Equal Before the Law: Access to Justice in Central Asia (EBL) is a flagship program of Finland’s Wider Europe Initiative. EBL seeks to increase access to justice for vulnerable groups of persons by bringing national law closer to international law and people’s everyday experiences closer to national law. The program, that started in July 2011 and runs through to December 2013, is implemented by the Eurasia Foundation and the Eurasia Foundation in Central Asia in the five Central Asian republics.
As part of the EBL program, free legal aid is provided to vulnerable groups of persons. One of the groups is persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose rights are often ignored even though these would be guaranteed in legislation. Through the EBL, PWDs have had an opportunity to seek help in legal matters.
To highlight the weaknesses of national legislation and what measures that need to be taken to improve the situation of PWDs in the future, the national legislation of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan has been analyzed in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The aim of the CRPD is to protect the rights of PWDs and to ensure that they
can enjoy their human rights on an equal basis with others. States that have ratified the CRPD are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil the rights set forth in the convention. A first step is to make
national legislation in line with the CRPD.
The Committee of Ministers has taken note of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1990 (2012) on “The right of everyone to take part in cultural life” and of the appended Guidelines for developing policies to ensure effective participation in cultural life. It brought this recommendation to the attention of the member States’ governments so that they might be guided by it in framing their national policies, also transmitting it to the relevant Council of Europe committees1 and to the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre for information and for receipt of any comments they might have.
The Governments at the High-level Intergovernmental Meeting adopted the Ministerial Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013–2022, and the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.
The Incheon Strategy provides the Asian and Pacific region, and the world, with the first set of regionally agreed disability-inclusive development goals. Developed over more than two years of consultations with governments and civil society stakeholders, the Incheon Strategy comprises 10 goals, 27 targets and 62 indicators. The Incheon Strategy builds on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action and Biwako Plus Five towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.
The Incheon Strategy will enable the Asian and Pacific region to track progress towards improving the quality of life, and the fulfilment of the rights, of the region’s 650 million persons with disabilities, most of whom live in poverty. The ESCAP secretariat is mandated to report every three years until the end of the Decade in 2022, on progress in the implementation of the Ministerial
Declaration and the Incheon Strategy.
Legislation, Policy and Financing
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The Report focuses on measures to improve accessibility and equality of opportunity; promoting participation and inclusion; and increasing respect for the autonomy and dignity of persons with disabilities. Chapter 1 defines terms such as disability, discusses prevention and its ethical considerations, introduces the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the CRPD, and discusses disability and human rights, and disability and development. Chapter 2 reviews the data on disability prevalence and the situation of people with disabilities worldwide. Chapter 3 explores access to mainstream health services for people with disabilities. Chapter 4 discusses rehabilitation, including therapies and assistive devices. Chapter 5 investigates support and assistance services. Chapter 6 explores inclusive environments, both in terms of physical access to buildings, transport, and so on, but also access to the virtual environments of information and communication technology. Chapter 7 discusses education, and Chapter 8 reviews employment for people with disabilities. Each chapter includes recommendations, which are also drawn together to provide broad policy and practice considerations in Chapter 9.
This study reviews early childhood intervention (ECI), special education and inclusive education programmes in Belarus. Upon the request of UNICEF’s Regional Office for CEE/CIS, it presents key programme concepts and information, identifi es lessons learned, off ers recommendations, and presents general Guidelines for ECI and Special Education Systems for the consideration of other countries in the region and the world.
The rights of all disabled people, including those of children, have been reiterated and given a new impetus with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed on opening day, 30 March 2007, by the representatives of an unprecedented 81 countries. This follows an unequivocal statement made by Heads of State and Government, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly following the May 2002 Special Session on Children.
The Innocenti Digest on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities attempts to provide a global perspective on the situation of the some 200 million children with disabilities. The Digest
is based on reports from countries across regions and from a wide range of sources. These include accounts by persons with disabilities, their families and members of their communities, professionals, volunteers and non-governmental organizations, as well as country reports submitted by Member States to the United Nations, including to human rights treaty bodies
responsible for monitoring the implementation of international human rights treaties. This Digest focuses particularly on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The latter instrument was signed by an unprecedented 81 countries on opening day, 30 March 2007. As of 15 August 2007, 101 countries had signed the CRPD and 4 had ratified it. For entry into force, it is necessary that the Convention receive 20 ratifications. The Disabilities Convention offers a unique opportunity for every country and every community to reexamine its laws and institutions and to promote changes necessary to ensure that persons with disabilities are guaranteed the same rights as all other persons. It expresses basic human rights in a manner that addresses the special needs and situation of persons with disabilities and provides a framework for ensuring that those rights are realized.
Children with disabilities are entitled to attend school like all other children; however, tens of thousands of children with disabilities in Nepal are deprived of this right. There are 120 to 150 million children with disabilities under the age of 18 worldwide. UNESCO estimates that children with disabilities represent more than one-third of the 67 million children who are out of school worldwide.
In some countries, the chances of a child with a disability not attending school is two or three times greater than a child without a disability. There is no clear data on the total number of children with disabilities in Nepal and how many of them are out of school. Based on the government’s conservative figures from a 2001 analysis, there are, at the very least, 207,000 children with disabilities in the country.
The field research for this report was conducted between March and April 2011 across eight districts in three regions of Nepal (central, mid-western and far-western). The three regions
were selected because they represent different geographic areas (plains, hilly and mountain areas); and there are active organizations working with people with disabilities who could provide guidance, facilitate interviews and collaborate with Human Rights Watch on advocacy.
States have the obligation to implement the right to education recognized at the international level, particularly in the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), and at national level according to the specifi c educational requirements of their country. However, the right to education is still far from being refl ected in all constitutions and laws. This chapter contains constitutional and legislative provisions enacted by States, as well as administrative measures and policy programmes developed and implemented which could serve as examples in this area for other States. Also included are examples of the enforcement of the right to education through judicial and quasi-judicial decisions. Rather than discussing the content of the right to education, this chapter shows examples of different levels of protection of this right: constitutional, legislative and administrative, as well as judicial and quasi-judicial.
The purpose of this publication is to share these contributions and provide a comprehensive overview of the major issues, challenges and questions related to inclusive education. Benefiting from a rich diversity of fields, organizations and regions, these contributions encompass a broad range of perspectives and approaches. This publication is organized in four main sections, followed by a content analysis of the messages sent to the Conference by over 120 Ministers of Education worldwide, and concluded by an article on inclusive education as the core of the Education for All (EFA) agenda. The four sections focus on ICE sub-themes—approaches, scope and content; public policies; systems, links and transitions; and learners and teachers—and are introduced by relevant extracts from the reference document of the Conference.
1. The right to education is at the heart of the Education For All (EFA) programme as UNESCO’s priority. It responds to the constitutional mandate of the Organization - ensuring “Full and equal opportunities for education for all” (emphasis added). The Dakar Framework for Action, adopted at the World Education Forum (2000), at which the right to education was reaffi rmed, and the EFA goals were set, expresses the political commitment of the whole international community to:
– expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children;
– ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities,have access to, and complete free and compulsory, primary education of good quality;
– achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults;
– eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.