Presentation of Special Report on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
On June 22, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia presented a special report on the rights of persons with disabilities, which reflects the main tendencies, problems and challenges faced by the state in terms of the rights situation of these persons in 2016.
At the opening of the event, Ucha Nanuashvili focused on the efforts of the Public Defender’s Office within the framework of monitoring the promotion, protection and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He also spoke about the systemic problems, which have been the same for years in every field of the life of persons with disabilities and significantly impede their independent living and inclusion in the society on an equal basis with others.
During the reporting period, the main challenge was the delayed process of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The country still does not have an effective mechanism for the implementation of the Convention. The issue of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention is still on the agenda.
No effective measures have been taken for the introduction of a social model. In addition, statistics on people with disabilities are still not collected or analyzed, which would have ensured development and implementation of a policy necessary for the effective implementation of the Convention, as well as introduction of needs-based approach during implementation and planning of programs.
According to the report, the state did not properly care for the promotion of independent living, physical environment, infrastructure, access to information and transport for persons with disabilities.
The level of participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations in the decision-making process at various levels was low. Some barriers were observed during the exercise of their right to vote.
Delivery of necessary services and programs to children with disabilities, the geographical coverage of the existing services and lack of necessary services for adults with disabilities, including habilitation-rehabilitation programs, remained to be challenges in the country.
In 2016, timely and effective implementation of the agenda of the mental health development national action plan 2015-2020 was also problematic.
The Public Defender termed the measures taken for the employment of persons with disabilities by the state as inefficient, the proof of which is the low number of the employed persons with disabilities. According to the data of 2016, the number of persons with disabilities employed in the public sector was 52 and those employed in the private sector was only 32.
The report also focuses on the necessity for consideration of the interests and needs of women and girls with disabilities. The Public Defender considers that they should be regarded as an independent target group during development of human rights policy documents.