Only 20% of people with disabilities have job in Burundi, reveals a report

The lack of access to employment for people with disabilities remains a big challenge in Burundi. The Union of People with Disabilities of Burundi (UPHB) claims for the ratification of ILO Convention 159 to change the situation.


People with disabilities represent between 15 and 20% of the Burundian population. Only 2% of them have a job in various companies, reveals a survey conducted by the international NGO Handicap International in 5 provinces of Burundi in 2012.

In a workshop organized this Thursday, November 28, UPHB addresses various challenges faced by people with disabilities in recruitment process.

Jean Claude Niyongabo, the chairman of the National Board of Supervision (CNS) at UPHB indicates that people with disabilities are the most affected by unemployment and discrimination in recruitment process compared to the rest of the population.

Referring to the same survey, he says that 60% of companies’ managers said they did not have people with disabilities among their workforce. 391 people with disabilities representing 2 % are employed out of more than 25 thousand jobs.

The physical inaccessibility to workplaces is another important problem revealed by this survey. Only one out of 317 visited companies had made the layout of the premises to facilitate access to different places for everyone.

Mr. Niyongabo also mentions negative stereotypes and attitudes in the workplace: 17% of companies’ managers admitted that people with disabilities are victims of stigma in the workplace while 95% of these companies say they have not received awareness sessions on disability.

Another important challenge is the physical fitness required in several tenders’ offers, according to UPHB.

The main objective of this workshop is to advocate for the ratification by Burundi of Convention 159 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), on vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities, 1983.