Social Protection is a collection of measures to improve or protect human capital, ranging from labor market interventions, publicly mandated unemployment, disability, or old-age insurance to targeted income support. Social Protection interventions assist individuals, households, and communities to better manage the income risks that leave people vulnerable.
It is estimated that at least 85% of the approximately 700 million persons with disabilities live in developing countries, often in extreme poverty.
Because of the discrimination and social exclusion faced by persons with disabilities, they are much more likely to experience poverty than their non-disabled peers. Poverty in turn can lead to people living in conditions that expose them to the increased possibility of acquiring disabilities or acquiring additional disabilities. There is therefore a close and frequently negative relationship between poverty and disability, with each being a cause and consequence of the other.
Denial of the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection can negatively impact the further enjoyment of many other human rights, including the right to health,
Enjoyment of the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection by persons with disabilities is highly relevant to achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating hunger and poverty.
How does the CRPD address the issue of adequate standard of living and social protection?
Article 28 focuses on ensuring equal access by persons with disabilities to, e.g. adequate food, clothing, housing (including public housing programmes), clean water, retirement benefits and programmes, and social protection and poverty reduction programmes.
Article 28 notes the particular need to pay attention to the ability of women and girls with disabilities, and older persons with disabilities, to access programmes benefits and programmes aimed at ensuring an adequate standard of living.
Article 28 should be read in close conjunction with the General Principles (Article 3), which require the close consultation of persons with disabilities in decision-making processes that affect them. Therefore, not only does the CRPD require that the policies and programmes themselves be inclusive of persons with disabilities, it also calls for the decision-making processes used by client countries to formulate those policies and programmes to be inclusive of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.
Also the preamble makes specific reference to Poverty Reduction Strategies
Article 28 – Adequate standard of living and social protection
States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability.
States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to social protection and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the basis of disability, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right, including measures:
To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to clean water services, and to ensure access to appropriate and affordable services, devices and other assistance for disability-related needs;
To ensure access by persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities and older persons with disabilities, to social protection programmes and poverty reduction programmes;
To ensure access by persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care;
To ensure access by persons with disabilities to public housing programmes; (e)
To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to retirement benefits and programmes.