The importance of the inclusion of persons with disabilities within society was focus of an online event held on 17 November 2020. The OSCE in Uzbekistan, in co-operation with the Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and several international experts on the field of rights of persons with disabilities organized the seminar.
The event gathered over 50 representatives from the civil society of Uzbekistan and from across the OSCE region, Experts and speakers exchanged their views and best practices on how to promote and protect persons with disabilities and how the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be key in further strengthening their rights.
Oybek Isakov, Chairperson of the Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan, said: “This year, exactly 11 years passed since Uzbekistan signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the present time, the process of preparation for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is under way, and this process should not be delayed since the ratification of the convention is the first step towards creating an inclusive society.”
“At the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), we believe the right to equal participation of persons with disabilities has a prominent place in the OSCE Human Dimension Commitments, because inclusive, strong democracies depend on the active participation of all citizens”, said Meaghan Fitzgerald, Acting Head of Democratization Department at ODIHR.
John MacGregor, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, said during his opening speech: “The PCUz is gradually increasing its activities in the field of rights of persons with disabilities. This year, on top of this very important event, for example, our office has translated OSCE/ODIHR materials into Uzbek language, which will enable persons with disabilities throughout Uzbekistan to better familiarize themselves with their rights. We are also in the process of printing the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the newly-adopted law on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Braille format. In partnership with ODIHR, the Association and a social scientist consultant, we are also conducting a survey analysis on the question of the access to the Parliament for persons with disabilities.”
This activity was undertaken within the framework of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan’s project “Support to the Promotion and Protection of the rights of persons with disabilities of Uzbekistan.”