The pre-sessional working group of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be convened on 30 March 2020 – 03 April 2020 to discuss the initial report submitted by the Government of Georgia on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, followed by its discussion at the plenary session. Following these procedures, based on the reports and information provided by the Georgian government and civil society organizations, the committee will develop final recommendations to Georgia. It will be the first time the committee will assess the quality of implementation of the Convention in the country, also analyze positive aspects of the process and significant challenges.
After the government report was submitted to the committee, the organizations working on persons with disabilities and their rights, with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Georgia (OHCHR) and Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), prepared alternative reports on the implementation of the UN Convention in Georgia.
- A comprehensive shadow report of the organizations working on persons with disabilities and the non-governmental organizations dealing with the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was prepared with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Georgia (OHCHR). The document has been signed by 17 organizations and it reviews the situation of people with disabilities in Georgia two years after the ratification of the UN Convention. In this view, the report analyses all main articles envisaged by the Convention, assess the steps Georgia has taken in each direction, as well as the key challenges faced by the country. The alternative report also includes specific recommendations on the implementation of each article of the UN Convention.
- “Alternative Report to the First Periodic Report by the Government of Georgia to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” has been prepared by Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) and Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) in partnership and with the financial support of Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The document assesses the implementation of the initial two years of implementation of the UN Convention and provides analysis and recommendations concerning four rights/spheres – equal recognition before the law (article 12); education (article 24); work and employment (Article 27); adequate standard of living and social protection (article 28).
Although the government report was submitted to the UN Committee in 2016 and the above mentioned alternative reports – in 2017 and 2018, a great part of the challenges described in the documents and prepared recommendations are still relevant. As a result of insufficient and, frequently, fragmented measures on implementing the UN Convention, there are a lot of challenges in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and implementing systemic policy in this sphere that fully expels persons with disabilities from almost all the spheres of public life. In light of faulty legislation, absence of institutional mechanisms and systemic policy for implementing the Convention, the exercise of rights envisaged by the UN Convention fails to become more efficient.
Considering the existing challenges, it is important for the state to establish a uniform, systemic vision on protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, to ensure accessibility that is an essential precondition for implementing the rights and freedoms envisaged by the Convention, to analyze real needs of persons with disabilities based on a social model and develop a legal framework, policy and practice, which, in turn, will comply with the key principles and standards of the Convention. Effective involvement of persons with disabilities in policy developing and making is a vital issue.
The organizations having submitted the shadow reports will be actively involved in the process of discussing the government report by the UN Committee and will advocate the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities as well as the implementation of the UN Convention based on the final recommendations developed by the UN Committee.