Tegsh Niigem, EPD’s local partner organisation and Hosting Structure of the policy dialogue in INSPIRED+ Mongolia, successfully organised a first focus group on the rights of people with disabilities on 20 October 2017. The focus group kicks off the Collective Assessment phase of the project, which aims to improve existing government policies and implementation mechanisms for better economic opportunities for people with disabilities in Mongolia. This phase serves to gather all stakeholders to identify their opinions, to clarify the topic and to achieve consensus of the problems in the field. It also serves as the baseline from where the inclusive dialogue process will depart.
INSPIRED+ Mongolia will thereby contribute to the effective implementation of UN and ILO conventions in Mongolia, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Policies concerning the rights of people with disabilities in Mongolia have improved dramatically over the last year: the Mongolian government recently made some important steps for safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities. Namely, the government put in place a law on the rights of people with disabilities, a National Disability Steering Committee, guarantees to financial assistance and workplace quotas to prevent discrimination. However, the situation on the ground has not yet changed accordingly. 80% of people with disabilities still live below the poverty line, and measures as workplace quotas are not being implemented.
Tegsh Niigem is a Mongolian NGO that has been working to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities since 2006. They are focused on implementing the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and positively changing public attitudes towards persons with disabilities, through human rights trainings, advocacy work and a community based rehabilitation method. Moreover, Tegsh Niigem already cooperates with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia to improve policies regarding persons with disabilities.
Within the framework of INSPIRED+ Mongolia, EPD – in a consortium with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and the Club de Madrid – will further support Tegsh Niigem to host the policy dialogue through training, expertise and visibility. In September 2017, Anna Zangrossi, EPD Programmes Coordinator, and Sergio Rodriguez Prieto, EPD Policy Advisor, conducted a mission to Mongolia to familiarise Tegsh Niigem with the INSPIRED methodology.