Quota systems for employment of people with disabilities discussed in Kyrgyzstan

On September 23, 2022, the capital city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, hosted a public discussion on “Quota systems for employment of people with disabilities: advantages, disadvantages and affirmative actions based on international experience”.

News | 24 September 2022
The purpose of the discussion was to present and analyze key features of the quota system and challenges in its implementation in Kyrgyzstan; present an overview of international experiences with quota systems and examples of countries that have made effective progress in setting up and implementing quota system (France) and example of regulation, implementation and enforcement of quota system and affirmative action (Spain); identify practical steps that could support access to decent work for persons with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan in line with international labour standards.

Around 50 representatives of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic; Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic; Ministry of Economy and Commerce; Ministry of Finance; employers’ and workers’ organizations; organizations of persons with disabilities; international development partners of the Kyrgyz Republic participated in the meeting.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was represented by Esteban Trömel, Senior Disability Specialist, ILO Headquarters in Geneva, and ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia team - Jasmina Papa, Social Protection Specialist, Bolotbek Orokov, ILO National Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, Aida Bektasheva, National Project Coordinator.

The participants discussed different issues related to quota system for employment of people with disabilities in  Kyrgyzstan. A case study from France was presented by Bruce Roch, “Adecco Group”, and Sabina Lobato, Fundacion “ONCE”, presented a case study from Spain. The participants discussed national challenges, gaps for the quota policy development and implementation, and formulated some concrete recommendations for Kyrgyzstan.

According to Dastan Bekeshev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Jogorku Kenesh on Budget, Economic and Fiscal Policy, “the quota system does not work in our country. The reasons are unwillingness of employers to hire people with disabilities, and the gaps in the national legislation, i.e. there are no sanctions for not filling hiring quotas.”

 “The quota system for employment of people with disabilities can be useful to enforce liability of this people, including in the service sector. And today’s discussion gives opportunities to the relevant stakeholders to highlight the existing gaps and to form relevant proposals,” said Raimonds Vingris, Head of the Political Department of the EU Delegation in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kalyk Mambetakunov, President of the Association of Disabled People of Kyrgyzstan, stressed the need for  professional training of people with disabilities. “Our association has been given a 4-storey building for the creation of a occupational rehabilitation center.  We expect that many people with disabilities will soon be able to apply to the employment services to find a job”.

The event was organized with the financial support of European Union, ILO project “Enhancing disability-inclusiveness of social protection system in Kyrgyzstan”.