• April 4, 2012


League Submit Statement to UN

The Celtic League has submitted a statement to the United Nations (UN) on the topic of the working rights for disabled people, following an invitation to take part in a UN ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) meeting to take place in New York (NY) this July 2012.

The Celtic League is a non-governmental organisation with consultation status with the UN, which allows the organisation to participate in meetings and forums related to its campaign interests and status. The meeting in NY of the HLS will include sessions on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and has allowed the Celtic League to submit a statement on the topic of “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”.

Last month, the Cymru Branch of the Celtic League was involved in the organisation of a demonstration in Wrecsam against the proposed closure of the Remploy factory there and has been active in speaking out against the cuts in general. The Branch Secretary, Adam Philips, made a request to the League to submit a statement to the UN highlighting support for the disabled people who would lose their jobs as a result of the government cuts. The Branch believes that the closures could have been avoided if Remploy had been better managed. Mr Philips told the League:

“Remploy was set up in Wales after the second world war to employ people with disabilities. The factory in Wrexham is thriving and has full order books for the foreseeable future yet they have gone into a 90 day redundancy notice. Loses in the firm have been blamed on poor management not the workforce. Sadly there are many disability groups circling round like sharks around blood vying for the re-directed reemploy funds, this does not help matters and we see the funding simply disappearing into the management / admin sides of these bodies.

“We call upon the ESOSOC to put pressure on the UK government to step back from this course of action and to support the Remploy group which definitely does promote productive capacity, provides employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth!”

The full statement submitted to the UN can be found below.

“The Celtic League is concerned that disabled people in the Celtic countries are marginalised in the employment market in favour of the ‘abled’ bodied unemployed. In the United Kingdom (UK), disabled people have been supported in their search to find sustainable employment opportunities by various organisations and companies that specialise in overcoming the complex barriers to work that are frequently faced by job seekers in the disabled community.

“Disabled people have traditionally been deliberately excluded from the employment market or have faced other forms of discrimination while in the workplace. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK) has undertaken research that shows that disabled people are much more likely to be injured, bullied and humiliated at work compared to their abled bodied colleagues. Some organisations and companies have consequently been established in the past that specifically aim to employ disabled people with the purpose of providing greater inclusion and equality through sustainable employment.

“One such employment provider that has a long history in the Celtic countries is Remploy and is a government owned company that provides employment and employment related placements for disabled people. However, on 7th March 2012 the UK Government announced that 36 of the 54 Remploy sites would close, with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people of which 1,518 of these are disabled. Remploy is one of the largest employers of disabled people in the UK and provides a sustainable base of employment that is inclusive and based on equitable economic growth.

“The Celtic League believes that companies like Remploy should be supported and encouraged in their promotion of productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels in order to achieve the united Nations’ Millennium Development Goals within the Celtic countries and beyond. The Celtic League has campaigned on this issue in the past and most recently in Wrecsam/Wrexham, Wales where our Cymru Branch organised a demonstration in support of the Remploy workers who will be made redundant as a result of the planned closure of the Remploy factory in the town.

“We call on the Governments in the Celtic countries of Alba/Scotland, Breizh/Brittany, Cymru/Wales, Kernow/Cornwall, Ėire/Ireland and Mannin/Isle of Man to create and continue to provide employment opportunities for the disabled community within these nations.”

The HLS will be held on 2 – 9 July 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.



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