Save Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Georgia
In December, 2013, Disability Rights International (DRI) published a report: Left Behind: The Exclusion of Children and Adults with Disabilities from Reform and Rights Protection in the Republic of Georgia. The report revealed shocking violations at the residential institutions, namely:
Children with hydrocephalus do not receive adequate treatment, which causes them to die by the age of 6. These children do not receive anesthetics, which amounts to inhuman treatment and torture.
The State does not have information regarding the children placed at orphanages owned by the Orthodox Church of Georgia, which allegedly host approximately 1500 children. The State, however, does not know the exact number of these children nor their living conditions, which creates high risks of trafficking in persons.
Persons with disabilities are isolated from society; they are deprived of any possibility of family life. Children are taken away from the parents with disabilities by force and moved to other state institutions.
There are no rehabilitation programs for persons with disabilities. They frequently are subjected to violent and degrading treatment and forced to work for free.
The child welfare reform of deinstitutionalization, in fact, has not covered the children with disabilities in Georgia.
Similar violations could be found in the reports of Public Defender of Georgia.
We, signatory non-governmental organizations and individuals, request government to fulfill its international obligations: to remedy the discriminatory treatment and other violations against persons with disabilities; to establish monitoring mechanism and study conditions of every institutionalized child, despite the legal-organizational form of the institution public or private; to include persons with disabilities in the programs of deinstitutionalization.