Possibilities of signing and ratification of UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities discussed at highest level
These issues were raised at the seminar "The system of social protection of disabled persons in the Republic of Belarus: State and prospects for development. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities", organized by the Standing Committee of Education, Science, Culture and Social Development of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, the Standing Committee on Labor and Social Issues of the House of Representatives, as well as the United Nations Office in the Republic of Belarus.
To date, 158 countries have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 141 States have ratified it, and Belarus remains the only country in Europe which still has not signed and ratified this international instrument.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006. The purpose of the document is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment by persons with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
According to the coordinator of the UN system in Belarus Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha, a year ago our country was not ready for the signing and ratification of the Convention, but now noticeable improvements can be seen.
“Belarus has approached the issue in order to further implement all the provisions of the Convention. I hope that by the end of 2014, the Convention will have been signed and ratified,” he said.
According to official statistics, in Belarus there are more than 500,000 people with disabilities. Therefore, according to Mikalai Kazarovets, chairman of the Standing Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Social Development, social protection for these vulnerable groups is one of the priorities of the state social policy. At the same time, he stressed that some steps in this direction have already been taken, including discussing the withdrawal of labor recommendations for persons with disabilities.
Belarus also conducted a comparative analysis of the legislation of Belarus and the provisions of the Convention. Its results say that the Belarusian legislation is not contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention, and regulations relating to people with disabilities comply with the basic principles and norms of this document. That's why representatives of the state stress that the signing and ratification of the international instrument is possible before the end of this year.
As the coordinator of the Office on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Siarhei Drazdouski says, the authorities have repeatedly mentioned their intent to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“We, as a public association, in our activities are based on the principles declared by the Convention. It is important for any new document adopted at the state level in our country to be adapted to the provisions of the UN Convention in order to try to implement the provisions of this document,” he said.
According to available information, since 2011 the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, together with the concerned governmental bodies, have been preparing a draft law on accession of Belarus to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including the preparation of the draft legislation, which will be changed, supplemented or declared invalid in connection with the adoption of this law.
Source: Office on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities