Roundtable Discussion on the Rights of People with Disabilities

9 Jul, 2019

Legal aid is what people with disabilities need most frequently given the violations of their rights to health and property, access to social aid and inequality. The Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) and the Georgian Bar Association launched a free legal aid program a year ago for people with disabilities and people in need of palliative care. During this period, highly qualified and highly paid lawyers have offered free legal aid to over 30 beneficiaries within the framework of the project.

On July 9, a roundtable discussion on the rights of people with disabilities was held as part of the event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Georgian Bar.

An exhibition-sale of handmade items created by the beneficiaries of the Dayhome of Social Therapy was held on the sideline of the conference.

“The Open Society Georgia Foundation has been working on the issues of people with disabilities for over a decade and we have even achieved some legislative changes, but this is not enough. Actually, it is impossible to bring our national legislation in compliance with the international convention. These people are still facing the problem of employment, access to legal aid that they need so much under conditions of inequality. They regularly have to fight for their property rights, the right to health. Financial independence, as well as using the abilities of these people in the process of the country’s development is extremely important,” says Keti Khutsishvili, director of OSGF.

The Dayhome of Social Therapy has been serving people with disabilities, particularly, adults with mental retardation since 1990. 55 disabled people are presently working in therapeutic workshops and engaged in various cultural activities. Seven workshops-enterprises are currently functioning at the Center: knitting, carpentry, printing house, candles, art, paper recycling and kitchen, where beneficiaries are making various products on a daily basis.

The Center encountered financial problems in 2018 and is presently facing a threat of closure.