Ensuring the Right to Equal Employment Opportunities of Persons with Disabilities: Critical Examination of the Ethiopian Legal Framework

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Addis Ababa University


In spite of being numerically a significant portion of the Ethiopian societt), PWDs are the most povertt) stricken. There are many factors that directly or indirectly contribute toward this state of affairs. But one factor that stands out, above all the others is their lack of equal employment opportunities. It is evident that, employment empowers individuals economically, gives them the mandate to define their own course of life, enhance their sense of self-worth and gives them the chance to contribute to the societt). The legislative framework in place is one critical element that makes difference to the attainment of equal employment opportu1lities of PWDs. In principle, employme1lt should be based on the competence of the person with disabilitt) and the business needs of the employer. Persons with disabilities should not be employed on grounds of mere compassion or corporate social responsibility. Within this general framework, the contention of this thesis is that the legislative measures taken in Ethiopia should provide for alternative employment measures that widen the access to equal employment opportunities and at the same time took into account the heterogeneous nattlre of People with disabilities. As such, options such as supported employment, sheltered employment, job retention and return to work that are repackaged into business approach in contradistinction to the welfare approach should be promoted side by side with the open labour market option. It is from this point of view that the thesis examines the relevant laws and policies in Ethiopia.