25 – 26 October 2017 in Dushanbe / Tajikistan

The First Tajik Congress for Persons with Disabilities took place in Dushanbe on October 25-26, 2017. Participants gathered in the Ismaili Centre Dushanbe, the only accessible venue in the city that was offered to the Congress for free. Some 70 people with disabilities from different regions of Tajikistan came together to share their hopes and experiences. They came from remote areas from all over the country where there exists no proper infrastructural or financial support for them. The delegates engaged in various discussions and art performances. Among them, there was a famous blind singer. The opening session hosted about 130 persons, including delegates from ministries, OSCE and guests from Germany and Russia. The United States Embassy supported the Congress. BBC Persia reported about this unique event in Tajikistan. One impact of the Congress is that Tajikistan joined the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March 2018. The participants expressed their hope for another congress, which will take place in November 2018.