Asian Workplace Approach that Respects Equality (AWARE) project

in Partnership with:  DRPI

Partner: Disability Right Promotion International (DRPI), York University, Canada

Project Coordinator: Sagar Prasai

The Asian Workplace Approach that Respects Equality (AWARE) project builds on the work of Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI), which is working to establish a holistic and sustainable global system to monitor the human rights of people with disabilities. AWARE uses this holistic approach to identify and address the barriers people with disabilities experience when trying to participate in the labour force in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Through understanding the systemic reasons for the under-employment and unemployment of people with disabilities in these three nations, we will partner with employers to improve employment prospects for people with disabilities.

According to World Health Organization projections (2011), there are 208 million people with disabilities living in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, the vast majority of whom live in conditions of poverty and isolation. This profound poverty can be explained in part because women and men with disabilities experience significantly lower employment rates than women and men without disabilities. Promoting the employment of people with disabilities increases the economic well-being of their households and communities, as well as the performance of labour markets.

AWARE uses a multi-pronged strategy to improve labour-market participation of people with disabilities:

  1. 1. Documenting best practices and systemic labour market, socio-cultural and sector-specific barriers, so as to better understand the economic opportunities of working age women and men with various types of disabilities.
  2. 2. Improving the effectiveness of labour markets by impacting the decision-making of small and medium enterprises in the hiring and promotion of people with disabilities.
  3. 3. Providing labour market skills for women and men with disabilities to maximize their capacity to make economic contributions.