SUBJECT: MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE IN PARIS DATE: October 10, 1996
PARIS - Hundreds of mentally handicapped people demonstrated in Paris today, calling on the government to issue them work certificates promised by the late President Francois Mitterand.
The demonstrators, who marched from the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accused Prime Minister Alain Juppe of failing to bring into effect a 1994 presidential ordinance by the late President Francois Mitterrand who agreed to let them find work.
"This certificate, for us, is not simply a piece of paper. It is the recognition of the existence of quality psychiatric treatment in France, " said a spokesman for the demonstrators, who have all undergone psychiatric treatment.
The government issues work certificates for other handicapped people who have undergone professional training, but refuses to issue such certificates for the mentally handicapped, who are given another special certificate for employment.
The demonstrators said that the stigmatization of their certificate leads to discrimination against them in employment.
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