Sri Lanka

Region: Asia

Disability Definition

The definition of disability in Sri Lanka is: “any person who as a result of any deficiency in his physical or mental capabilities whether congenital or not is unable by himself to ensure for himself, wholly or partly the necessities of life.”

Reference: Disability in Sri Lanka – Wikipedia


Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act No. 28 of 1996:

No person with a disability shall be discriminated against on the ground of such disability in recruitment for any employment or office or admission to any educational institution.

No person with a disability shall, on the ground of such disability, be subject to any liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to, or use of, any building or place which any other member of the public has access to or is entitled to use, whether on the payment of any fee or not.


Sri Lanka established the National Secretariat for Persons with Disabilities “to improve the rights and ensure the safeness of people with disabilities through guidance, coordination, implementation and management od development activities.”


The Disability Rights Bill was drafted in 2006 to add provisions to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities but it has not been adopted by parliament.

Sri Lanka signed the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007.

Employer Legal Requirements

1988 Public Administration Circular No. 27 instructs that 3% of vacancies in public services and public companies should be filled by persons with disabilities “possessing requisite qualifications and whose disabilities would not be a hindrance to the performance of duties.”


Additionally, there is a new “Employment Act” projected to be in operation end of 2024 to further anti-discrimination efforts in the workplace.

References: SLFS.9.9 ( and Employment Act Of Sri Lanka: Key Features & Impacts On Labour Laws. – Conventus Law

Accessibility Requirements

The 2006 Disabled Persons (Accessibility) Regulations, No. 1 “applies to all public buildings, public places and to places where common services are available, to which buildings, places and services persons with disabilities have access. It gives the specifics in the construction of new buildings which require public access to be made accessible to PwDs.”

Cultural Norms

“People with disabilities experience poorer health outcomes, are barred from actively contributing to the economy, have inadequate educational qualifications from being sidelined within the system, and also experience higher levels of poverty.”

Reference: Improving disability inclusivity in Sri Lanka: Socio-economist gives us the breakdown – Roar Media

Business Practices/Examples

Additional content coming soon.


According to the census and statistics report of 2012, the number of persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka makes up 8.7% of the population. About 57% of disabled people are male, and 43% are female, as of 2012.


According to the same census, “70.9% of the persons with disabilities in the employment age do not engage in any economic activity. The prescribed 3% quota for persons with disabilities in public sector is often not honoured.”

References: Disability in Sri Lanka – Wikipedia and SLFS.9.9 (

Supplier Diversity

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Talent Sourcing Resources

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Additional Resources

Disability Organization Joint Front (DOJF) – Aims to enable disability organizations to work jointly as a pressure group to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring them a free and independent life.

Humanity & Inclusion in Sri Lanka focuses on training rehabilitation professionals in Colombo and Jaffna. Today, our mission has expand to include numerous humanitarian services.


Additional content coming soon.
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