Making inclusion a reality
Social justice and decent employment
for people with disabilities
The situation of people with disabilities (pwds) in
Mozambique is characterized by extreme levels
of poverty, low levels of education and illiteracy,
and low self esteem. These factors present
particular challenges to disabilities when it comes
to organizing around their issues and influencing
policy makers and other development actors
about disability issues. These also negatively affect
inclusion of pwds in the labor market.
This attitude led to the beginning of the Disability Movement
through the creation of an Association called “Association of
Disabled Mozambicans (ADEMO) on 18th November 1989,
congregating all types of disability. It is now 24 years since the
beginning of the disability movement in Mozambique, and we
are counting with 17 associations of and for pwds, all uniting
forces through their Forum called FAMOD, to promote and
protect the rights of pwds, of which AJODEMO and ADESU are
members. Since then, a lot of results have been achieved, but
pwds are still very far from enjoying their full human rights,
especially access to basic services like education, employment
and professional training, health and rehabilitation services,
among others.
Other than being excluded from development
programs, pwds are also excluded from
HIV/AIDS Programs. For most state policymakers or service providers in the disability
community HIV/AIDS is not a `high profile`
issue.Very few are able to offer specific
information about policies, educational material,
counseling and testing, or consumer or staff
training programs. Some people continue to
believe that pwds are not sexually active and
therefore are not at risk of being infected by
• There is no clear data in Mozambique about the
exact number of people with disabilities, and
much less about the number of employed pwds.
This fact makes it difficult to say the number of
men, women, boys and girls with disabilities,
their disability types and their age groups.
• The information that exists at the moment is far
from the real Mozambican situation. The last
census that was realized in Mozambique by the
National Institute of Statistics in 2007 did not
produce this data because the questionnaire
that was used did not allow provision of this
• Data available at the moment comes from
studies carried out by WHO, World Bank and
SINTEF. It happens that this data is not
exhaustive since it is based on samples and
not all districts were covered.
• Mozambique, like most African countries is
yet below the average standard expectations
for the fight against violation of the rights of
Mozambique has numerous laws, plans and
strategies that guarantee promotion of rights of
people with disabilities. Legal instruments that
promote and protect rights of pwds in
Mozambique are:
 The Constitution of the Republic of
Mozambique: The Constitution guarantees
equal rights to all in all sectors including the job
market. Article 35 says “ … equal rights and
obligations for all Mozambican citizens”, and
article 37 which says “ citizens with disabilities
enjoy plainly the rights that are presented in the
Constitution”, among other articles.
• The United Nations Convention on Rights
People with Disabilities (UNCRPD): The
widely talked about UN Convention on the Rights
of People with Disabilities was finally ratified by the
Government of Mozambique (2011). Ratification of
this convention brought a tremendous amount of
euphoria about what it would contribute to the
living conditions of pwds in Mozambique through a
process of inclusion and equality, principally in
education, employment and vocational training
(Art 5 – Equality and non discrimination; Art 9 –
Accessibility; Art 24 – Education; and Art 27 –
Work and Employment; among others.
• National Plan for the Disabled Area –
PNAD 11 (2012 -2019): This plan’s objectives
are: a) promote plain participation, equality and
empowerment of pwds; b) ensure the principle
of equality of rights and opportunities for
pwds; c) establish a vocational and
professional orientation system for pwds; d)
promote access of pwds to programs of
professional training; and e) identifying
alternative mechanisms of auto-employment
for pwds, among other rights
• The Strategy for Disabled People in
the Public Sector (2009 – 2013): The
government of Mozambique through The
Strategy for Disabled People in the Public
Sector (2009 – 2013), resolution number
68/2009 of 27th of November, established
that the public sector should integrate
people with disabilities, with the following
rates: a company with 100 – 500
employees, 1.5% should be of pwds; 600 –
900 employees – 3%; 1000 and more – 5%.
• Regulation: This was established through
Decree 53/2008 to guarantee access of pwds
to the physical environment and to all basic
services available in the country such as
education, health and rehabilitation,
employment and vocational training, etc
• Policy of Persons with Disabilities
(Resolution no. 20/99 of 23rd June);
• National Plan of Action for the Disability
Action 2006 – 2010;
Mozambique has numerous laws, plans and
strategies that guarantee promotion of rights of
pwds, but there is little or no sense having these
important laws when they are not put into
practice. One of the biggest problems that
PWDs face in Mozambique is lack of
information, given that a majority of them have
little or no education. They are left out of
almost all national activities and development
programs. Most of them, especially in rural
areas, have never head of the UN Convention
on Rights of Pwds.
Surprisingly even district Social Welfare
authorities do not know about this important
instrument, let alone the other national plans
like PNAD, Accessibility Resolution, PEN 111,
among others. There is lack of publication of
these legal instruments on the part of the
government and the media.
