Persons with disabilities could benefit of better protection, thanks to international guarantees
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16 October 2015

Representatives of the Government, civil society and international organizations discussed, during a roundtable, the prospects of ratification by Moldova of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

As part of the event, a national expert presented the results of a feasibility study on ratifying the Protocol. If ratified, the document would grant the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the body responsible with monitoring the implementation of the Convention, the authority to receive and process individual complaints against Moldova on violations of rights of persons with disabilities.

According to the study, the ratification of the Protocol is possible and this step would emphasize Moldova'с position as a bona fide participant of the international human rights system as well as confirm its commitment to promote the principle of equality and nondiscrimination. Moreover, by ratifying the Optional Protocol, Moldova can become a leader in the region in ensuring inclusion and protection for people with disabilities. At the same time, the author of the study, Andrei Brighidin, says that this decision would not require additional expanses, as there are no new obligations imposed by the Protocol, other than those already provided for in the Convention.

Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Boris Galca, who also attended the roundtable, also commented on the topic: “The social protection system has to function for the benefit of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable. This is why we reassert our firm commitment to fulfilling human rights in Moldova, in an inclusive manner that would ensure conditions and opportunities for people with disabilities. The ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities meant a huge step in carrying out democratic change and ensuring social rights. Through this step, the state acknowledged that persons with disabilities possess a huge human potential, which has to be valued and made use of for the development of the society.” He also added that he had discussed with the Ministry’s partners to develop an action plan for ratifying the Protocol.

Gero Stuller, the Austrian Embassy’s Attaché for Social Affairs, welcomed the initiative to conduct the study as well as the authorities’ efforts to advocate for the ratification of the Optional Protocol. “An essential role, if we really want this Convention to be applied in practice, is that of the civil society and its commitment”, he concluded.

Four years ago, as part of the UN Universal Periodic Review, Moldova took upon itself the committment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. In this context, the UNDP Justice and Human Rights Programme Analyst, Evghenii Goloșceapov, mentioned that “UNDP Moldova has supported the Government of Moldova by conducting a study that would assess the possibility of ratifying this international document. This Protocol can become an important mechanism for promoting and protecting the rights of persons with mental and physical disabilities, for their integration in the society and everyday social life."

The study was conducted as part of the “Strengthening Rule of Law and Human Rights Protection in Moldova” Project, funded by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, co-funded and implemented by UNDP Moldova in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For additional information please contact Laura Bohantova, UNDP Moldova Communications Analyst, laura.bohantova@undp.org, tel: 0 685 11 883



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