Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Disabled Struggle to Find Work

Reporter Ismatullo Qayum looks at the problems facing disabled people surviving on low benefits with few opportunities to earn a living.
By IWPR Central Asia
Only five per cent of disabled people in Tajikistan are in employment, often not because they are unable to work, but because employers are unwilling to take them on.

Esanboy Vohidov, head of Tajikistan’s Association for the Disabled, said his group has set up some farming cooperatives where disabled people can find work, but is mainly restricted to providing legal advice.

Benefits are low – 60 somonis a month, around 14 US dollars, for the most severely disabled categories, and half that sum for the rest.

In remote parts of the country, people only receive their benefits once every three or four months.

Those who have jobs are in addition eligible for work pensions. At the moment, these are payable on retirement after two years in employment, but new legislation effective from next year increases that minimum requirement to five years.

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