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Work on zero report on realization of Convention on the rights of the disabled starts today

03.12.2015  |  Society   |  EuroBelarus Information Service,  
Work on zero report on realization of Convention on the rights of the disabled starts today

On the International day of people with disability a Memorandum on cooperation takes effect. The Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities initiated it in order to prepare a “Zero” report.

The Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities invites any CSOs that “find the issue of observing human rights towards the persons with a disability important” to sign the Memorandum on cooperation in order to prepare alternative Zero report on conditions with rights of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Belarus, stated Siarhei Drazdouski, the coordinator of the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during the press-conference in Minsk on December 1.

Let us recall that on September 28 Belarus has finally signed the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Ratification is the second step, which presupposes the national report on the measures taken by the government for fulfilling its obligations.

“Signing is a very important step which tells that a country should refrain from creation of norms contradicting the norms of the international treaty, – Siarhei Drazdouski comments. – We are waiting when the government makes the second step – ratification, which will promote practical usage of the Convention’s norms in the state’s politics during preparation of topical state programs and local agendas”.

Today is the perfect time to begin writing the report by recording the situation in the sphere of disability at the moment of Convention’s signing. The Office initiated preparation of the alternative (prepared by civic society and NGOs) report, which is similar to a planned report to the UN Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. The government is not obliged to prepare an official report now; it should be done only after the ratification of the international document: the first time in two years and then every four years.

“Such international reports are an international norm. On the basis of the reports’ results the country can be given recommendations about what and how can be improved in the definite sphere, - explains Siarhei Drazdouski. – State reports should show progress in realization of the Convention’s principles, we consider that the alternative Zero report will help to record the situation and it will become a “zero level” for evaluation of the progress”.

Zero report will help to make a revision of legal documents and practices regulating the sphere of social guarantees, to show what is being done in Belarus today and what mechanisms are being used.

Such a “revision” will help to ensure against a possible decrease of the level of social protection for persons with disabilities during possible reforms.

The specialist considers that activities aimed at preparation of Zero report should be collegial. It will help to show the existing situation most fully and to reflect problems of different types of disabilities.

It is very difficult to do it by the efforts of one organization and it will not show the whole picture. The Office for the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities sees the preparation of Zero report as a possibility for successful cooperation and interaction.

As for now, 6 organizations have agreed to join the initiative, among which are “BelTIZ”, “Belarusian society of disabled”, “Belarusian association for assistance to disabled children and young disabled”, “Belarusian society of deaf”, and “Belarusian association of wheelchair-bound disabled”. Memorandum for joining the process has been opened. It is of voluntary character and it means that any organization that is ready can join us anytime and anytime it can leave.

It is planned that the alternative Zero report will be published on May 5 on the International day of fight for the rights of disabled and against discrimination.

“It is very important for us to present our “Zero report” on this day”, - Siarhei Drazdouski noted. 

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