Workshop on Disability Statistics in the ESCWA Region

Beirut, 21-23 March 2005


The demand for statistics on persons with disability has increased greatly in recent years following the International Year of the Disabled Persons (1981), the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons (1982), and the 22 Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993).

In May 2003, the regional conference on Norms and Standards related to Development and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, organized by ESCWA (Beirut, 27-29 May 2003), stressed the importance of publishing statistical reports and studies, based on international standardized concepts, definitions and classifications, in order to facilitate comparison between the countries. And this is in line with the item 6 of the draft convention entitled “Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disability”. Currently, the convention which stresses on the importance of providing indicators on disability from possible sources such as population censuses, family surveys, administrative records and others, is being discussed internationally for adoption.

Disability information in ESCWA region is limited, and available data often lack reliability and accuracy due to conceptual and measurement issues. It is estimated that the number of disabled persons is high particularly when the political situation in some countries of the region remains unsteady.

With no estimates of the number of disabled and the types of disabilities, it would be unlikely to develop national disability plans aimed at mainstreaming disabled persons into the society.

In response to this, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, in collaboration with the United Nations Statistics Division and the World Health Organization, is planning to organize a 3-day workshop on Disability Statistics, to be held at UN-House in Beirut from 21 to 23 March 2005. (Provisional agenda attached)

 Copyright © ESCWA