HRC49: Action Canada Tajikistan statement

Action Canada for Population and Development

Human Rights Council - 49th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review - Tajikistan

Thank you, Mr President,

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of Y-PEER in Tajikistan (NGO “Hamsol ba hamsol”) and the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome Tajikistan’s acceptance of all recommendations pertaining to the right to education of persons with disabilities. It is encouraging that following the commitments made at the ICPD+25 Nairobi Summit, to improve access to education and sexual and reproductive health services, and to ensure gender equality at all levels, especially for people with disabilities, the UPR is further reinforcing these. Adolescents and young people are over 40% of Tajikistan’s population, with over 68 percent under the age of 30. This makes us a powerful force in the fight for accessible education for all - and we offer our collaboration in the implementation of these recommendations.

Children with disabilities are at greater risk of social exclusion. They receive inadequate health care, education and social services and face numerous barriers to integration into their local communities and society at large. There are approximately twenty-five thousand children with disabilities registered in Tajikistan, or 0.8 percent of the child population. This is much lower than the World Health Organization’s global average of 15 percent, suggesting that the true number of children with disabilities may be much higher. Social stigma about disability exacerbates the barriers that children with disabilities face in accessing education.

We welcome Tajikistan’s adoption of the 2017–2020 Programme for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities and the related implementation plan, including around 100 social care institutions nationwide. We also welcome the adoption of the 2021–2030 National Education Development Strategy, and the addition of a chapter on inclusive education in the Education Code.

However, it is very difficult to ensure the inclusion of children with disabilities in general education due to limited accessible infrastructure and financial and other resources. There is a lack of teaching staff trained to facilitate learning for all students based on their individual needs. Further, gender disparities in access to education are concerning, and boys with disabilities have greater opportunities to attend schools than girls do.

Y-PEER FPC is committed to promoting inclusive education and access to education as a basic human right. I would like to acknowledge our government's support for the majority of recommendations to promote access to education for all adolescents and youth.

Thank you.