Disabled people an untapped source of Thai economic growth, says PM Srettha
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin vowed to build a society that leaves no group behind on Sunday, as Thailand marked the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
In his speech to mark the occasion, Srettha noted that only 6% of working-age disabled people were employed in Thailand, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said.
The PM vowed to push for better social inclusion of the disabled while thanking public and private organisations that have inclusive hiring policies.
Only 54,000 or 6.27% of the 860,000 working-age disabled people in Thailand are currently employed, Srettha said, citing government figures.
He also thanked around 20,000 businesses and certain government agencies for their inclusive hiring policies. These organisations had allowed disabled people to become a driving force for the Thai economy, he added.
The PM also highlighted government figures showing that more than half of the disabled are elderly and facing extra burdens.
Of the 2.2 million persons with disabilities in Thailand, 1.29 million are over the age of 60, according to the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.
Srettha said he realised that the lives of disabled Thais were made more difficult by restricted access to education and tougher living conditions in old age.
The government would ensure that all groups – whether disabled, elderly or ethnic – are afforded dignity, jobs and income and improved quality of life through state welfare, the PM said.
Srettha promised to create more jobs for all groups while cutting state spending so that the government would have more money to improve quality of life for all.
He vowed that his government would change Thailand for the better, with the most important goal of leaving no one behind.