Tajikistan launches joint partnership programme for promotion and inclusion of rights of people with disabilities

UNICEF

6 March 2015

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan, together with the Ombudsman's Office, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and civil society organizations have launched the first joint partnership programme to promote the rights of adults and children with disabilities in Tajikistan. The programme aims to assist Tajikistan's government and civil society in creating an environment where the rights of persons with disabilities, especially children and women with disabilities, are protected by legal and policy frameworks. It also aims to enhance the awareness of decision makers to consider the needs of persons with disabilities when designing policies so as to promote an inclusive society for all.

Since 2013, the Government of Tajikistan has been taking considerable steps to promote the rights of people with disabilities. The government hosted the Central Asian Child Protection Forum on Disabilities, where participating nations strongly committed to enacting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Following its adoption, a governmental working group on CRPD was established, and the government held initial open dialogues with civil society organizations including Organizations for People with Disabilities and the Coalition of Parents of Children with Disabilities Association.
However, assuring that people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate actively in society still remains a challenge. Discriminatory social norms and negative attitudes towards people with disabilities; gaps in the legislation and policy framework; and absence of a national strategy to progressively realize the rights of people with disabilities all represent roadblocks on the path to a non-discriminatory and equal society.

In that context, the programme promotes:

  • the mainstreaming of issues of people with disabilities into policies, legislation and programmes at the national and sub-national level;
  • raising awareness of the situation of people with disabilities; and 
  • creating inclusive services for people with disabilities by modeling community-based rehabilitation in Tajikistan.

A steering committee, which includes a diverse group government representatives, UN organizations, civil society, and children with disabilities so as to promote a comprehensive approach, has been set up to oversee the strategic direction and implementation of the programme. Each participating UN organization will provide support in addressing disability issues at different levels (national, regional, district and community) based on its respective expertise and ongoing work. In doing so, the programme will contribute not only to accelerating the effort to build an inclusive society for all, but also strengthen the partnership between the government, UN organizations, and Tajikistan's civil society.

The programme on "Building and Strengthening Alliances for Inclusive Policies and Communities for Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan 2015 - 2016" is a two-year partnership programme supported by the United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Trust Fund.