Vulnerable groups' rights are in zone of constant risk

Nov 10, 2017

Equality of rights is not that everyone uses them, but is in the fact that everybody  provided by the rights” Lucius Seneca

«In my childhood, I didn’t feel my disability among my family. However, outside our home, I feel myself in a zoo. People stared, perked their fingers at me and asked whether I can read and write. Now society has changed its attitude and I don’t feel such infringements. Nevertheless, there are still differences.  In Western countries, people have a different attitude to people with disabilities. They do not pay attention to disability and treat them like any other ordinary person. In our society people treat to disabled persons like a hero, who overcomes all obstacles, or like a wretched person who needs a help" - said Seinep Dyikanbaeva during a discussion of the history and status of people with disabilities’ rights in "Summer School of Law".  

According to a trainer on the rights persons with disabilities Maksat Mamyrkanov, struggle for the rights including the rights of persons with disabilities passed through various stages of development, such as the process of getting rid of, the process of segregation... The beginning of the struggle for persons with disabilities’ rights became their unification in the USA.

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Kyrgyzstan also endured and enduring the process of segregation. "In the Soviet period, we really did not see persons with disabilities. They lived in isolation, studied and treated in specialized institutions. A few years ago, we started the project on inclusive education. I was frightened because we did not have the opportunity to communicate with them, and did not know how to work and treat with them" - says Kyzjibek Djumagazieva, the trainer on women's and youth's rights. 

Protection of vulnerable groups’ rights, in particular persons with disabilities, children, women, youth - was the main topic of the training "Summer School of Law", which held on 14-18 August 2017 in the Bulan-Sogottu village. Training conducted with the support of the UNDP and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland project "Widening access to justice in the Kyrgyz Republic". Summer school participated by representatives of civil society organizations dealing with vulnerable group’s rights. 

During the training were discussed national mechanisms for the protection of rights, legislation, conventions, institutions on protecting the rights of vulnerable groups, mechanisms for reducing conflict in various areas of citizens' activities and other legal problems.

The peculiarity of this training was providing information and training materials in an accessible format for participants with a hearing loss. Training process completely accompanied with sign language interpretation.

"I have participated in many workshops, but this is the first one with an inclusive approach. Here, for people with hearing and sight impairments presented all conditions for learning, communicating and having a rest together with all others. Communicating with them, we do not feel any restrictions, and even started to understand the sign language" - says Kuznetsova Larisa, director of the PF "Smile.kg". 

"This inclusive training was an example and a challenge for all of us. It turns out that it is possible to create conditions, and everything depends on ourselves. We need to do and demand it from others" - says Tatyana Temirova, the representative of the NGO “Alga”.

"Our society often speaks for integration, but we constantly study and conduct arrangements separately. I take part in the law school, along with other healthy people for the first time. In this training, we had a good opportunity to learn the points of view of various people, experienced human rights defenders, and most importantly, we can use the gained knowledge in practice. This practice on the inclusion of inclusive methods needs to be continued, and not only for training on vulnerable groups’ rights" - says Almaz Topchuev, chief of the deaf’s organization in Osh city. 

Medical, charitable or social model

Which of these models of relations for disabled persons applied in our country? This question caused a lot of controversy among participants. 

According to Elena Bocharnikova, director of the Social Center “Equal Opportunities”, none of these models developed in necessary level. People say that we have a medical model, but we do not have a modern medical system, modern methods for rehabilitation of people with disabilities, modern prosthetics, etc... If we talk about the social model, we do not have an accessible environment, social support, and employment of people with disabilities. Financial benefits are very limited. The charitable model based on allocating a certain percentage of entrepreneurs’ income. Our entrepreneurs just started to form these rules.

Preventing or combating consequences 

Discussing the tools for the protection of human rights, participants speak for carrying out preventive work than combating with consequences.

A representative of the PA “Alga” Tatyana Temirova says that the state spends a lot of money for combating the consequences of family violence, whereas preventing domestic violence would be much cheaper.  

"I think that children are the most vulnerable in terms of protecting their rights" - says Olmaskhon Djumasheva, chairperson of the PF "Family for every child" based in Osh city - "Due to active internal and external migration, parents are forced to leave their children to grandparents, relatives and even to acquaintances for guardianship. In result, children do not go to school or often miss, remain without proper supervision and upbringing. Cases, when parents transferred their children to boarding schools, become more frequent. This is a big problem of our society, which definitely will reflect future". 

Seinep Dyikanbaeva, lawyer of ARDI, -  “If the state does not create conditions for people with disabilities today, in 20-30 years the number of disabled people will become much more. Then, it will more difficult to cope with the situation. Therefore, for the state better to invest and create conditions for people with disabilities now".

People associate human rights with the security and stability. Today, human rights issues remain actual because vulnerable groups of the population always feel themselves in a zone of constant risk and are not sure of the ability to defend their rights and freedoms, even those secured by law.

Meri Bekeshova, UNDP project “Widening access to justice in the KR” Communication specialist

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