Breaking Barriers: The Disability Rights Movement in Russia

Although people with disabilities in Russia have seen improvements since the end of the Soviet era, they remain largely cut off from society. Public attitudes and a lack of legal protections create barriers to equality that prevent them from fully participating in public life. Human rights advocates hope that Russia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May 2012 will hasten the end of widespread discrimination against 13 million Russian citizens with mental and physical disabilities. The 2014 Sochi Olympics will certainly be a major test, as Russia will host a large number of people with disabilities as guests of the winter games and the subsequent Paralympics. 

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