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Medvedev: Russia to boost support for disabled

Russia plans to boost spending and enact legislation to ease the plight of 13 million disabled people, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

"Attitudes towards the disabled always show the level of maturity of a society," Medvedev said at a meeting of senior officials. "Unprotected parts of society, including disabled people, suffer most during a crisis."

Medvedev ordered the health ministry to start preparations for parliamentary ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, which Russia signed in September.

"This document envisages changes in the legislation and considerable extra costs, which are not easy to meet in the current situation," Medvedev said. "But we are ready for this."

Medvedev called on officials to boost work opportunities for 6 million disabled people who are capable of working. Only 15 percent currently have jobs, he said.

He called for a doubling of the number of busses equipped for disabled people from 2 percent to 5 percent.

Source:  Reuters

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