December 3 is marked as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in all over the world. On this occasion, the RA NA Standing Committee on Labor and Social Affairs organized two-day workshop on the theme Inclusive Development in the Holiday Inn Yerevan hotel by the support of the International Republican Institute (IRI).
The deputies, the responsible representatives of the Government, employees of international and non-governmental organizations, other interested persons participated in the workshop.
The Chair of the Standing Committee on Labor and Social Affairs Heriknaz Tigranyan highlighted the holding of the workshop, noting that such discussions are a good opportunity to raise the existing problems in the field and find opportunities to solve them. “We try to make the environment for the persons with disabilities,” Heriknaz Tigranyan said, adding that the legislative and executive bodies are well aware of the problems in the field. “Since 1992, when the UN General Assembly decided to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, it had an important purpose to inform the public about the persons with disabilities and their problems, to join efforts so that they, like everyone else, have the legal and practical opportunity to live with equal opportunities and exercise their rights,” the Chair of the Committee underlined. From the viewpoint of protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, she assessed the adoption of the interrelated laws on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on Assessment of Person’s Functionality adopted by parliament on May 5 of the last year. “We should remember that disability is not a barrier to personal development and self-realization,” the Chair of the Committee emphasized.
According to the RA Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Narek Mkrtchyan, the rights of persons with disabilities are of paramount importance for the Ministry. Taking into account this fact, the structure carries out a number of works, the Minister has said. Referring to the programs to be implemented by the Government, Narek Mkrtchyan has informed that the process of assessing the needs of people with disabilities, particularly servicemen, as a result of the 44-day war has been carried out and continues to be carried out. The need for 120 amputated persons has been assessed, many of them have already been prosthetized, and the process continues. The Ministry also implements works aimed at ensuring the employment of the mentioned citizens, their professional orientation and social inclusion.
The Director of the Armenia Office of the International Republican Institute (IRI) James De Witt has also considered such discussions important, which, according to his assessment, contribute to raising the existing problems in the sphere and finding solutions. James De Witt clarified that the discussion was organized within the framework of the USAID project Enhancing Electoral Processes and Political Accountability. It has been stated that the International Republican Institute cooperates with the RA legislative and executive bodies about three years.
In her speech, the member of the Standing Committee on Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan positively assessed the Law on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, noting that it gives the persons with disabilities an opportunity to be fully involved in various spheres of life, to participate in public, cultural and political life.
The RA Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Tatevik Stepanyan, the RA Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Zhanna Andreasyan, the Head of the USAID Armenia Project Management Specialist Ani Manukyan presented the programs and works implemented in the field, as well as spoke about the achievements and problems.
The speeches were followed by thematic discussions in separate groups.
The works will be summarized during the workshop on December 4.