Promise Lost? Persons with Disabilities and the Right to Social Protection in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:22
Oral Presentation
Paula PINTO, CIEG/ ISCSP-University of Lisbon, Portugal
Teresa JANELA PINTO, ISCSP- University of Lisbon, Portugal
Comprehensive social welfare systems are fundamental to ensure a minimum standard of living and income security to any citizen[1], but are especially beneficial to persons with disabilities in light of the additional costs faced by persons with disabilities and their households[2]. Accordingly, the CRPD[3] establishes in Article 28 the “right to an adequate standard of living and social protection”.

Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are signatories to the CRPD and the three countries have ratified the Convention. They have known recent political transformations in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. It then becomes interesting to understand how their welfare regimes have changed to tackle new human rights obligations and how these are being translated into political commitments (rights in principle), policies and programmes (rights as policy) and concrete practices (rights in practice)[4].

This paper will present the outcomes of a comparative study of the social welfare systems in three North African countries and their impact on the conditions of living and social protection of persons with disabilities. Results were obtained through a comparative analysis of national laws, policies and programs, as well as semi-structured interviews (N=180) and questionnaires (N=180) applied to a sample of persons with disabilities 12-45 years-old, in urban, peri-urban and rural settings in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Results will highlight key factors that enable or inhibit the enjoyment of social protection and adequate standards of living by persons with disabilities in the region and draw recommendations for more inclusive social policy design.

[1] Bahle, Pfeifer & Wendt, 2010; Markell, 2006; Palmer, 2013.

[2] Bakhshi et al., 2014a; Bakhshi et al., 2014b; Barnes & Mercer, 2010; Bonnel, 2004; Palmer, 2013; Pinto et al., 2014; Priestley, 2010; Schneider et al., 2011; World Bank, 2009, WHO, 2011.

[3] UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

[4] Landman, 2004.