02.12.2016 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO's message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2016

Every year, International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an opportunity for the world to stand together against the discrimination of women and men with disabilities and to raise the flag for inclusion and empowerment through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development connects inclusion and development – this is vital, because persons with disabilities continue to face discrimination, violence, stigma, and exclusion. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable groups in society, such as migrants, refugees and indigenous people with disabilities. Women and girls also shoulder heavy burdens, lacking opportunities, at greater risk from abuse, violence and exclusion. These challenges throw a shadow over societies as a whole.

In this year of action to take forward the 2030 Agenda, our message is clear -- sustainable development will not be possible without the full inclusion of persons with disabilities at every level, without their roles and voices built into all decision-making and policies.

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