All-Ukrainian Conference on Equal Access to the Electoral Process
On June 12-13, 2017, IFES, in cooperation with the National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities of Ukraine (NAPD), organized a conference in Kyiv on “Equal Access: Strengthening and Safeguarding Human Rights.”
This two-day event gathered more than 100 representatives from government institutions, civil society (including disabled persons organizations), election management bodies, and media. Speakers included Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Lev Partskhaladze, the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Valeriy Sushkevych, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Andriy Mahera, Director, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine Karim Morcos, Deputy Director of the USAID Democracy and Governance Office in Ukraine Daniel Ryan, IFES Senior Global Electoral Adviser, IFES Ukraine Country Director Peter Erben, and leaders from the disability community.
The conference provided a platform for discussing ways to ensure full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in political and electoral processes, including recent initiatives such as Draft Law #5559, which seeks to address barriers to participation for voters with disabilities in elections and national referendums. Participants also raised the need to replicate and expand on recent positive steps taken in Poltava to adapt inaccessible polling stations based on an NAPD and IFES assessment.
Through the conference, stakeholders developed a statement with recommendations on electoral inclusion and accessibility directed toward key stakeholders.
This conference represents a united effort to strengthen democratic progress in Ukraine, supported by the United States Agency for International Development, Global Affairs Canada and the UK government.IFES-NAPD Equal Access Conference Statement v1 2017-06-14 Eng