Rati Ionatamishvili: Year after year, new programs and services are developed to defend the rights of individuals with disabilities and to give equal opportunities
Rati Ionatamishvili, Deputy Chairman of the faction “Georgian Dream”, took part in the event held within the framework of the SDG Fund joint program - "Transforming Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Georgia".
The Joint Programme “Transforming Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Georgia” is an initiative of six UN agencies - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and World Health Organization (WHO). Funded by the UN Fund for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Programme focuses on one of the key factors leading to the social exclusion of people with disabilities (PwDs) in society - the societal and institutional medical approach to PwDs, which considers disability as an individual deficiency.
The joint program's goal is to enhance the political climate, boost access to infrastructure, information, and services, promote social inclusion, and ensure that UNCRPD is implemented effectively.
"The most important decision was undoubtedly the approval of a new law on the rights of people with disabilities, which established a variety of legal and political safeguards to ensure that people with disabilities make correct, effective, and concrete decisions. Year after year, new programs and services are developed to defend the rights of individuals with disabilities and to give equal opportunities”, - Rati Ionatamishvili said.
Tamar Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Health, spoke to the audience and highlighted on the key programs underway to enhance the situation of people with disabilities. These include introducing a biopsychosocial paradigm, encouraging persons with impairments to work, and more.
"We and our partner organizations are working together to ensure that people with disabilities have equitable access to opportunities in society and the labor market", - the Deputy Minister remarked.
According to Sabine Machl, the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, work is underway to restructure the social protection system to make it more adaptive for persons with disabilities.
"That is why we gathered with representatives and partners from the Georgian administration, parliament, and a variety of non-governmental organizations. We address how a social paradigm can replace the medical approach to people with impairments. In this session, we'll talk about how children with disabilities can be integrated into school, as well as how people with disabilities can work and participate in work processes”, - the UN Resident Coordinator stated.
The meeting participants also heard from Nikoloz Tatulashvili, the Prime Minister's Advisor on Human Rights. In recent years, he claims, the Georgian government has taken considerable steps to ameliorate the legal condition of people with disabilities in the country.
The United Nations has stated its willingness to continue to help the development of Georgia's social protection system for people with disabilities, in collaboration with a number of partners.