Due to lack of methodology on how to assess a person’s degree of disability including visually impaired persons, there are different data about visually impaired person’s social condition in Mongolia. For instance, According to the 2010 census on population and housing, 128,000 people with disabilities live in Mongolia, out of which 16,600 are blind or visually impaired.
But this number has been changed since 2015 and it informed by the statistic office that there are 11700 visually impaired persons in Mongolia. 44 percent of them is female and there are 1200 children with visually impaired age between 0 and 18 as stated in the data of the Ministry of labor and social welfare.
Despite the Government extensively discussing and taking certain measures, an inclusive education system still does not exist in Mongolia. Therefore, as of today, no blind children or children who have lost their vision by more than 70%, go to any mainstream secondary schools.
There is one special secondary school for blind children in the country, which is located in Ulaanbaatar city. In the academic year of 2018-2019, 108 visually impaired children are studying at the school. Due to lack of inclusive education system an accessible learning environment at mainstream schools, there are many visually impaired children who are out of school.
In order to provide an opportunity for blind children to access age appropriate education, MNFB established a kindergarten for visually impaired kids, age from 2-5 in 2015 and it running operation successfully.
MNFB joined to the higher education project implemented by the International council for education of visually impaired (ICEVI) in 2017. Currently there are 32 students with visually impaired who are studying in universities and MNFB is implementing activities under the project to create an accessible environment for the students at universities.
2. Employment Situation
There are round 7000 visually impaired persons with labor age and only round 5 percent of them have been employed. Main work which most of them engage is massage. Up to in June 2018 there was no blind who work mainstream job places.
Therefore, in order to increase job opportunity for the blind, MNFB established vocational training center in 2015 and it has classes such as massage, music, handcraft making, accessible technology and in 2018 we opened new class which orientation mobility instructor can be trained. so, in 2018, round 73 visually impaired graduated from the vocational training center and round 75 percent of them have been employed. Under the higher education project, in July 2018, 2 blind persons who graduated from the accessible technology class of the vocational training center have been employed by the Ministry of labor and social welfare at the call center of the agency of social insurance. Those are the first blind who have a job in the government, recently, we got a feedback from the head of the agency and he is very satisfactory for their performance.
In cooperation with Siloam center for the blind in Korea, MNFB is implementing the project on “Barista training and job creation for people with visually impairment in Mongolia with the grant of KOIKO since April 2017. Under the project so far 16 visually impaired persons trained as a barista and 8 of them work in café shop. Under the project, a new café shop was opened in the building of the Ministry of labor and social welfare in July 2018. It was really good advocacy activity towards public officials and staff of the ministry like to be served by our baristas.
3. Changes in Policies and Legislation
The law on the rights of persons with disabilities was adopted in February 2016. It was drafted with the active participation of DPOs and the law was develop based on the concept and principles of the CRPD. Fundamental rights of persons with disabilities such as right to education, right to health, work, to live independently, to get legal services, accessibility, awareness razing and other issues are reflected in the law. Also the concept of prohibition of disability based discrimination and obligation to provide reasonable accommodation is for the first time reflected in the law. But law implementation is not sufficient therefore, currently MNFB together with other DPOs giving an attention to this and working and advocating for the proper implementation of the law.
National program on the rights, development and participation for persons with disabilities was adopted in November 2017 in order to ensure the implementation of the law on the rights of persons with disabilities.
In order to increase persons with disabilities participation in decision making, A national Ex-officio council on disability rights, consisting of representatives from organizations of citizens with disabilities, was formed under the Prime Minister in accordance with Article 41.1 of the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which stipulates that “an adjunct council shall be formed with a duty to regulate the consistency of cross sector activities on ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities and to promote its implementation.
Also, as stated in the law, branches of the national council have been establishing under the local government of each provincial level.
Moreover, disability policy sub-committee have established under the supervision of state secretary of each Ministry in the year of 2017 and 2018.
4. Capacity of the Organization
Capacity building project has been implementing by the Danish association of the blind with the funding of DANIDA since 2016 for a organizations of the blind in developing countries in AP region and MNFB is been taken part of the project. The project is been implementing for another 3 year since March 2018 with the title of Sustain project and as a last stage. Under this project MNFB is implementing number of activities in order to increase its branches capacity and reach visually impaired persons who live in romote areas of Mongolia.
5. In Regard to the WBU Strategy
MNFB is actively participating in the activity to advance human rights situation of persons with disabilities by using international treaty based human rights mechanism. In regard to this, MNFB played leading role to produce shadow report on the implementation of CEDAW and went to Geneva to have a briefing to the committee members and attend the country review process by the CEDAW committee as a n observer.
Also, participate in the activity to produce a shadow report on the implementation of CRPD in 2018.
Mongolian National Federation of the Blind