08 Jun Uzbekistan ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Photo: Xalq So‘zi
A state-run Uzbek newspaper Xalq So‘zi (People’s Word) reports that on June 7, 2021, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signs the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, December 13, 2006)” which was adopted by the Legislative Chamber on May 18, 2021, and approved by the Senate on May 29, 2021.
Uzbekistan is ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, December 13, 2006) with the following statement and reservation:
“The Republic of Uzbekistan recognizes that persons with disabilities have legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of their life.
The Republic of Uzbekistan declares its understanding that the Convention allows for the adoption of appropriate measures to ensure access of persons with disabilities to support and replacement of decision-making mechanisms, including limitation of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities, in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the law.
The Republic of Uzbekistan reserves the right to continue to use substitute decision-making mechanisms for persons with disabilities in appropriate circumstances and subject to appropriate and effective safeguards in the event that Article 12 of the Convention can be interpreted as requiring their abolition.”
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev
Tashkent city, June 7, 2021, № ZRU-695
Uzbekistan signed the CRPD on February 27, 2009, and has been postponing its ratification for a long time. The situation changed when in his speech at the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, President Mirziyoyev mentioned that “in the near future the Parliament of Uzbekistan shall ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
Earlier the national Law “On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” came into force on January 16, 2021. But Article 3 of the Law still defined disability as a medical issue and conflated it with impairments. However, in its preamble, the CRPD recognises that disability is “an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”
After the CRPD ratification, Uzbekistan should make its national disability legislation and other normative acts in line with the principles and provisions of the Convention to define disability not as a medical but as a human rights issue. The important question is how effectively Uzbekistan will implement the CRPD as the national laws largely remained on paper and have not been enforced properly. Local disabled people’s organisations should play an active role in making the government accountable to fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities in Uzbekistan.