Lirije Sadrija and Gentiana Hasani believe that if employers in Kosovo were less judgmental and more understanding, disabled people would not face such a high level of exclusion in the labor market.
Sadrija and Hasani are physically disabled, and are aware of the barriers disabled people face while looking for a job. The majority disabled people in Kosovo are unemployed. Even those who have a job struggle with the lack of adequate infrastructure and securing the conditions for independent movement. It can be difficult for them to participate in both the labor market and the public sphere.
Disabled people and human rights activists consistently note the fact that people with disabilities are excluded from the labor market, although the law makes provisions that should counteract this fact. According to the Law on Vocational Training and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, each employer must employ one person with disabilities for every fifty employees.
The World Health Organization estimates that up to 15% of the world’s population has a disability. If that percentage holds true for Kosovo, there would be as many as 200,000 disabled people in the country or more.
In this conversation, Sadrija and Hasani talked to K2.0 about growing up with disabilities, work experiences and their insistence that Kosovo still fails to recognize the abilities and potential of people with disabilities to achieve great things.