Monitoring the rights of disabled persons to access to transport services: experience and prospects 10.06.2015

Monitoring the rights of disabled persons to access to transport services: experience and prospects

On June 10, 2015 the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cooperation with the National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan (NANGO) and UNDP Office in Uzbekistan held a round table on theme: “Monitoring the rights of disabled persons to access to transport services: experience and prospects”.

The round table was attended by officials of the ministries and agencies, educational and scientific institutions, non-government organizations.

Participants of the event stressed that since the first years of independence Uzbekistan has carried out targeted activities of the state bodies and non-governmental organizations on implementation into the legislation and the practice of international standards to ensure the rights of disabled persons, to which the Republic of Uzbekistan is a member.

Rights of persons with disabilities in Uzbekistan are regulated in a number of laws, namely the laws “On education”, “ On citizens health care”, “On social protection of disabled persons”, “On employment”, “On guarantees of the rights of the child”, “On state pensions of the citizens”, “On labour protection”, “On physical culture and sports”, the Labour Code and others.

In February 2009, the Republic of Uzbekistan signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demonstrating its commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in accordance with international standards. Uzbekistan was one of the first states on CIS area to draw attention to the issue of disability, and the first of the CIS countries to adopt in 1991 the Law “On social protection of disabled persons in the Republic of Uzbekistan”, which determined that the government policy on disabled people is carried out in order to ensure them with equal rights and freedoms applicable to all other Uzbek citizens, to eliminate restrictions on the ability to live, to create favorable conditions allowing them to lead a full life, to actively participate in society and fulfill their civic duties. As seen from the law, the people with disabilities are endowed with full social, economic and personal rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and other legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Government has established the principle of non-discrimination of persons with disabilities.

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 13 December 2006, persons with disabilities should have equal opportunities to realize their rights and freedoms in all spheres of life, including an equal right to all necessary social services to meet their needs in different spheres of life.

The issues of a barrier-free and accessible environment for people with disabilities today widely discussed at both international and national levels. Objectively, there are conditions that deny their freedom of movement and possibility of exercising their rights on an equal basis with others. These limits are expressed in the absence of special technical devices for the disabled in transport and streets, urban disparity of public buildings and facilities for the needs of people with disabilities, inaccessibility of educational institutions and shortage of educational programs for the disabled.

In order to identify the causes of violation of the rights of persons with disabilities to have access to transport, the National Human Rights Centre in cooperation with the Ombudsman, NANGO, the Society of Persons with Disabilities and at support of UNDP in Uzbekistan held for the first time the monitoring of situation in the area.

During the round table were discussed main findings and recommendations of the monitoring to improve a system of transport services for the disabled.

Results of the monitoring have revealed a need to pay special attention to the issue of legal basis of access to social rights for people who have been or may be excluded from public life for reasons relating to health, disability or other cultural, social and/or economic situation, the lack of or limited access to one right may impede access to other rights.