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Opinions & Interviews

5 Nov 2018

Progress in implementing Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Belarus

Progress in implementing Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Belarus

MINSK, 5 November (BelTA) - Belarus has made progress in improving the rights of persons with disabilities on the basis of its own many-year experience and international principles, Belarus Deputy Labor and Social Security Minister Alexander Rumak said while opening public consultations on the draft of the first report on the steps taken by Belarus to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, BelTA has learned.

“Two years have passed since Belarus ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its provisions entered into force in our country on 27 December 2016. A lot has been done since then. We have promptly drafted a national plan of action to implement the convention, just within six months,” said Alexander Rumak. The plan envisages a series of measures aimed at creating legal and other frameworks for formalizing the convention norms both in the legislation and in various policy documents.

The deputy minister stressed that the work to promote the rights of persons with disabilities was conducted in Belarus before the convention was ratified. It has never stopped. But today the country shows special commitment to the international principles in this regard. “We are gradually improving the rights of persons with disabilities in all areas: social guarantees, ensuring barrier-free environment, etc. We cannot say that we have done enough. This work will continue for more years. This is a long-term process in all countries. There are states we look up to. Our specialists travel abroad, learn and assess the experience of colleagues. Evey year, together with our partners, we develop annual plans to adjust our actions,” Alexander Rumak said.

The Labor and Social Security Ministry, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in cooperation with the UN Office in Belarus, is holding public consultations on the draft first report on measures taken by the state to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Consultations are held as part of the preparation of the first report and its submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2018. The event is attended by representatives of government bodies, the judicial branch, international organizations and public associations.

At the opening ceremony of the event Head of the Department of Multilateral Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Larisa Belskaya stated that the recommendations that Belarus will receive from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will show the vision of international experts on the development of the rights of persons with disabilities in the country. This will be followed by a new stage in the implementation of the convention in the country.

Belarus signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2015 and ratified the document in 2016. Each participating state to the convention reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on measures taken to fulfill its obligations and on the progress made within two years after the convention entered into force (every four years in a later stage).

The first national report was developed by the national government bodies, organizations whose competence includes the observance and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, the Supreme Court, the National Statistics Committee, the Central Election Commission, public associations of persons with disabilities, and the human rights educational institution “Office on the Rights of People with Disabilities”.

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