Cooperation for Promoting the Rights of People Living with Disabilities
On June 30, 2014 the UN agencies in Uzbekistan in partnership with civil society organisations representing the interests of persons with disabilities, held a joint meeting, whose main aim was to identify perspective areas of cooperation between DPOs and UN agencies on disability issues. The meeting was organised within the framework of the thematic group on social protection of the UNDAF.
The meeting was attended by heads of UN agencies and UNDP projects, as well as leaders and representatives of DPOs involved in the promotion of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.
During the meeting, representatives of DPOs made presentations on their activities and shared their proposals on cooperation with UN agencies.
UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Mr. Stefan Priesner presented the quote from the Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2013: “…More than 1 billion of us live with disabilities. We must remove all barriers that affect the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society, including through changing attitudes that fuel stigma and institutionalise discrimination”.
The participants expressed hope that the event will increase the intensity and effectiveness of the interaction of UN agencies with DPOs in ensuring the rights and promotion the interests of persons with disabilities. In particular, DPOs made the following proposals:
- Ensuring disability inclusion in the activities and projects of UN agencies in Uzbekistan;
- More complete and detailed reflection of disability issues and civil society development in the new UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2016 - 2020;
- Institutionalisation of staff positions in the UN agencies and programs responsible for the promotion of disability issues and civil society development to maintain continuous dialogue with DPOs on development issues.
The ultimate goal of these initiatives, according to the view of participants of the meeting, is to develop solutions to make a society more inclusive.
Within the framework of the joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of Uzbekistan "Inclusive employment and social partnership" and the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was translated into the state language.
Nowadays, with the support of UNDP, Handbook on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Parliamentarians is under translation into Uzbek language. This manual is published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN DESA.
In conclusion, the participants agreed to hold consultations to define further cooperation with every UN agency, as well as an agreement was reached on bringing expertise of DPOs involved in the promotion of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in the development of a five-year country program of UN in Uzbekistan.
During the meeting, DPOs suggested possible areas for joint activities of DPOs of persons with disabilities and UN agencies, including:
- Provide information and technical assistance in the formation of an expert group to develop a state program used for barrier free environment to promote partnerships of DPOs, government agencies, business organisations and international partners at the national level to ensure the accessibility of the living environment for PWD in Uzbekistan.
- Conduct systematic Disability Equality Training (DET) for the staff of public transport, aviation, banks, educational institutions and other social infrastructure to ensure their understanding of the specific needs of persons with disabilities, and adjustment of services provided to persons with various forms of disabilities.
- Conduct research to identify the status of women with disabilities and to develop a strategy for their development.
- Increase the intensity and effectiveness of contacts with government agencies on the ratification of the UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
- Develop a set of measures to prepare personal assistants for persons with disabilities, including drafting legislation, analysis of international experience, proposals for the creation of a system of training personal assistants in Uzbekistan, technical support and mobilise donor resources to create training programs and courses.
- Adapt the software for the visually impaired persons into the Uzbek language.
- Training for public authorities on the provision of public services to people with disabilities considering the needs of diverse group of people with disabilities, accessibility and adaptability of buildings and other infrastructure of public services for persons with disabilities, as well as mastering the skills of non-discriminatory treatment.
- Monitoring of existing legislation in the context of its compliance with the UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities". The monitoring will examine the various bylaws and an analysis of the changes will be developed to bring national legislation into conformity with the Convention.
- Preparation and publication of the annual report on the status and situation of persons with disabilities in Uzbekistan in order to provide public authorities, NGOs and international partners with objective and complete information on the situation of persons with disabilities, track dynamics of processes and determine the priority areas of interventions.
- Preparation and publication of a manual on inclusive education.
- Together with representatives of UNDP, UNICEF, EU, JICA to develop effective strategy of inclusive education implementation in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- Development of proposals to improve the regulatory framework in the field of inclusive education.
- With informational, technical and financial support from UN agencies organise sporting events, inclusive camps for children with disabilities and without disabilities in order to develop an inclusive society, comprehensive development of children with disabilities and to combat the stigma and stereotypes in society.
- Conduct trainings "Do you know your rights?" to improve the socio-political activity of persons with disabilities.
- Assist in the development and administration of a website dedicated to disability issues in Uzbekistan.