Social protection budget planning and monitoring from disability perspectives – a workshop in Kyrgyzstan

Оn March 07 and 09, 2023 the Kyrgyz capital city of Bishkek hosted a national workshop focusing on “Social protection budget planning and monitoring from disability perspectives” for organizations of persons with disabilities, the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration, Ministry of Finance and the social partners.

News | 10 March 2023
The aim of the workshops was to present and discuss a report-review of the social protection budget from a disability perspective; increase the awareness and skills of the national stakeholders on budget planning and monitoring from a disability perceptive; and exchange international experience on innovative approaches to explore effective budget policies and measures for budget planning and monitoring from a disability perspective.

Around 45 representatives of the Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Migration, the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan, the Association of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and other organizations representing persons with disabilities, regional public employment services and social protection departments (local government) and representatives of international organizations and people with disabilities attended the national workshop.

The participants discussed key findings of the budget review report:
  • Before the disability benefit increases in 2022, all disabled adult and child monthly benefits in Kyrgyzstan were lower than the country’s minimum living standard (MLS);
  • Despite the recent increases in benefits and pensions it is estimated that in total they need to rise a further 25% versus 2022 levels to meet the MLS threshold;
  • The adequacy threshold established by the ILO Convention No. 102 is that disability payments should be at least 40% (or 50% in the case of a work injury) of the average wage;
  • Under the current Labour Code, Disability Group I PWDs cannot be employed. PWDs in the two other groups are required to be employed but employers do not get financial support to accommodate them, nor tax breaks nor wage subsidies;
  • There is no mechanism in place to monitor implementation of quotas, nor are fines levied for non-compliance. Insufficient attention is paid to the capabilities of PWDs or the level of support PWDs would need to perform work tasks. There are no awareness-raising campaigns urging employers to fulfil their quota;
  • People with disabilities are frequently excluded from the mainstream educational system;
  • The current system of recording disability understates the overall prevalence and is not detailed enough to identify the specific needs of each individual PWD assessed. A more comprehensive system of assessment would enable a more rational allocation of public resources to areas of greatest need in a cost-efficient way;
  • Support needs to be strengthened for a fully-developed, fully-funded ‘Accessible Country’ programme for PWD services.
According to Dastan Bekeshev, Deputy Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh Committee on Budget, Economic and Fiscal Policy, “Social protection budgeting is an important issue. I would like to emphasize the important role of the law on the republican budget, where financial needs of people with disabilities should be considered.”

Maryam Mambetalieva, Head of the Department of Health and Social Protection of the Department of Social Expenditure Planning, Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic noted that “there is a need to highlight and share examples of good practice and budget policy development between the Ministries during the design of the republican budget with a specific focus on disability.”

Kanat Japarov, Chairman of Board, Kyrgyz Society of the Blind and Deaf, spoke about the disability issue with regard to public services, including improving the accessibility of infrastructure, transport systems, inclusive education and health systems.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was represented by Jasmina Papa, Social Protection Specialist, ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Carlos Galian Barrueco, Technical Expert, Social protection financing SOCPRO, ILO Geneva,  Bolotbek Orokov, ILO National Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, Aida Bektasheva, national project coordinator.

The workshop was organized by the ILO project “Enhancing disability-inclusiveness of social protection system in Kyrgyzstan” funded by the European Union.