On October 12th, 2021, the House of Human Rights hosted the V International Conference “Human rights protection in Eurasia: exchange of best practices of ombudspersons”, which focused on the rights of persons with disabilities and ecological human rights.
The Conference was attended by more than 250 participants, of which there were representatives of international organizations and national human rights institutions, Russian state officials, commissioners for human rights in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of civil society and academia.
Tatiana Moskalkova stated in her speech that Russia is continuously developing comprehensive legislation on the rights of persons with disabilities. However, while a substantial amount of work has been done, issues of disabled persons are still far from being resolved.
High Commissioner has received more than 1,650 complaints and appeals from citizens with disabilities in 2021. The most pressing issues are social support, housing, accessibility and quality of medical care, provision of technical means of rehabilitation, and employment. The urgency of these topics increased significantly during the pandemic.
To resolve these issues, the High Commissioner is closely cooperating with state bodies to not only assist individuals but to improve the protection of persons with disabilities as a whole. Additionally, educational projects are being carried out to raise awareness and educate persons with disabilities on their rights. One of these projects is the “Integration” Festival for Persons with Disabilities, which incorporates human rights protection seminars, lectures, pro bono legal assiatance.
During the Conference, the Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities Alexandra Levitskaya noted that there are currently 11 million persons with disabilities inhabiting Russia, with legislation amendments in the sphere of social rights being the top priority to ensure the protection of their rights.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation Alexey Vovchenko supported the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Russian Federation and shared relevant state practices to promote accessibility and inclusivity for disabled persons.