Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Letter dated 3 March 2004 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
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Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral
International Convention on Protection and Promotion
of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
New York, 24 May–4 June 2004
Letter dated 3 March 2004 from the Permanent Representative of the
Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the recommendations adopted
on the basis of the conclusions reached at the international seminar
on “Social integration of youth with disabilities in the countries of
the Commonwealth of Independent States” (St. Petersburg, 21-24 December
I should be grateful if you would have the text of the recommendations
circulated as a document of the third session of the Ad Hoc Committee.
(Signed) Sergey Lavrov
Annex to the letter dated 3 March 2004 from the Permanent
Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed
to the Secretary-General
United Nations — Commonwealth of Independent States
Recommendations of the seminar on “Social integration of youth with
disabilities in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States”
(Saint Petersburg, 22-24 December 2003)
Based on the discussion of the information presented concerning the
situation of disabled youth in the States members of the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS), the seminar participants note:
- The similarity of problems in the CIS countries
- The existence of interesting national approaches to the integration
of disabled youth at the country level
- The advisability of developing information-sharing in this field
in the CIS region
- The need to strengthen cooperation and partnership between Government
bodies and public associations in implementing programmes of work
with young persons in the CIS member States
- The need to change the paternalistic tendencies in goal- and task-setting
when implementing programmes for the social integration of youth with
disabilities and to focus on the socialization of disabled youth.
I. Environmental accessibility
The overall strategy of State policy on disabled youth must be based
on removing barriers to social integration. In this connection, consideration
must be given to:
- Accessibility of information and communication technologies;
- Introduction of modern equipment (means of communication, etc.);
- Accessibility of the built and domestic environments and means of
- At the national level, there is a need to create a database on disabled
youth and key related problems in the near future.
- It is necessary to prepare periodic national reports or include
in existing national reports sections devoted to the problems of disabled
- Socio-demographic characteristics of disabled persons must be reflected
in current statistical reporting. Disabled youth must be singled out
as a special social group in specialized bodies’ statistics.
- At the regional level, there is a need to support activities by
public associations of the CIS member States aimed at developing information
potential and the capacity of means of communicating with young persons
and non-governmental organizations, including on the problems of disabled
At the national level, social policy in respect of disabled persons,
including youth with disabilities, must pursue the goal of social integration
and must be differentiated based on the different groups of disabled
persons. This policy must be founded on social partnership between State
and non-State structures. The most important method of integrating disabled
persons in society is employment in the open labour market. At the same
time, the problems of youth with disabilities, including issues relating
to their employment, must be incorporated in States’ youth policies.
To that end:
- The legislative and legal and regulatory frameworks must encourage
the participation of disabled persons, including disabled youth, in
general employment while ensuring a non-discriminatory approach.
- It is advisable to have a single database and a single vacancy bank
for different categories of disabled youth.
- Non-governmental organizations should provide quality information
support to State policy on disabled youth, including on issues relating
to the choice of profession and to job placement.
- All labour market actors (the State, employment services, local
government bodies, trade unions, employers, youth organizations, disabled
persons’ organizations, etc.) should participate in developing and
implementing employment policy in respect of disabled youth.
- Specialized enterprises should be maintained but should not constitute
the main solution to the problem of employment. In order to increase
employers’ interest in creating special positions for disabled persons
at mainstream enterprises, there is a need to develop a system of
IV. Vocational training and retraining
In the majority of CIS countries, vocational training for youth with
disabilities is organized through specialized educational institutions.
In order to create institutional, social and legal conditions for education,
vocational training and retraining, it is necessary to develop national
programmes that meet international standards (the Standard Rules on
the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, which
preclude discrimination against youth with disabilities in the field
of education). Programmes must ensure access by youth with disabilities
to education in mainstream educational institutions at all educational
- In the long term, efforts should be made to create an education
system that is not only multi-level and integrated, but also continuous.
- This goal cannot be achieved without retraining educators to work
with disabled students. It is advisable to establish resource centres
at specialized educational institutions to organize special training
for educators aimed at developing the competencies and skills necessary
for dealing with disabled persons.
- n order to retrain educators, resource centres must enlist disabled
persons with teaching qualifications or experience.
- The list of professions for training and retraining of disabled
youth must reflect local and regional labour markets.
- In order to improve job placement for disabled youth, it is advisable
to establish in the long term the institution of “counsellor” (social
workers or educators) to accompany young persons with disabilities
from school until they find employment, provide them with vocational
guidance and liaise with them, with their families and with educational
institutions and employers.
- Identifying and meeting the “special educational needs” of disabled
youth must be the focus of attention at all levels of education.
- The budget must be the main source of financing for educational
programmes for disabled youth. Taking into account the limited nature
of budgetary resources, it is necessary to strengthen efforts to attract
extrabudgetary sources of financing, in particular by creating conditions
for attracting commercial structures.
V. Social innovations
- It is necessary to develop and disseminate new principles for efforts
to socialize disabled youth based on access to and equal participation
in State and public youth programmes.
- There is a need for State and non-State organizations working in
partnership to conduct information campaigns aimed at creating positive
perceptions of disabled persons, encouraging disabled youth to be
active and making participation in programmes for the social integration
of disabled persons more prestigious.
- The establishment of social centres for disabled youth at the national
and local levels should be encouraged in every way possible.
In view of these goals, the seminar participants consider it important:
- For CIS member States to cooperate on the problems of disabled
youth, including by exchanging experience and information and
developing and implementing joint programmes
- To recommend that the Consultative Council on Labour, Migration
and Social Protection of the Population of the CIS member States
should consider regularly the progress made in implementing the
Agreement on cooperation in solving the problems of disability
and disabled persons, of 12 April 1996
- To agree with the initiative of the Regional Forum on Youth
(Kyiv, September 2003) concerning the advisability of establishing
a council for youth of the CIS member States and with the proposal
of Belarus on this issue
- To support the establishment of the association of youth organizations
“International Youth Centre”
- To request the CIS Executive Committee to send these recommendations
to the Governments of the CIS member States
* The seminar was organized by the Division for Social Policy and
Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the
United Nations Secretariat in cooperation with Governments and non-governmental
organizations of the CIS countries.