Public Defender's Statement on International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed on 3 December. The Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992.
The Day works to promote public awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities, to draw attention to their needs, to protect and support their dignity, all of which will finally ensure their full participation and inclusion in the society.
Events arranged for this Day around the world are dedicated to certain themes each year. This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed in the wake of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),one of the slogans of which is "Leaving No One Behind."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities says that building a sustainable and inclusive world, which is free of social barriers, requires the full engagement of people of all abilities, including the persons with disabilities.
Creation of a similar world in Georgia is still a problem. Although the country has joined the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a number of issues still remain a challenge for the state. Among them are acceleration of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), elaboration of a unified state policy document, coordination among state agencies, development of legal regulations in compliance with international mechanisms, cultivation of needs-based approaches, financial support for the events defined by the state action plan, as well as promotion of availability of education, employment, adequate standard of living, health and social care, independent living, involvement in the society and other needs for persons with disabilities. It is of particular importance that the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention has not been ratified so far despite the Public Defender’s repeated recommendations.
The Public Defender, as a national institution that monitors promotion, protection and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, has created a mechanism that unites the Consultative Council, the Monitoring Group and the Department of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Among the members of the Consultative Council are representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities in order to ensure engagement of persons with disabilities in the Council’s activities. Members of the Monitoring Group for the implementation of the Convention have been selected as well.
The Public Defender continuously observes the ongoing processes in this direction and once again urges the Government to take active steps for solution of the abovementioned problems in order to ensure proper protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and their full participation in the public life.