• The dominant model of inclusion is of charity
other than rights based.Very few are
permanently employed on rights bases, thus
they can not maintain themselves in their
posts for long and they can not claim their
benefits such as promotion, pay increases,
leave days, etc
• The government does not create conditions
for disabled people to have bank loans so that
they can engage in auto-employment. Given
the poverty situation in which most of them
are submerged, they can not afford to present
the guarantees that the local banks ask for.
Challenges to inclusion of PWD in
productive employment and
descent work:
Attitudinal Barriers
 Socio-Economic Barriers
 Physical/Environmental Barriers
 Political Barriers
Attitudinal Barriers
Human Resources meet serious constraints
when it comes to interviewing pwds and
knowing their special necessities, and
Recruitment agencies have not taken into
consideration employment of pwds;
 Lack of the ability to organize and influence
policy makers and other key players assertively.
The gap between policy makers and pwds is
huge and effectively keep pwds down and out as
a result of the gaps in knowledge, skills and
A dominant image of pwds as beggars militates
against their ability to assert themselves as
advocates of their cause, and to taken seriously
as such;
There are difficulties in traversing the bridge
from welfare to development. The “charity”
ethic is running deep among pwds in
Socio-Economic Barriers
Non availability of assistive technology for
people with sight and hearing impairments,
and lack of aid devices for other types of
disabilities, for example. wheel chairs,
crutches, etc.
 Ill preparation of most pwds for the job
market because of very low levels of
education and high levels of illiteracy.
 Pwds find it difficult to join and do well in
the job market because of lack of previous
experience and vocational training.
Physical/Environmental Barriers
Most office buildings do not offer
minimum accessibility conditions,
especially for wheel chair users. They do
not have ramps and/or elevators and
necessary adjustments may call for
elevated financial and technical resources;
Political Barriers
Lack of respect of laws that protect people with disabilities
on the part of the government, employers and civil society;
Most local teachers are not trained to lead with children
with disabilities, especially those with visual and hearing
impairments. The country does not have learning materials in
Braille and the is lack of sign language teachers;
Lack of respect of laws that protect people with disabilities
on the part of the government, employers and civil society;
Little or no involvement, exclusion and low self-esteem of
• The need for the disability movement to be
decentralized away from Maputo to the
outlying rural areas of the country;
• Lack of publication of legal national and
international instruments that promote and
protect the rights and interests of pwds;
• The necessity to have clear and up-to-date
statistical data about disability.
•The Ministry of Woman and Social Welfare
that is responsible for disability issues is seen
by DPOs as a helpless spectator, with no
resources for disability work.
In Mozambique there are excellent policies,
strategies and plans that promote and protect
rights of people with disabilities, but these
important instruments exist on the paper and
their implementation is not felt, let alone known
by the intended beneficiaries and the society in
general, including government authorities
especially in rural districts. We recommend that
these policies get published as much as possible;
 The government should establish a legal
framework for disability with penalties for those
who violate the rights of pwds;
The government should monitor implementation of
its policies and the UN Convention on Rights of
Pwds collaboration with DPOs;
The government and NGOs working in the
disability sector should implement rehabilitation
programs for frustrated pwds and those with no
courage to face job market challenges.
Recommendations (cont.)
The government should to establish clear and
rigorous anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies
and enabling workplace for pwds;
 Employers should create enabling workplace for
pwds. Many people with disabilities abandon
jobs not because they do not want to work, but
because of the environment, thus “Employees
do not leave the company, but they leave the
manager”. There is need for positive attitudinal
feelings, looking at employees with disabilities
just like any other employee with competence,
aptitude, knowledge and experience;
The Disability Movement should strengthen its
relations with the Ministry of Education and
help in designing learning programs that are
Just like any other employee, a person with a
disability needs help (e.g. training) so that she is
able to perform well and apply her potential for
company and individual carrier progress, which
include promotion and other benefits;
Recommendations (cont.)
There should be national Professional
Rehabilitation Programs for PwDs. This involves
capacity building of pwds, a process that gives
them “legs with which to walk or on which to
stand”, increasing their skills to plan, implement,
monitor and evaluate their work;
 Donors should give follow-up financial support
that taps into the knowledge and skills acquired
during training. Training that is not followed up
to enable its potential utilization is roundly
described as “training for nothing”;
The government of Mozambique should implement
alternative employment programs where pwds are given a
function according to their capacity, but with proper and
continuous supervision;
It is empirical that a national survey is carried out to
identify the exact number of people with disabilities, type
of disability, gender, age academic and professional status,
their difficulties and necessities and their living conditions
in general;
We also recommend creation of a national Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce federal
laws which make it illegal to discriminate against job
applicants and employees due to their disability.
Recommendations (conti)
It was very important if we could have
more organizations like Friedrich Ebert
Foundation, the foundation that is
working with AJODEMO in various
activities including training, sensitization,
publication of legal instruments that
protect rights of pwds, and much more.