Monitoring results on access of people with disabilities to public transportationJun 17, 2015
The round table summed up the results of monitoring of the rights of persons with disabilities to access to transportation services in Tashkent city. The event was organized by the National Human Rights Centre, the National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan and UNDP Country Office in Uzbekistan.
The main purpose of monitoring of the rights of persons with disabilities to access to transportation services was to attract the attention of state authorities and state administration bodies at different levels, as well as the public and mass media to a comprehensive approach to resolve the problem of ensuring a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities and other groups of people with limited mobility, as well as to propose measures in order to improve the situation in this field. 46,617 people with disabilities were registered in Tashkent in 2014. The monitoring has showed that 454 traffic-light devices operate in Tashkent as of November 1, 2014. None of them are equipped with audio devices (for pedestrians with visual impairments). Moreover, 74.7% of the interviewed persons with disabilities noted the bus-stations as the objects of engineering infrastructure creating additional difficulties for people with disabilities. The non-compliance with standards in the construction of bus-stations, the lack of special technical accommodations in the bus-stations for tactile orientation were also noted.
The identified key issues as a result of monitoring are as follows:
• provisions of Law "On Social Protection of People with disabilities in the Republic of Uzbekistan" have not been implemented, i.e. there is a framework law and it had no direct effect. Thus, the needs of people with disabilities in using transportation services and transport communications have not been in-depth and accurately reflected in the regulatory norms. In particular, the rights of persons with disabilities to access to transportation services are not fully prescribed in the Law "On urban passenger transport", Regulation on the passenger bus stations and others;
• there is no mechanism of control, verification and standardization of places of social infrastructure. Currently, there is no system in Tashkent city for creation of a barrier-free living environment for people with disabilities for their integration into a society, as well as there is no methodological and informational maintenance;
• there is no special accommodation available for people the disabilities. Thus, the transport infrastructure as well as buildings of the state authorities do not have the special accommodation, lifts, ramps that facilitate easy mobility of people with disabilities, and which restrict the right to health care, education, culture, physical training and sport;
• lack of adapted public transports, running lines in buses and other transports, sound-lights and other assistive devices designed to facilitate the orientation in the transport, which deprives wheelchair users, people with visual and hearing impairments as well as other people with limited mobility of free movement;
• one of the serious barriers for the implementation of rights of people with disabilities is the lack of reasonable conditions, accommodations on the pedestrian sidewalks, crossings using transport communications - ramps, congresses, lifts and others that do not permit people with disabilities to have active, independent and decent live;
The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Mr. Stefan Priesner in his welcoming speech emphasized that the right to use of transportation services, which is prescribed in the Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, is the “keystone” for the realization of social, economic and political rights for persons with disabilities.
During the round table, the participants have supported the findings of monitoring and proposed a number of measures necessary to increase the level of accessibility of transportation services for people with disabilities:
• to develop a draft Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on the accessible environment;
• to publish the results of monitoring on the website of the National Human Rights Centre, the Ombudsman, National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan;
• as an example of public control to create a website for posting photos by the Internet-users with the purpose of observing the situation on the accessibility of transportation services for people with disabilities;
• to establish a Public Council within the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Uzbekistan for monitoring the provisions of Law "On social protection of people with disabilities".
The representatives of the Senate and Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, National Centre for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics of persons with disabilities, Institute for Social Research within the Cabinet of Ministers, Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights, JSC "Toshshahartranshizmat and NGOs working to promote the rights and interests of people with disabilities.
The Republic of Uzbekistan signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in February 2009, and adopted the National Plan of Actions in November 2014 on the implementation of recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council and UN Treaty Bodies, where the ratification of the Convention was among one of the accepted recommendations by the country.