Public Defender’s Statement on World Autism Awareness Day

April 2 is World AutismAwarenessDay. The world supports the rights of people with autism and speaks out against discrimination.

The 2018 World Autism Awareness Day will focus on the importance of empowering women and girls with autism, who face multiple challenges including barriers to accessing education and employment on an equal footing with others, denial of their reproductive rights and the freedom to make their own choices. The UN Secretary General’s message for 2018 says that the work for gender equality and women’s empowerment must reach all the world’s women and girls, the full participation of all people with autism should be promoted and no one should be left behind.

Proper protection of the rights of people with autism is still problematic in Georgia. The lack of health care for children with autism, lack of necessary programs and services for them, limited number of habilitation/rehabilitation services, territorial inaccessibility, poor quality of services provided, lack of staff and low level of their qualifications are still challenges in the country.

Inadequate support for and gaps in the inclusion education impedes practical realization of the right to education by children with autism.

For the purpose of solving the identified problems, it is important to plan effective measures adjusted to the needs of persons with autism, by considering gender aspects.

The Public Defender once more urges the state to promote realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons with autism and duly support them so that they can fully participate in the community on an equal footing with others.

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