Europe Dec 7, 2016
December 3 is the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. In connection with the day, the Government of Georgia presented its first report to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which describes the country’s progress since the ratification of the Convention in 2013.
The event took place in Expo Georgia and was organized by the Administration of the Government of Georgia in close cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia, and with support from the European Union in Georgia and UNDP Georgia.
The report examines challenges faced by the country on the way to building a more inclusive and equitable environment for its citizens. The preparation of the report was coordinated by the Human Rights Secretariat of the Administration of the Government of Georgia, in cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia and respective ministries.
Head of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Administration of the Government of Georgia, Natalia Jaliashvili delivered speech at the event and said that protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the utmost priority of the government.
“The state reaffirms its commitment to continuing the implementation process of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We will develop and implement a comprehensive policy to abolish the existing social barriers that hinder persons with disabilities from full and effective participation in all spheres of public life,” she noted.
Yvonne Gogoll, Program Manager of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, underlined that disabled people are able to make an enormous contribution to European society, but often face barriers.
“The EU promotes the active inclusion and full participation of disabled people in society, in line with the EU human rights approach to disability issues. The values of dignity, autonomy, equality and inclusion are key EU principles,” Gogoll said.
Georgia’s first report to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was submitted in September 2016. This will be followed by suggestions and general recommendations on the implementation of the Convention from the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Georgia’s Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili published a statement in connection with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities in which he said that social protection was one of the main challenges facing Georgia. The Ombudsman noted that the State should employ disabled people and provide them with continuous inclusive education, especially in the remote regions of the country.
He also called on the government to ensure proper protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and their full participation in public life.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 and since then it has been celebrated annually throughout the world.
The Day works to promote public awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities, to draw attention to their needs, and to protect and support their dignity, all of which will finally ensure their full participation and inclusion in society.