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Two hundred million Europeans have a physical or mental disability. That should not mean they are cut off from jobs. The Council of Europe has called on the 47 member states’ governments to develop their labour markets to include these people, as they have a lot to offer.

Bernard Marquet, who wrote up the resolution, said: “People fear the unknown. Yet people being able to enter the world of work and filling a post with responsibilities that match their skills shows the opposite is (also) true, and they should be an example for others to follow.” The Council of Europe also stresses that young people with disabilities should have access to normal schools. Other rights to be guaranteed include the right to vote, to own property or to have access to the courts. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force last year, with clear references to social development.

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