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Disabled in unequal conditions in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, June 23
“Independent living conditions of disabled persons are not promoted in Georgia…we do not have an effective mechanism of implementation of the United Nations Convention. Georgia joined this convention but it is not executed,” Public Defender (Ombudsman) Ucha Nanuashvili stated during the presentation of his Special Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The presentation of the report was held on June 22 and it reflects the main tendencies, problems and the challenges faced by the state in terms of the rights of disabled individuals in 2016.

Nanuashvili spoke about systemic problems that had occurred over the years in the lives of persons with disabilities that significantly hamper their inclusion in society.

“The main problem is that these people are isolated from society. There are problems in terms of infrastructure, transport and access to the physical environment and information,” the Ombudsman added.

The report says that the participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the decision making process at various levels of government was low. Some barriers were observed during the voting process as well.

The timely and effective implementation of the activities defined by the National Action Plan for the Mental Health Development 2015-2020 was an acute agenda in 2016.

The Public Defender has negatively assessed the measures taken by the state in terms of employment of persons with disabilities.

“According to the data of 2016, the number of disabled people employed in the public sector was 52. In the private sector only 32,” the report reads, adding this indicator is very low.

The report also emphasized the necessity of considering the interests and needs of women and girls with disabilities. The Public Defender considers that in the process of developing policy documents in the field of human rights, they should be regarded as an independent target group.

The presentation of the report was attended by the representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), media and people with disabilities.