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Dialogue with High Commissioner. Protection of disabled

27 November 2017
Dialogue with High Commissioner. Protection of disabled

On November 27, in preparation for the International Day of Disabled Persons, the program «Human Rights» was broadcasted on the Public Television of Russia (OTR); it was dedicated to the protection of the rights of people with disabilities.

Russia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and thereby undertook to provide disabled persons with the opportunity to lead an independent way of life, to carry out active personal development, to be full members of society.

For the first 9 months of 2017, the High Commissioner’s Office received 389 appeals on the protection of the rights of disabled people. Citizens were very worried about the certification of a disability group, the protection of health, and the provision of social assistance. No less relevant topics were the conditions of stay in a hospital, the provision of technical means of rehabilitation, the establishment of pensions and benefits, as well as appealing court decisions.

As we can see, it is vital for people with disabilities to receive benevolent treatment and help in implementing both big and small plans.

During a personal visit, citizen S. addressed me in defence of the rights of a minor daughter A., suffering from serious diseases.

Based on the results of medical and social assessment, A. was denied the establishment of disability, which created difficulties in obtaining the necessary specialized rehabilitation assistance. As a result, in the Republic of Tatarstan where the girl lives, only one rehabilitation center has agreed to provide appropriate assistance.

Having familiarized with the materials provided, I applied to the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan.

According to the response, the medical and social assessment was carried out again and in August 2017 A. was diagnosed with disability.

To my regret, the number of complaints about long-term failure to provide technical means of rehabilitation (TMR) is estimated in dozens, and this in fact greatly worsens the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Without the opportunity to get technical means of rehabilitation on a non-reimbursable basis, people with disabilities are forced to purchase them from their own funds. At the same time, the amount of compensation they receive does not cover their actual costs, which is often perceived by citizens as a violation of their rights.

Also in recent years, the problem of prolonged failure to provide social services for concessional categories of citizens — sanatorium and health-resort treatment with covered travel cost to the place of treatment and back, continues to remain relevant. It was reflected in the Annual Report on the Activities of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation for 2016.

If the current legal and regulatory framework related to this issue and the annual volume of funding for this social service are preserved, the queue of beneficiaries of social policies awaiting the provision of sanatorium-and-spa vouchers will grow every year and increase social tension. I, as the High Commissioner, continue to monitor the solution of this problem.

The problem of equipping the barrier-free environment, implying safe and unhindered conditions for the movement of the persons with impaired mobility, remains topical.

I was approached by a disabled person of the first group O. with a complaint about the refusal to equip the entrance of her apartment building with a lifting device. I sent a request to the Prosecutor’s Office in Zlatoust.

As a result, the Prosecutor has submitted recommendations on rectifying breaches of the law to the head of the city district of Zlatoust. Citizen O. received the proposal of the administration of the city district of Zlatoust for an exchange of living accommodations for more adapted to the needs of a disabled person or for an purchase of a telescopic portable ramp with donation of it to O.

A significant number of complaints deal with living conditions in residential care facilities. People pay attention to poor and monotonous diet, inadequate provision of necessary clothing and footwear, violation of the right to free movement. The most important problem is the inadequate activity to provide fire safety management.

The tragic events that occurred in August and October this year in private nursing homes in Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, when elderly people and people with disabilities died or suffered in the fire, state the need for legislative regulation of the activities of organizations (individual entrepreneurs) providing social services related to round-the-clock stay of persons, regardless of the form of ownership.

In this connection, supporting the similar initiative of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, I asked the Chairperson of the State Duma for Labour, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs and the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation to propose amendments to Federal Law No. 422-FZ as of December 28, 2013 «On the Basics of Social Services for Citizens in the Russian Federation».

A separate group of appeals to the High Commissioner concerns the poor material situation of the disabled.

We managed to help several people who found themselves in difficulty receive money in the amount of more than 50 thousand rubles.

We have to admit that, despite some achievements, the level of protection of personal and social rights of persons with disabilities remains low. However, tolerance, friendliness and respect are what each of us can show towards our neighbour and, thereby, change the situation for the better.

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