Panel on Good Governance in Public Service
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
30th Session of the Human Rights Council
As Delivered by Jay Bischoff
September 24, 2015
Mr. Vice President,
We take note of the High Commissioner’s report, and would like to discuss the importance of access to public service as well as public services for persons with disabilities. Increasing opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate fully in public life, including through running for office at all levels of government, would enable persons with disabilities to better represent and advocate for all persons with disabilities. It also would allow States to more fully understand the measures they should take to ensure access to public services.
In the United States we have increased the number of persons with disabilities in the public service. Since President Obama’s Executive Order 13548 from July 2010, the Federal Government has sought actively to increase the number of disabled employees. In Fiscal Year 2014, the number of full-time permanent employees with disabilities increased by more than 13,000. This change represents an increase from 12.80 percent to 13.56 percent of the total federal workforce. Today we can say that there are more people with disabilities in Federal service both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 34 years.
We also agree with the report’s focus on the importance of access to public services for persons with disabilities. As the report notes, States should ensure that the respect for human rights of members of these groups is not undermined. The report also correctly notes that States should ensure that persons with disabilities have access to public services. Persons with disabilities often encounter barriers in obtaining access to public services that persons without disabilities do not face.
Through our development agenda, we have an important opportunity to show the world that we value everyone’s contributions and leave no one behind. This includes persons with disabilities.
We’d like to end by asking the panel: what challenges and solutions do you see for States in increasing the number of persons with disabilities in their public service?