17:11 / 19.11.2020
“Disability is a human rights issue” - Ziroat Mirziyoyeva calls for increased emphasis on inclusive education

Ziroat Mirziyoyeva, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Zamin International Public Foundation, delivered a speech at the international online forum dedicated to children’s education.

The international online forum on the topic “Children’s rights to education: relevance, continuity and innovations during the pandemic” was organized by the Zamin Foundation and the UN Office in Uzbekistan.

In her speech, Ziroat Mirziyoyeva noted that the pandemic has seriously harmed the education of children.

“According to UNESCO, due to the pandemic, one-third of the world’s schoolchildren are still unable to regain access to traditional education. This is a very sad situation. This problem is being partially addressed through online training courses. But the issue of education for children with disabilities is still a very sad one.

Today, I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize that it is very important to create equal opportunities and conditions for these children, as well as other children, to ensure all their rights. And I urge not only government officials, but the entire society to take this issue seriously.

Because every child has their own identity. Children should be equal and their rights should be equal. Therefore, it is necessary to find an individual approach to each child in the educational process, not to neglect any boys and girls,” Mirziyoyeva said.

The Chairperson of the Public Foundation stressed that disability is no longer a medical issue, but a human rights issue.

“In the past, a solid legal basis has been created in this area. Dozens of laws have been adopted, our country has acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its ratification was one of the first international documents.

The new version of the Law on Education, adopted on 23 September this year, introduced the concept of "inclusive education" for the first time.

Also, for the first time, the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities introduced the principle of “non-discrimination on the basis of disability”.

It is now legally recognized that disability is no longer a medical issue, but a human rights issue in the first place.

It is important to ensure that children with disabilities receive a full and quality education through the creation of a barrier-free and inclusive environment, which is one of the most effective ways to realize the rights of the child,” she said.

Ziroat Mirziyoyeva noted that one of the main goals and objectives of the Zamin International Public Foundation is to include children with disabilities in all spheres of society, to create conditions for them to be equal and find their place.

“In this regard, our foundation has developed a program for the development of education for children with hearing impairments, on the basis of which the projects “Zamin Education”, “Implementation of inclusive education” are being implemented.

Of course, there are problems and a lot of work to be done. I would like to take this opportunity to state that our foundation is open to all interested and international organizations, ready to implement various cooperation programs within these projects. And I would like to thank our partners, international organizations, the United Nations leadership, international public foundations and the media for their support today,” the head of the Foundation declared.

Mirziyoyeva proposed that such meetings become a good tradition and that such international forums be held annually on the eve of World Children’s Day.

“It is important that parents, teachers, government agencies, the private sector, the media and civil society activists, as well as children, act with unity and initiative, with the direct participation of children, in order to find effective solutions to the problems we face today.

I believe that today’s forum will serve as a unique platform for sharing the world’s best practices in education and new projects, to get acquainted with innovative approaches in the field.

I would like to propose that such meetings become a good tradition and that such international forums be held annually on the eve of World Children’s Day.

Also, on the occasion of World Children’s Day, in honor of all children around the world and their rights, today at 18:00, historical and modern buildings in Uzbekistan will be illuminated in blue. It is once again an expression of our love for children,” she concluded.