Disability and cold war

The shift towards liberal legalities in the field of vocational integration of the disabled.

After World War II, the International Labour Office promoted a new policy of vocational rehabilitation of the disabled which clearly differed from its earlier policy (use of a system of quotas in public administrations and private companies to place the war-disabled, maintenance of integral wages). The policies of vocational rehabilitation shifted in a liberal-economic direction, and this shift is visible thanks to the adoption by the 38th International Labour Conference of the Vocational Rehabilitation (Disabled) Recommendation (n°99). Recommendation n°99 of the ILO promoted professional training, vocational guidance and selective placement for all disabled people who had a reasonable prospect of securing and retaining suitable employment, whatever the nature and the origin of their disability. This policy reorientation was facilitated by the leadership role of the United States and the United Kingdom within the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The contents of the ILO vocational rehabilitation policy had been seriously discussed only from 1953, with the preparation of a new international standard on vocational rehabilitation by the International Labour Conference. During the 37th and 38th International Labour Conferences, the government representatives of the two power blocs promoted in their speeches labour measures inspired by their respective ideologies. During this period of cold war, the rehabilitation of disabled citizens became part of this ideological competition between the two power blocs within the ILO. Continuer la lecture