Joint Position Paper on CBR 2004. ILO UNESCO WHO

A Strategy for Rehabilitation, Equalization of Opportunities, Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion of
People with Disabilities

Joint Position Paper 2004 ILO UNESCO WHO

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) promotes collaboration among community leaders, people with disabilities, their families, and other concerned citizens to provide equal opportunities for all people with disabilities in the community. The CBR strategy, initiated two and a half decades ago, continues to promote the rights and participation of people with disabilities and to strengthen the role of their organizations (DPOs) in countries around the world.

In 1994 the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and World Health Organization (WHO) produced a “Joint Position Paper on CBR” in order to promote a common approach to the development of CBR programmes. Despite the
progress made since then, many people with disabilities still do not receive basic rehabilitation services and are not enabled to participate equally in education, training, work, recreation or other activities in their community or in wider society. Those with the least access include women with disabilities, people with severe and multiple disabilities, people with psychiatric conditions, people living with HIV, persons with disabilities who are poor, and their families. Following on from the CBR Strategy, efforts must continue
to ensure that all individuals with disabilities irrespective of age, sex, type of disabilities and socio-economic status, exercise the same rights and opportunities as other citizens in society - “A society for all”.

The need for renewed efforts to address these issues was highlighted at the International Consultation to Review Community- Based Rehabilitation in Helsinki, Finland, 2003. The Consultation was organized by WHO in collaboration with UN Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and Disabled People’s
Organizations. The recommendations agreed at the Consultation are incorporated in this paper. The purpose of this Joint Position Paper 2004 is to describe and support the concept of CBR as it is evolving, with its emphasis on human rights and its call for action against poverty that affects many people with disabilities.