Mobility International USA is working with Armenian partner organization, “AGATE Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities” to support disability rights advocates and allies to influence the content and passage of disability legislation in Armenia.
The Armenian National Assembly has begun review of a newly drafted “Law of the Republic of Armenia on Protection of Rights and Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” and there are indications that it will be adopted in 2018.
At the end of 2017, MIUSA and AGATE launched a new initiative working in collaboration with U.S. and Armenian strategists and disability leaders to establish a coalition and four working committees that will carry out targeted activities during the upcoming months. The “Coalition for Legal Reform” was established during a 5-day technical assistance visit to Yerevan, Armenia with Susie Grimes, MIUSA Project Specialist and Virginia Atkinson, IFES Senior Access and Inclusion Specialist.
“For the first time, human rights leaders from all over Armenia have joined together in the Coalition for Inclusive Legal Reforms to advocate for the adoption of the human rights based disability law. I do believe that during this year all of us will be able to celebrate the achievement of our goal.” - Karine Grigoryan, Executive Director, AGATE Defense Center for Women with Disabilities
As an outcome from the visit, the coalition has drafted their community outreach, media, political advocacy and legal strategy ideas into a national “Blueprint for Advocacy”. The “Blueprint” will serve as a tool for disability rights and civil society activists to carry out actions to achieve specific political objectives for disability rights in Armenia such as proposing amendments to the draft law, engaging with government officials about the passage of the disability law and conducting a public relations campaign.
Follow MIUSA news in the coming months as we share updates and outcomes on the committee’s actions. These activities are sponsored by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs through the Fundamental Freedoms Fund.