Poland takes action to bolster disability rights

Europe, May 31 2013

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), launched in Poland on 9 May 2013, is a crucial component of the tool for monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed and ratified by Poland in 2012.

Dr Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, emphasized in his opening remarks at the launch the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities are able to participate fully and effectively in society on an equal basis with others. Dr Igor Radziewicz-Winnicki, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Health, added that implementing the ICF would give Poland a new approach to disability issues, making it possible to better address and assess the needs of people with disabilities.

Various important initiatives related to the ICF have already been implemented in Poland, within the biennial collaborative agreement between WHO and the Ministry of Health. Further work is needed, however, to develop research and policy. The next steps have been identified as:

  • introducing training standards and training trainers in the ICF;
  • selecting pilot areas for testing the ICF and conducting a study/trial; and
  • establishing a national leadership structure for ICF implementation.

 Source: WHO

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