Occupational apartheid is the concept in occupational therapy that different individuals, groups and communities can be deprived of meaningful and purposeful activity through segregation due to social, political, economical factors and for social status reasons.
Occupational apartheid may occur due to race, disability, age, gender, sexuality, religious preference, political preference, and creed. A war environment can also contribute to occupational apartheid in which the constraints of war prevent the people living in the midst of combat from accessing past occupations. Occupational therapists recognize that many people facing occupational apartheid do not have the opportunity to freely choose their occupations, and thus are disadvantaged. The health and wellbeing of these individuals, groups and communities is compromised through the deprivation of meaningful and purposeful activities.
In the light of day to day existence, every individual should be of equal status, no matter what their economic, political, health or social status. Occupational apartheid explains the reality that some people may be occupationally more equal than others. 
Groups that may experience occupational apartheid
- Homeless adults
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
- Refugee and asylum seekers
- Religious groups
- Street children
- Survivors of domestic violence
- People who have been incarcerated
- The working poor
- Simó-Algado, S; Mehta, N; Kronenberg, F; Cockburn, L; Kirsh, B. "Occupational therapy intervention with children survivors of war". Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 69 (4): 205-217.
- Cage, Anthea (May 2007). "Occupational therapy with women and children survivors of domestic violence: Are we fulfilling our activist heritage? A review of the literature". The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol 70(5), pp. 192-198. 70 (5): 192–198. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Kronenberg, F. Simó Algado, S. and Pollard, N. (2007) Occupational Therapy Without Borders: Learning from the Spirit of Survivors. London: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone
- Pollard, N. Sakellariou, D. and Kronenberg, F. (2008) A Political Practice of Occupational Therapy. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone
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