School of Public Policy Capstones

What Kazakhstan could learn from USA case of securing the labor rights of the people with disabilities?

Anatoliy Solnyshkin, University of Massachusetts - Amherst


UN Convention on the rights of the people with disabilities was approved by resolution 61/106 of the UN General Assembly dated December 13, 2006. (Braithwaite, 2007). Kazakhstan is getting ready to ratify this convention as it was noted in a speech of the adviser to the RoK President on November 08, 2012. Kazakhstan was one of the countries, who signed for the Convention in December, 2008. (KazInform, 2012) The convention provides for the people with disabilities’ rights and social inclusion, involving development of the legislative instruments that secure accessibility rights and standards, as well as the rights for education, social protection, and labor. Existing situation in Kazakhstan proves that the legislation, which is supposed to support people with disabilities doesn’t really work. The constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan imposes the government with the obligation to provide for social equality in all the spheres, especially in the fields of production and manufacturing and distribution. (Dumbayev, 2006) The legislation system reflects mostly post soviet characteristics, and the disability is viewed as a medical problem but not the social. Therefore most of the legislative acts and provisions that pertain to the people with disabilities are ruled by the Ministry

of Health Care and Social Protection. In most cases the people with disabilities are excluded from the society and do not work being under the care either of the state in specialized institutions, or under the supervision of the immediate relatives (Khasenov M. Kh., 2012). So there is a necessity to develop a new strategy of the social protection and employment, education and rehabilitation of the people with disabilities. In this work I will review legislative instruments employed in the United States of America, being one of the leading countries in the world. Convention on the rights of the people with disabilities reflects a transfer from medical and charitable to the social and politic model applied to the disability issues, which is very well represented in the legislation of the United States. I will try to analyze the instruments used and see if there will be other important findings important for such a country as Kazakhstan to pay attention to in course of legislation development.