Public Defender’s Statement on World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day is marked on March 21, which is aimed at raising public awareness of people with Down syndrome. The theme of the World Down Syndrome Day 2018 - "What I Bring to the Community" - emphasizes the equal contribution of people with Down syndrome to social, public, political, cultural and other areas of life.
The opportunity of people with Down syndrome to contribute to public life is significantly hindered by the lack of awareness and negative attitudes. It is necessary all parties, including the state, civil sector, mass media, employers and community to see this benefit and promote the development of capabilities of people with Down syndrome.
Even though certain steps have been taken in terms of realization of human rights by people with Down Syndrome in Georgia, there are still obstacles, elimination of which requires persistent identification and satisfaction of the needs of these persons. Efforts should be made to ensure that people with Down Syndrome can live independently, have access to social and health care programs, quality education and equal employment opportunities.
It is important the state to take effective steps to support the development and strengthening of people with Down syndrome and their families, plan and implement necessary programs and services for them.
The Public Defender calls on the state to make more efforts to protect the rights of people with Down syndrome in order to ensure their participation in the public life.