A new social protection system will promote human dignity

On February 20, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a meeting to discuss priority tasks in social protection.

In accordance with Article 1 of the country’s Constitution, Uzbekistan is a social state. On June 1, 2023, a decree was adopted to provide high-quality social services and assistance to the population, and the National Social Protection Agency under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was established.

An in-depth analysis of the experience of more than ten countries with the involvement of qualified experts showed the need to improve the existing social protection system, which over the past thirty years has not undergone significant changes and was limited to the distribution of public funds. This has led to a situation where part of the population has become accustomed to relying on help without seeking to improve their situation.

For example, facts of continuous payment of benefits to non-disabled people have been revealed. Insufficient attention was paid to medical and social rehabilitation, as well as vocational training of persons with disabilities.

The President emphasized the importance of a radical system rethink, focusing on the targeted and effective distribution of social assistance.

“You cannot work in this area in a general manner. An individualized, professional approach to the fate of each family and individual is necessary. If social services are organized correctly, needy citizens will more easily take their place in society”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

At the meeting, priority work areas were identified, with particular attention paid to developing social services and support at the mahalla level. Increased transparency and targeted study of the population’s needs made it possible to revise the list of assistance recipients, excluding those with a stable income, and organize support for 2 thousand lonely people and those in need of care.

Despite the wide range of social services provided – 250 types – the population is not sufficiently informed about them.

In this regard, from June 1, changes will be introduced to the procedure for determining persons needing social protection. Exact criteria for the category of those in need will be developed, and it will be specifically determined what kind of help the family needs.

Introducing a single questionnaire will help representatives of the “mahalla of seven” when interacting with residents, identify their problems and opportunities, and create a “social portrait” of each family. Changes in the family that have occurred after assistance will be monitored.

It was noted that this is not about reducing funding, but about assisting people and their social integration.

The provision of all social services in the mahalla will be gradually transferred to executing a social services agreement. In this case, the service provider and the recipient will assume certain obligations.

The list of benefit recipients will primarily include families of persons with disabilities, deprived of parental care, those who have lost a breadwinner, as well as those who, for health reasons or other reasons, cannot work for a long time. When other citizens are included in the “social register”, their income and expenses will be taken into account.

From October 1, all social payments to the population will be made through the “social card”. Next year, multifunctional social service centers for rehabilitation, health improvement, and training in caring for people with disabilities will be launched in 40 districts.

At the meeting, special attention was paid to supporting persons with disabilities.

Uzbekistan acceded to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2021. Several benefits are provided for enterprises and organizations that employ such persons.

However, many institutions, streets, and stops are not adapted for the movement of people with disabilities. Due to the lack of conditions in schools and colleges, parents have to place their children with disabilities in distant specialized boarding schools, which is very difficult for both the family and the child.

Therefore, a national system of training, employment, and involvement in sports for persons with disabilities will now be created. To create a barrier-free learning and working environment for people with disabilities, the practice of determining the level of working ability will be stopped. Disability will be determined not by illness, but by considering a person’s ability to act independently, communicate, and participate in social life.

Medical rehabilitation departments will be organized in regional central hospitals. The range of prosthetics will increase from 18 to 30 types, and the allocated funds will increase by 1.5 times. The provision of prostheses will be carried out electronically. Such funds can be obtained at home, online, or through the “Inson” (Human) Center, choosing any manufacturer.

Projects for constructing buildings and structures will necessarily undergo an examination to create a comfortable environment for persons with disabilities. Measures will be taken to create a barrier-free environment in public transport, at stops and intersections.

Entrepreneurs, 50 percent of whose staff are workers with disabilities, will have the opportunity to enter into contracts directly with government customers. Four specialized schools will be linked to industries. Products created by persons with disabilities through home-based work and handicraft production will be sold electronically.

The creation of an Association for the Development of Sports for Persons with Disabilities has been determined. They will be involved in mass sports starting from the mahalla. The importance of creating works of art that inspire and motivate people needing social protection was noted.

The tasks for raising children left without parental care were also defined.

From now on, issues of guardianship and trusteeship, as well as the affairs of children left without parental care, will be dealt with by social workers at the mahalla level. To achieve this, commissions for guardianship and trusteeship at hokimiyats will be abolished, and from August 1, their powers will be transferred to the “Inson” centers.

A system of “specialized foster families” will be introduced for the adoption of orphans and children left without care. Care groups will be gradually opened in 160 specialized education institutions.

The assistance system for young people deprived of parental care will also change. Now, support under the “Youth Support” program will be provided to youth under 23.

Centers for social and legal assistance to minors in the Ministry of Internal Affairs system will be reorganized into “Schools of Life”. They will become comprehensive institutions assisting in the social adaptation of children with difficult upbringings.

The system for providing housing to orphans and children without parental care will also be revised. “Inson” centers will form a list of young people who need housing. The cost of the housing provided will be determined based on market value, considering regional characteristics.

Responsible persons were instructed to provide housing for orphans on the waiting list.

It was noted that not all women and children who have suffered from violence are covered by rehabilitation. Therefore, a separate system will be created at the mahalla level. To support young mothers in difficult situations and prevent social orphanhood, the “Mother’s House” service will be created. In addition, 24-hour rooms will be opened in district hospitals to provide medical and psychological assistance to victims of violence.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister, responsible persons, and hokims reported on their plans for organizing a new work system.

“If we want to ensure social justice and respect for human dignity in our society, it is necessary to effectively establish a new system at places, provide support and motivate people in need”, the President said.

UzA

  • Added: 21.02.2024
  • Views: 924
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