Study about the situation of boys, girls and teenagers with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May 2019. However, the implementation mechanisms have not yet been established. This study, promoted by UNICEF, identifies barriers in the provision of inclusive and quality services for girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities. In addition, several challenges have been observed in the policy implementation, such as early identification and intervention (EIEI) or interdepartmental coordination.

The study, managed by the UNICEF country office and coordinated by Fresno, received technical assistance from the UNICEF Regional Program for Europe and Central Asia. In addition, national and international experts contributed, including José Manuel Fresno as advisor in research methodologies and Stefan Meyer as expert in social protection.

This analysis seeks to inform stakeholders, both government and civil society, and provide evidence and guidance for future policy formulation and improved service delivery.

Methodology

Regarding the methodology, numerous challenges were encountered, when the analysis was carried out in December 2019, due to COVID-19.

  • First, an analysis of the system was carried out through a literature review from 1995 to 2020.
  • Then, online interviews and focus groups were conducted with experts, professionals, government, authorities and representatives of persons with disabilities. In addition, more than 350 documents were reviewed in-depth.
  • In a second phase, the analysis focused on the protagonists of the study themselves:Four case studies and ten discussion groups were carried out with parents and children with and without disabilities.

Evaluation of the results obtained in people

These are some of the results included in the report:

  • In judicial proceedings, either as victims of crimes or as alleged perpetrators, children and teenagers are not provided with sufficient safeguards to protect them against victimization and manipulation. 
  • The national deinstitutionalization programme is not having the expected results, as there is a lack of professionals and qualified community-based systems and adequate services when children leave the centres.
  • There is widespread institutionalization of children with disabilities, lack of support for families, financial discrimination, and lack of access to accessible and affordable services. 
  • In addition, a situation of special disadvantage is observed for girls and boys with mental disabilities.

Report recommendations

Various recommendations are made, structured according to short, medium or long-term priority. 

  • Promote a unified identification approach, based on the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), which allows simplifying processes and developing cooperation mechanisms and protocols.
  • Early Identification and Intervention (EIEI): mechanisms must be established in an efficient and professional manner. While the legislation provides for identification to be carried out at the local level, the study participants indicate that there is no capacity to do so. Therefore, it is necessary to enable a more adapted and viable response.
  • Develop a comprehensive governance approach towards inclusive education and life in the community. Social and educational inclusion are the responsibility of the government. 
  • Talk about disability as a human characteristic. Through awareness and sensitization campaigns, the myths surrounding disability should begin to dispel and provide basic and accurate information to the general population. 
  • Promote strategic cooperation between government services and the Third Sector.
  • Strengthen national statistical services to report on disability, discrimination and inclusion.