UNDP and national partners put spotlight on socio-economic integration of people with disabilities in Turkmenistan

December 2, 2022

UNDP and national partners put spotlight on socio-economic integration of people with disabilities in Turkmenistan

UNDP Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, 02 December 2022: UNDP and national partners discussed disability inclusive development in employment, vocational education and social protection at a round table under the overarching theme “Socio-economic integration of people with disabilities in Turkmenistan” on the eve of International Day of Persons with Disability. The event was organized as part of project “Towards decent work for people with disabilities in Turkmenistan: transforming social enterprises into meaningful training and employment opportunities” implemented jointly by UNDP and the Blind and Deaf Society of Turkmenistan with funding from the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund.

In his opening remarks, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Rovshen Nurmuhammedov noted that “promoting the rights and integration of people with disabilities is not only a matter of equity but also an investment in the future. In this regard, our joint with the Government of Turkmenistan work on the socio-economic integration of people with disabilities, namely ensuring their equal access to health care, education, employment, social services and participation in the life of society is the most important task for all countries.”  He noted that the current round table is part of the global dialogue discussing the links between employment, knowledge and skills required to enable people with disabilities to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological landscape, and practical tools and best practices to reduce inequalities in both the public and private sectors.

In the ensuing discussions, the round table participants looked at the legal framework for socio-economic integration of persons with disabilities in Turkmenistan, issues relating to employment, their inclusive education at vocational schools, accessibility of medical services, practical experience and employment prospects in the private sector, and role of public associations in promoting their rights and interests in the context of the socio-economic policies of Turkmenistan, as well as through the prism of the joint project of UNDP and the Blind and Deaf Society of Turkmenistan.

It was noted that this joint project promotes a model of employment of persons with disabilities in the open labor market of Turkmenistan that would enable persons with disabilities to receive decent education, including secondary vocational and higher education, and relevant professional skills applicable in the labor market of Turkmenistan, both in public and private sectors. Such model will take into account the practical experience of the joint project that seeks to increase employment opportunities and income of persons with disabilities through training and creation of new jobs, including for women with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation of BDST members at their social enterprises in the cities of Ashgabat, Mary and Turkmenabad that are currently being renovated and reequipped.

In conclusion, it was emphasized that support of the Government of Turkmenistan, including through the adoption of relevant regulatory legal acts and amendments to national legislation, is the main prerequisite for achieving the overarching objective of socio-economic integration of persons with disabilities. To this end, UNDP will continue raising awareness of national partners about the international experience of active state regulation of vocational education and employment of persons with disabilities, intersectoral cooperation, guided by the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Human Rights Action Plan of Turkmenistan for 2021-2025.

The round table was preceded by the exhibition of products manufactured by the BDST social enterprises and craft works by BDST members, marking the 90th anniversary of establishment of the BDST.