The Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Bishkek hosted a public discussion (3 December 2022) to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and its theme: “The Burden of Moving Together Is Light” (Birge Kotorgon Juk Jenil Bolot). The Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration organized the discussion with the Persons with Disabilities foundation (Den Soolugunun Mumkunchulugu Chektelgen Adamdar), the Datka-ayymdar Jamaty foundation and the International Labour Organization (through the SP&PFM Programme).

Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. 

The main purpose was inclusion of people with disabilities through employment, sports and the arts and to raise public awareness of inclusivity as part of sustainable development. More than 150 participants with disabilities and from local and central departments of the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Migration as well as the Parliament, non-government organizations and civil society joined in the festivities.

“For the first time in recent decades, disability benefits [and] nutrition standards in social institutions have increased and additional funds have been allocated from the budget,” highlighted the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Migration, Kudaibergen Bazarbayev, in explaining the Government’s increased attention to the social field. “At the same time, we note the active position of people with disabilities who motivate all people and can serve as an example for the whole society.”

Olga Koulaeva, Director of the ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, spoke about “important disability issues” in education, decent work employment, the vocational training system and access to effective social protection. “People with disabilities possess a variety of skills and talent, and they represent a substantial resource for social development. We only need to support them,” she said.

 A resident of Talas Oblast who lives with a disability praised the support and the ways by which persons with disabilities and their families “pursue independent life”. Another person living with a disability in Osh Oblast emphasized: “It would be good if [the] State and business would actively promote inclusive mainstream jobs and ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in the decision-making process.”

Other messages from the public discussion:

  • Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Persons with disabilities must have equal access to jobs, education, health care, information and other services.
  • Innovation for disability-inclusive development must be promoted in employment.
  • The Government needs to shift towards a service delivery system rooted at the community level.

Learn more about SP&PFM in the Kyrgyz Republic here.