Social Panorama of Latin America 2012

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This annual report examines the dynamics of paid employment in care activities in Latin American countries, as well as household expenditure on such work, and proposes normative criteria for public policymaking in this sphere. It also covers 1) poverty trends and determining factors in Latin America; 2) income distribution and social spending trends in the region; and 3) situation of disabled people in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

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Autonomy and independence: Caring for persons with disabilities

Assistance and care requirements for persons with disabilities are rising in the region and in the rest of the world for a number of reasons. These include the demographic transition, with its rising incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases, medical advances that are boosting catastrophic injury survival rates and unhealthy lifestyles that increase the need for care and medical treatment in old age. Poverty, armed conflict, urban violence and gender violence are also important causes of disability. Add to that the lack of policies for prevention and timely assistance that could lower the disability rate. Furthermore, social inequalities are heightened by a lack of appropriate services, because care and rehabilitation are often complex, costly, and, when provided privately, available only for the small proportion of the population that can afford them.

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