The role of NGOs in preparation for the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities discussed during the roundtable
On May 7, 2014 United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan in partnership with the National Human Rights Centre (NHRC) and the Uzbek Society of Disabled Persons organized a round table on: 'The role of NGOs in preparation for the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'.
The round table participants included the Director of the National Human Rights Centre Akmal Saidov, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner, representatives of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, as well as NGOs involved in the promotion of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities (PWD).
“UNDP is welcoming the commitment and efforts of Uzbekistan to ratification of CRPD. This commitment was reflected in the Draft National action Plan on UPR follow-up and UN Treaty Bodies’ recommendations as a raising public awareness, including in rural areas, dissemination of Uzbek version of CRPD in government websites and its publication in Braille language, development and adoption of national action plan to implement CRPD as well as identification of national coordinating agency. However we need to remember, that ratification is the first step on a long way of its full implementation and promoting rights of PWD”, noted Mr. Stefan Priesner, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan as a country which signed the Convention on February 27, 2009 and currently preparing for its ratification is making significant efforts to promote the rights and interests of people with disabilities.
During the roundtable the representatives of government agencies, NGOs and international organizations discussed the measures which need to be taken in order to prepare for the ratification and implementation of the Convention in Uzbekistan, as well as plans for cooperation in this field.
The publication of the Convention in the Uzbek language was also presented at the event which will help raise awareness among government officials, people with disabilities and the general public about international standards for ensuring the rights of people with disabilities, as well as speed up the process of ratification of the Convention by Uzbekistan.
Translation of the Convention into the national language was done by the joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection on 'Inclusive Employment and Social Partnership' and the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan.
The translation of the Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into the Uzbek language is currently being carried out with the support of UNDP. This Handbook was published jointly by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Members of civil society organizations which promote the interests of people with disabilities have presented the draft National Action Plan (NAP) on preparing for the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Uzbekistan for discussion.
The speakers noted that the ratification of the Convention will strengthen the protection of rights and empower people with disabilities living in Uzbekistan.
Forthcoming ratification of the Convention sets targets for further developing social partnership between NGOs and governmental agencies and increasing the capacity of NGOs in preparation for ratification, implementing and monitoring of the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
During the round table the following recommendations were elaborated:
- To create expert group with involvement of NGOs at the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation, NCHR or the Ministry of Justice to analyze legislation for compliance with the convention and to develop proposals to improve legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
- Together with the Ministry of Labour and Social protection and NGOs to analyze the effectiveness of the implementation of incentives and benefits provided by the current legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- To consider the earlier establishment of the national inter-departmental structure under the Cabinet of Ministers responsible for preparation to ratification and the implementation of the Convention.
- To submit the draft NAP on implementation of the UN Convention 'On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities' to NCHR for further consideration and communicating to the Inter-agency Working Group on monitoring the observance of human rights and freedoms by law enforcement and other government agencies under the Ministry of Justice.
- To enhance a social partnership between NGOs and government agencies to protect the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, both within the Advisory Board, and bilaterally (the conclusion of cooperation agreements, joint work plans, joint activities and monitors, etc.).
- To ensure compliance with legislation and the Convention on the necessity to involve people with disabilities and their respective NGOs to design, discussion, monitoring and implementation of legislative acts and decisions affecting people with disabilities.
- To develop and implement a set of measures aimed at enhancing the capacity of NGOs in preparation for ratification, and participation in the implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention "On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (compilation of the lists of NGOs of persons with disabilities, the development of training modules, conducting trainings on legal literacy and skills relevant to NGOs at the premises of National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan and Independent Institute for monitoring the formation of civil society).
- To promote partnerships of NGOs in Uzbekistan and UN agencies, in order to better use the resources of the international structures for the supporting and development of social partnership in the interests of persons with disabilities in Uzbekistan.
- To develop a program that will allow PWDs to play sports, as well as create the sport Olympic center for the Paralympians in Tashkent.
- To increase legal literacy of NGOs’ representatives on mechanisms of appeals to government bodies against unlawful actions of officials who violate the rights of persons with disabilities.
- To recommend to National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan to promote situation analysis on rights of PWDs and informing relevant public authorities on infringement of the rights of PWDs and NGOs involved in the protection of rights and the promotion of PWDs.
- To ensure participation of PWDs in the Inter-Agency Working Group under the Ministry of Justice during the consideration of matters relating to PWDs.
- To establish partnerships with relevant research institutes and universities and attract them for cooperation to research and resolve issues interesting for PWDs. To introduce courses on peculiarities of working with PWDs to relevant higher education institutions.
- To develop Commentary to the Convention and clarify terms and concepts in the text of the Convention.
- To create audio books, including the Convention on the Uzbek language and national legislation concerning the rights and obligations of the PWDs.
- To add NAP with key indicators for monitoring and specify the amount and sources of funding.
- To consider organizing of regular monitoring on situation of the availability of buildings and public transport for PWDs in Tashkent in close collaboration with concerned government officials and representatives of the Oliy Majlis, the NGOs involved in the protection of rights and the promotion of PWDs as well as the media.
- To consider ensuring the transparency of NGO activities for the recipients of their services.
- To improve informational outreach on various disability issues for creating a positive public attitudes towards people with disabilities.
All participants expressed their interest in continuing cooperation and conducting further joint activities aimed at improving the status of persons with disabilities in Uzbekistan.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the most important international document which regulates standards and mechanisms for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. Countries signatory to the Convention commit themselves to implementing it and report to the specialized UN committee on regular basis.
As of today 158 out of 193 UN member states have signed the convention, and 145 states have ratified/acceded to it.
One of the fundamental obligations laid down in the Convention is that national legislation must guarantee the enjoyment of the rights recognized in its provisions.
After ratifying the Convention a country takes measures to ensure that new and revised laws comply with the Convention. These measures are aimed at:
- Involving the experts from government institutions and competent ministries, civil society, people with disabilities and the organizations which represent them;
- Establishing and monitoring time frames for the completion of the review; and
- Establishing a parliamentary committee to oversee the process and systematically scrutinize and legislative proposal to ensure consistency with the Constitution.
Electronic version of publication of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Uzbek could be found in open source at website of UNDP in Uzbekistan on this link: http://www.uz.undp.org/content/uzbekistan/en/home/library/democratic_governance/The_UN_Convention_on_the_Rights_of_Persons_with_Disabilities/.