common EU accessibility requirements.
The EU provides annual grants to several European organisations of persons with disabilities and NGOs. The grants aim to build the organisations’ capacity and make their participation in EU-level processes easier (e.g. providing views on the development of EU laws and policies).
If you are having troubles finding a job or would like to change your employment, contact a EURES Adviser in your country. With over 3.9 million vacancies advertised on EURES, you may be only a few clicks away from embarking on a new career.
Visit this page to read more about how the EU supports persons with disabilities.
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- Publication date
- 30 November 2022
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Labour market news / mobility newsNews/reports/statisticsYouth
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