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Newly Announced International Day of Care and Support

UN announces a new day to recognise the importance of social care and support.

The UN General Assembly has designated the 29th of October as the new International Day of Care and Support, by adopting Resolution A/77/L.81. The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of social care and support, which regrettably remains an often overlooked and undervalued sector to this day. The Resolution stresses the need for investing in a resilient and inclusive care economy and developing strong and resilient care and support systems. Member states, regional and subregional organisations and other stakeholders are invited to observe this day every year. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) will be involved in facilitating the observance of this day. The costs of all relevant activities are to be met by voluntary contributions and the private sector. Adopting this resolution signifies a notable stride in advancing the rights of both caregivers and care recipients but also in recognising the importance of support as a means to live independently and be included in the community.

“We need to radically reshape our understanding of support and care systems” said Volker Türk, UN Human Rights High Commissioner for Human Rights, on 7th of February 2023 in his statement to UN Member States. He also added: “the economic and social value of care work must be recognised.” Such acknowledgement is highly welcome by EASPD and its members who continue to commit to providing high-quality, person-centred, community-based services to persons with disabilities. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is ever more evident that care and support workers are essential to safeguard the wellbeing of society as a whole. Gilbert F Houngbo, General-Director of the ILO, who has placed social justice at the core of his mandate, remarked  “Without these care workers not only would our societies and economies suffer but our fundamental humanity would be diminished.” Nonetheless, the pandemic coupled with a global ageing trend and shortage of skilled labour in the sector have placed these systems under strain, exposing their deficiencies. This increases the need for systemic transformation of the social care and support sector to enable it to better respond to crises and emergencies and to better meet the needs of those requiring support. EASPD will continue its efforts to ensure that such transformation is disability-inclusive and enabling of equitable access to quality care and support.