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Russia marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Russia and other countries are marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday. The aim of this Day is to attract attention to problems of people with disabilities, protection of their dignity, rights and well-being, the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development said in a statement.

A total of 3.8 million people receive disabled labour pension in Russia through the Russian Pension Fund. Disability pension is awarded depending on the extent of limitation of work capacity.

However, starting from January 1, 2010, in accordance with the adopted law, the disability pension will be determined on the basis of degree of disability. Thus, citizens recognised under the established procedure disabled persons of groups 1, 2 and 3 will be entitled to disability retirement pension. For the citizens recognised disabled under the established procedure before January 1, 2010 the size of labour pensions will be determined without an additional re-examination. “The new order will make it possible to increase the pension size for the persons whose disability degree is higher than the degree of limitation of work capacity, as well as to award pensions to the disabled who have no limitation of work capacity,” the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development explained.

The UN General Assembly at its 47th session in 1992 in a special resolution declared December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities and called on all the states and international organisations to hold events to mark the Day for purposes of integration of disabled persons in the society.

According to a UN press release, the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues, the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities. The Day provides an opportunity to mobilize action to achieve the goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with disabilities, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.

Globally, almost one in ten people is a person living with a disability and recent studies indicate that persons with disabilities constitute up to 20 percent of the population living in poverty in developing countries. Many persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to their participation in their communities and are often forced to live on the margins of society. They often face stigma and discrimination and are routinely denied basic rights such as food, education, employment, access to health and reproductive health services. Many persons with disabilities are also forced into institutions, a direct breach of the rights to freedom of movement and to live in their communities.

The United Nations has a long history of promoting the rights and well-being of all people, including persons with disabilities. The Organization has worked to ensure their full and effective participation in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres on an equal basis with others in order to achieve a society for all. The Organization’ s commitment to the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities is deeply rooted in a quest for social justice and equity in all aspects of societal development. The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities translated the Organization’ s commitment into an international policy framework, which has been further strengthened by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international legal instrument, to empower persons with disabilities to better their lives and that of their communities around the world, the release says.

The United Nations and the global community continue to work for the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development. Although many commitments have been made to include disability and persons with disabilities in development, the gap between policy and practice continues.

Ensuring that persons with disabilities are integrated into all development activities is essential in order to achieve internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs can only be achieved if persons with disabilities and their family members are included. This in turn will ensure that people with disabilities and their family members benefit from international development initiatives. Efforts to achieve the MDGs and implement the Convention are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

A thriving approach to integrate persons with disabilities in development that is practiced in over 90 countries around the world is community-based rehabilitation (CBR). CBR is part of the general community-development strategy intended to reduce poverty, equalize opportunities and involve individuals with disabilities in society, according to the UN.


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