The monitoring of rights of people with disabilities in the occupied Crimea

During the period from June to October 2022, we carried out a study on the status of the observance of the rights of the people with disabilities in the temporarily occupied territories of AR Crimea and Sevastopol in partnership with “The Crimea Human Rights Group”.

The monitoring group has analyzed Ukrainian and Russian law, conducted media content analysis, and surveying of people with disabilities and advocates working on the protection of their rights. The materials have been collected remotely and mainly online.

Based on the work done, the monitoring group identified a range of fundamental characteristics of the state of things in the field of the observance of the rights of people with disabilities in Crimea:

  • The human rights advocacy approach to disability is not used in the territory of the peninsula, the medical model of disability is mainly applied.
  • The principle “Nothing about us without us” does not apply: all critical comments entail the risk of punishment.
  • People with disabilities face difficulties even in meeting their basic needs because pensions and privileges do not differ greatly from the Ukrainian given tripled sustenance rate.
  • The rehabilitation services have become less accessible; their quality has deteriorated.
  • The conditions for discrimination and exclusion of people with disabilities from social life are being created. Media shape the distorted perception of disability, while disabled people are represented as victims.
  • Certain rights such as access to information, are referred to as privileges, which narrows down the significance of human rights in society and makes their ensuring dependent on the desire of authorities.
  • There are no specially designed detention facilities for people with disabilities. This means almost guaranteed torture for them. 
  • The peninsula is not ready for evacuation of people with disabilities in the event military actions take place there, there is a high need in transporting people from there for treatment and rehabilitation because of the shortage of medicinal products.

Based on the study conducted, the advocacy campaigns on the rights of people with disabilities in Crimea have been already started. The monitoring group has also developed recommendations for international organizations concerned with the protection of the rights and interests of people with disabilities, member-states of the International Crimea Platform, Ukrainian authorities, civil society, and media people.

Read the full text of the study(UKR)