Deputy Public Defender Participates in 16th Session of Conference of States Parties to CRPD
On June 13, 2023, Natia Julakidze, Deputy Public Defender of Georgia, participated in the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York.
In her speech, Natia Julakidze spoke about the situation of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Georgia and challenges in the process, noting that despite the positive changes carried out for the harmonization of the country's legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, challenges still remain in practice.
While presenting the Public Defender's position on the issue, the Deputy Public Defender emphasized that the long-term strategy and action plan, which are provided for by the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, have not been developed so far, while the national human rights strategy for 2022-2030 does not fully cover all aspects of the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. She also spoke about the need to develop and adopt detailed action plan with the involvement of persons with disabilities.
"Problems in practice include accessibility of physical environment and information, accessibility of medical services, including sexual and reproductive health services, inclusive education, employment, challenges in ensuring proper involvement of persons with disabilities in the decision-making process and promoting their independent living, as well as the need for timely introduction of a biopsychosocial model, low awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities, the existing stigma, especially towards persons with mental health problems, lack of support and individualized services, etc.,” Natia Julakidze said while delivering a speech in the UN General Assembly hall.
The Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities brings together representatives of the States Parties to the CRPD and is held periodically to discuss issues related to the implementation of the Convention. This year the conference discussed the harmonization of the principles of the Convention in the domestic legislation and focused on the challenges and achievements in the relevant process from the side of States Parties, international organizations, civil society and national human rights institutions.
The Public Defender's Office is an A-status national human rights institution that supervises the protection of human rights and freedoms in Georgia. The Public Defender also represents an independent monitoring mechanism for the promotion, protection and monitoring of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Office, as a result of active monitoring, collects important information and issues numerous recommendations regarding the implementation of the Convention. Through various international mechanisms, reporting, active involvement in regional and international human rights formats, meetings with international partners and conferences of the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Office constantly provides information to the international mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the convention - the UN Committee - about important and systemic challenges related to the implementation of the Convention in Georgia, the elimination of which should become a priority for the State.