Public Defender Considers that the Anti-Crisis Economic Plan does not Properly Address the Needs of Persons with Disabilities
The anti-crisis economic plan adopted by the Georgian Government includes important aspects in response to the challenges emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, the plan does not adequately address the needs of persons with disabilities.
According to the plan, only persons with severe disabilities and children with disabilities will enjoy social benefits, while persons with significant and moderate disabilities, as well as the children with Down syndrome and autism, who do not have the disability status due to the defective assessment model, are left without assistance.
Such a social policy for persons with disabilities cannot be called satisfactory. In particular, the benefits provided in the plan are based on the status established according to a medical model of disability assessment. The above casts doubt on the effectiveness of the plan, as assistance should be based not on the medical degree of disability, but on the real social needs of the above individuals in the given situation.
Since various programmes for persons with disabilities were suspended across the country, the services are partially delivered remotely, which is often ineffective, families cannot cope with the social needs of persons with disabilities and the local authorities do not carry out effective measures, the Public Defender considers it necessary that the planned activities be reviewed and amended. In particular:
- The Government of Georgia should review the anti-crisis economic plan and consider support measures for persons with disabilities in accordance with their social needs.
- Municipalities should protect the groups of persons with disabilities while carrying out local anti-crisis measures as much as possible, taking into account their individual needs (hygienic products, medicines, etc.).
- The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia should present a vision on how soon they will finish the reform of the disability status granting
The Public Defender continues to work on the mentioned issues and to monitor how effectively the needs of persons with disabilities are responded.
Persons concerned can apply to the Public Defender if needed. Contact information: Hotline -1481, email: firstname.lastname@example.org