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 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.
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.
Torment not Treatment: Serbia’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities is the product of an investigation spanning four years, by Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI), into the human rights abuses perpetrated against institutionalized children and adults in Serbia. From July 2003 to August 2007, MDRI has documented a broad array of human rights violations against people with disabilities, segregated from society and forced to live out their lives in institutions (all observations in this report are from December 2006 through August 2007 except as noted). Filthy conditions, contagious diseases, lack of medical care and rehabilitation, and a failure to provide oversight renders placement in a Serbian institution lifethreatening. MDRI investigators found children and adults with disabilities tied to beds or never allowed to leave a crib – some for years at a time. Inhumane and degrading treatment in Serbian institutions – in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – is widespread. Children and adults with disabilities tied down and restrained over a lifetime are being subjected to extremely dangerous and painful “treatment ” that is tantamount to torture.
This study explores three themes in seeking to answer the question how the adult workd meets its responsibilities towards the realisation of children's rights in accordance with their evolving capacities: how to provide the social, development; how to encourage children's participation in decision-making and guarantee appropriate respect for their capacities: and how to protect children from an inappropriate burden of responsibility and harm as a consequence of their youth and "still evolving" capacities. This study does this by looking in part at marginalized groups in society of which children and young people with disabilities are one.
The majority of the world’s children live in lowand middle-income (LAMI) countries. Often, in these countries, the health care system is the only system that has the potential to reach most young children and their families. For centuries, clinicians, researchers and advocates around the world have been working to prevent, diagnose and treat childhood illness, so that children can enjoy good health and reach adulthood. This task continues to be a challenge. There is still an unacceptable disparity between high-income and LAMI countries with respect to indicators for child survival and health. Equally unacceptable is the disparity between countries in the range of supports available to help children develop optimally, and to prevent, detect and manage developmental difficulties during infancy and early childhood.
In line with its work to promote new strategies to reach children and young people with special educational needs within regular education and community-based programmes, UNESCO invited a number of practitioners to share successful experiences, projects, ets. in this domain. The stories reflect initiatives of different groups of practitioners - teachers, parents, specialists, and community people with a clear commitment to making a difference in the education of children and young people with special needs - people who are determined to make things happen. UNESCO's programme on Special Needs Education has put together these stories, hoping that they will be a source of inspiration, and a channel for exchange and networking with all those who want to promote education for all including chose with special educational needs.