Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

The Constitution of Kazakhstan was published in Braille for the first time on June 6, 2024, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. On this day, the Constitutional Court presented the Constitution in Braille in both the state and Russian languages.

The project to translate the text of the Basic Law of Kazakhstan into Braille (using a relief-dot tactile font) for citizens with significant visual impairments or blindness was supported by the OSCE Program Office in Astana and the Ministry of Culture and Information.

The presentation was attended by ambassadors of foreign states and international organizations accredited in Kazakhstan, members of Parliament and government agencies, representatives of non-governmental organisations, and the scientific community of Kazakhstan.

Elvira Azimova, the Chairwoman of the Constitutional Court, emphasized that creating an accessible environment is fundamental to constitutional guarantees of equality before the law and access to justice. She stated, “The Fair Kazakhstan policy affirms the state’s dedication to safeguarding human rights, freedoms, and non-discrimination. The Constitutional Court will continue to uphold the principles of equality, dignity, and justice for all in accordance with the Constitution of Kazakhstan and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Publishing the Constitution in Braille is our collective effort in advancing this policy.”

Volker Frobart, Head of the OSCE Program Office in Astana, highlighted that publishing the Constitution of Kazakhstan in Braille showcases the Kazakh constitutional control body’s commitment to human rights values and an inclusive approach to ensuring equal access to information.

Kazakhstan is a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which urges participating states to implement measures ensuring full participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life by providing access to information, education, equality before the law, legal protection, and justice.

The Braille editions of the Constitution will be distributed to 56 institutions, including national and regional libraries, training centres, and specialised schools.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 160,000 visually impaired individuals living in Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population reports that there are 85,000 blind individuals in Kazakhstan, along with over 4,000 visually impaired children, approximately 350 of whom are blind.