Brazil: Bolsonaro attacks disabled workers

12 December 2019 22:53

Disable people mobilization in Brazil on 3 December 2019

The right-wing government under Bolsonaro has reached a new low by attacking workers with disabilities. He sent to Congress a new proposed law (6159/2019) that would eliminate just access to jobs for disabled people. Since 1999 Brazil’s "quota law" required companies to ensure that at least 2 to 5 percent of its workforce were from the disabled community.

Bolsonaro is attempting to roll back gains made by disabled workers. In addition, it violates the U.N. Conventions for the protection of disabled people.

In addition, the proposed law would:

  • Prevent the application of “quota law” for activities with less than 26 hours of work; jobs that are preferred by people with disabilities.

  • Allow companies to skip out of hiring workers with disabilities by paying a nominal fee that would be allocated to the Physical and Professional Rehabilitation Program.

There was an immediate uproar to Bolzano’s proposal to make it more difficult for disabled workers to integrate to mainstream Brazilian society, contribute to the economy, and live independent lives as all workers. Throughout the country, trade unions and civil society organizations have joined disabled community to mobilize against the proposed Law 6159/2019.

The BWI and its affiliates in Brazil is as outraged by the extremist government’s actions. According to Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, “We must continue mobilize and support workers with disabilities by defeating this government's proposal. This is a blatant attack against Decent Work for disable workers in Brazil, and this is why we must fight back.”

It reads “Nothing about us without us”. Commission of Disabled Persons Defence of the Chamber of Deputies demonstrating against proposed law. Photo: Acrí