New study reveals discriminatory recruitment, rights protection systems for persons with disabilities


A new study by the Zambia Institute for Labour Research and Development (ZILARD) has established that there were discriminatory recruitment and rights protection systems for persons living with disabilities in the country.

The study, sanctioned by the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), focused on finding sustainable means of advancing disability inclusion in Zambia.

Joy Beene, the ZCTU Secretary-General, highlighted this during the launch of the Zambia Business Disability Network on Friday in Lusaka, supported by Sight Savers Zambia.

Beene said the study revealed that people with disabilities were excluded from decision-making and that there is a lack of dedicated support systems in most institutions.

“Stigma, stereotypes, and discriminatory attitudes towards persons with disabilities, along with inconsistent implementation of disability rights legislation, are the order of the day,” he stated.

Beene added that gaps in enforcement mechanisms and ambiguous policies related to reasonable accommodation were identified.

He noted that the study highlighted limited awareness and education about disability rights in the country.

“The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is equally concerned about the rights of people living with disabilities in Zambia,” Beene said.

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Sight Savers Zambia Country Director, Glenda Mulenga, stated that persons with disabilities had lower education qualifications but possess significant aspirations to create jobs.

Mulenga mentioned that this was established by the Zambia Market Assessment conducted by Sight Savers in 2022.

“We also found that companies have difficulties mainstreaming people with disabilities into their workforce and value chain, as well as a lack of supporting functions and incentives for a greater disability-inclusive ecosystem,” she said.

Labour and Social Security Minister, Brenda Tambatamba, graced the launch and highlighted that out of the total labour force of 3.75 million, only 130,840 persons with disabilities are employed.

Tambatamba noted that persons with disabilities in Zambia face challenges accessing opportunities such as employment and capital for business.

“It is therefore delightful that this step has been taken to establish the Zambia Disability Business Network to address the challenges that persons with disabilities face in business and employment,” she stated.

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