Public Debate "Challenges of Implementation and Monitoring of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"

On October 31, the Public Defender held another public debate on the state of legal rights of persons with disabilities.

The debate was moderated by head of the programme unit of the UN Development Fund Natia Natsvlishvili.

In the opening part of the event the Deputy Public Defender spoke about the UN Convention for persons with disabilities and declaration of the Public Defender as a body responsible for monitoring of implementation of the convention. It was noted that the Public Defender’ Office will exercise its authority through consolidation of constructive cooperation with persons with disabilities, their representatives and organizations working in this field. “We are ready to improve the mechanisms and form details of implementation and practical realization of the convention in order to create better environment for protection of rights of persons with disabilities in the country, “ – said Paata Beltadze.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia Davit Lomidze spoke about process and challenges of implementation of the part of responsibilities assigned to the Ministry he represented in the 2014-2016 Government Action Plan of provision of equal opportunities. The plan implies provision of equal opportunities for persons with disabilities as stipulated by the relevant obligations in the convention. He also talked about new methodologies of granting a status according to which an important part of granting a status, of course together with medical diagnosis, will be to carry out assessment of needs and functions of persons with disabilities. For this purpose, specialist of various spheres, psychologist, and psychiatrist will be included in the process. On the basis of the individual approach not only the status will be granted but needs will also be defined.

According to the Deputy Minister, the Government of Georgia plans to reassign all services for children with disabilities (Day Centre, early development, sub-programme of rehabilitation to full state funding.

Representative of the Secretariat of the Head of the Human Rights Administration of the Government Natia Jaliashvili talked about the rights of persons with disabilitieswritten in the Government Action Plan, involvement of the Solidarity Fund in the number of projects and responsibility of the self-governing authorities.

The Head of the programme for persons with disabilities of the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre (EMC) Lina Ghvinianidze reviewed the manual of implementation of the UN Convention for rights of persons with disabilities. She noted that the convention changes an attitude towards the rights of a human being and indicates to the state - to create an effective institutional frame for realization of these rights.

Representative of interests of persons with disabilitiesliving in regions of the Government Coordination Council working on issues of disabled persons Simon Petridis spoke about challenges facing the coordination council.

The Head of the Centre for the Protection of the Rights of the persons with disabilitiesof the Public Defender’s Office Natia Pirashivli discussed the mechanism for monitoring of the UN Convention, the role of the Public Defender and meetings held in the framework of the convention monitoring in regions, current activities and plans. It shall be noted that for full monitoring of the convention implementation, involvement of various bodes and persons with disabilities themselves in planning of implementation of the monitoring.

The discussion also included persons with disabilities, their representatives and organizations working on these issues. The discussion appeared to be quite acute and mainly included involvement of persons with disabilitiesin the monitoring process, need to provide them with new programmes, strengthening of existing programme and pensions, the legal state of persons with disabilities.

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