The Jakarta Post
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has called on the business sector to offer employment opportunities and equal treatment to people with disabilities following the passing of a law that guarantees the rights of people with disabilities.
Employing people with disabilities should not be merely lip service, ILO country director for Indonesia Francesco d'Ovidio said in a discussion on Tuesday.
"It's not a matter of charity. It's a matter of choice, because employing people with disabilities makes good sense from the business point of view,' he said.
Of Indonesia's 250 million population, 11 to 13 percent have disabilities, according to Central Statistics Agency data.
The ILO said the disabled faced a social stigma, which hampered them in acquiring access to information and equal employment opportunities.
The House of Representatives passed the Disabled People's Law on March 17, which was a revision of the 1997 law on the disabled.
Golkar Party lawmaker Hetifah Sjaifudian said she was optimistic about the law, which would come into effect 30 days after it was endorsed.
The law protects people with disabilities and enables them to play a bigger role in society.
"We must protect and fulfill the rights of people with disabilities, especially their right to education and work," she said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
The law also stipulates the establishment of the National Disabilities Commission, which will monitor the implementation of the law.
Manpower Ministry official Sapto Purnomo said the ministry would facilitate companies in the recruitment of people with disabilities in accordance with the law.
Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa praised the law, saying it better protected disabled people.
There are several important points in the law, Khofifah said, including the establishment of the commission, tax incentives for companies hiring disabled people and the obligation for regional administrations and provincial-owned companies (BUMD) to reserve 2 percent of their vacancies for the disabled and for private companies to reserve 1 percent of their vacancies.
Under the law, those found to hamper the rights of disabled people could be subject to two to five years in prison and a fine of Rp 200 million ($15,163) to Rp 500 million, Khofifah said as reported by Antara news agency. (vps/rin)(+)