A new video shows the strategies unions and civil society allies in Kyrgyzstan, with Solidarity Center support, are using to advance and protect the rights of people with disabilities. Strategies include coalition-building and joint advocacy projects with national and local disability rights organizations, pro-bono legal support, data collection, legislative reform and trainings-of-trainers with disabilities.
In 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which promotes the full and effective inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. However, discrimination against people with disabilities has persisted. A Solidarity Center research study in 2022 revealed that only 20 percent of people with disabilities surveyed in Kyrgyzstan were employed, and most were in insecure seasonal or part-time jobs.
Since 2019, the Solidarity Center has conducted a program focused on reducing discrimination in employment and promoting the labor rights of workers with disabilities, the first of its kind in Kyrgyzstan. Through a combination of legislative analysis, large-scale media campaigns, the development of a mobile application, individual legal support, educational trainings and collaboration with key organizations, the Solidarity Center is working to make real change for people with disabilities.
In 2022, the Solidarity Center raised the need for changes to the Labor Code, harmonizing regulations and mechanisms to improve laws that impact people with disabilities. Kyrgyzstan’s government has demonstrated the political will to make legislative changes that facilitate greater access to employment and education for people with disabilities, but further progress is needed to ensure legal protections are enforced in the workplace.
Watch the video in Russian.