German Disability and Development Policy Nov 2006

Disability and Development

A contribution to promoting the interests of persons with disabilities in German Development Cooperation
Policy Paper
November 2006

This policy paper intends to show the importance of taking into consideration the interests of
persons with disabilities in connection with poverty reduction and achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It presents the orientation of German Development
Cooperation (DC) in this regard, offers a brief outline of activities to date, and provides
impulses for further cooperation efforts in this sensitive area.

The international development community is increasingly guided by a rights-based approach. This is an inclusive approach which calls for the participation of all groups of the population, but particularly disadvantaged persons in the development process, and for all people to have equal access to public services such as health and education. Inclusive development builds on the idea of a Society for All in which all people are equally free to develop their potential, contribute their skills and abilities for the common good and to take up their entitlements to social services. The human rights approach focuses not only on prevention and rehabilitation but also on equal rights to participation. It emphasizes strengthening the rights of people with disabilities, and fosters their participation in all aspects of society.