On October 12th, ombudspersons from 25 states participated in the V International Conference “Human rights protection in Eurasia: exchange of best practices of ombudspersons” and shared some of the details and best practices of their work in the field of protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
The issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic were prevalent in all topic discussed at the Conference. For example, multiple participants listed the issues of mutual and international recognition of vaccines, the aggravated problems of the disabled persons caused by the pandemic as the most pressing issues. Secretary General of the European Ombudsman Institute Mr. Josef Siegele stressed that the “Sputnik V” vaccine is just as effective as vaccines developed in other regions, and that people shall have the right to make free and informed decisions in regards to vaccination.
The Hungarian Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma drew attention to the legal instruments available for ombudspersons which can be effectively used to protect and promote the rights of disabled persons, while the Regional Ombudsman of Tuscany Mr. Vittorio Gasparrini noted that accessibility should be one of the main focus points when building new infrastructure in cities and provinces.