Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


IHC advocate campaigns for the right to work

Media release
2 December 2007

International Day of Disabled Persons
3 December 2007

IHC advocate campaigns for the right to work

Robert Martin is spending International Day of Disabled Persons representing people with disabilities at an Inclusion International meeting in London.

Robert, 50, has beaten the odds. While the vast majority of working age adults with an intellectual disability are unemployed, Robert has worked for IHC for the past 15 years, working to change the odds at a national and international level.

The annual observance of International Day of Disabled Persons, on Monday 3 December, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

This year's International Day of Disabled Persons turns the spotlight on the need to give people with disabilities access to decent work opportunities.

Robert was born with an intellectual disability and he now campaigns for the rights of other people with intellectual disabilities to make decisions about their lives and to be full participants in society.

He is passionate about the need to fully include people with disabilities in society because he says he knows what it is like to be excluded.

"I was put into Kimberley, at Levin, when I was 18 months old. I was placed there alongside older children who had an intellectual disability."

As an adult, the exclusion continued with Robert and his friends putting in long days working in various sheltered workshops and schemes, but not receiving the pay or conditions that other workers regarded as their right.

"We want to live in a community with the opportunity to work in a real job in the workforce alongside our peers who do not share our disability."

In 1993, Robert was offered a job by IHC promoting self advocacy a movement that encourages people with intellectual disabilities to become involved in all the decisions that affect their lives.

The same year he also started working on the international stage. He was chosen to be a self advocacy representative for Inclusion International, an umbrella group of intellectual disability organisations that published Beliefs, Values and Principles of Self Advocacy. Then, in 1996, he was appointed to the council of that group.

He has been the Chairperson of the International Taskforce on Self Advocacy, a member of the committee of the International Disability Alliance, and a member of the Panel of Experts who support the work of the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Disability.

For the past five years he has been going to the United Nations in New York to work on the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention was opened for signatures in March this year.

Work for Robert is more than just a job it is part of who he is and being part of the society he lives in.

According to the UN, very few people with disabilities are gainfully employed. In most countries up to 80 percent of working age people with disabilities are unemployed. Most others are under-employed or will never have access to the labour market.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages