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Civil Society Action for Promoting Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Georgia

On April 8, 2021, the presentation of the project civil society action for promoting human rights of persons with disabilities in Georgia was held. The purpose of the event was to introduce the participants to the main activities and goals of the project. The project is implemented by Changes for Equal Rights (CER) and Coalition for Independent Living (CIL) with the support of the European Union.

Temur Kakabadze, Chairman of Changes for Equal Rights and Anna Tsitsagi, Project Manager, provided the interested public with detailed information on the activities planned under the project. The project focuses on developing the capacity of civil society organizations to enhance access to justice and eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities including women with disabilities and those belonging to ethnic minority groups through effective advocacy and development of the legal services.

The project will form three Disability Advocacy Teams (DATs) in Tbilisi, Adjara and Kakheti who will identify and study the discrimination cases with the priority focus on intersection of disability, ethnic origin and/or gender discrimination. The DATs will provide legal advice to all interested parties, seek evidence in the case, prepare a lawsuit, and ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in court. The regular legal clinics by the DATs will help to protect the rights of persons with disabilities individually as well as enrich the disability case law through strategic litigation.

The initiative also envisages developing a judicial training module on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with the involvement of an international expert and in cooperation with the High School of Justice. The project will also explore the opportunities for integration of the module in continuous training programs of the High School of Justice.

The project will assess the needs of the regional disability organizations and plan relevant training and support activities based on this information. In addition, four sub-grants will be awarded to strengthen the disability organizations operating in Adjara and Kakheti.

The project focuses on improving the implementation of legal capacity law reform in Georgia, which replaced guardianship over adults with disabilities with supported decision-making system. The project will explore the daily realities, specific needs, challenges and experiences of persons with psycho-social needs and their supporters, assess the progress of the reform and develop recommendations.

During the presentation of the project, a speech was given to Dominika Skubida, Representative of the EU Delegation, Mikheil Sarjveladze, Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration, Rati Ionatamishvili, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration, Deputy Mayor of Batumi, Archil Chikovani, Mayor of Batumi Vano Bolkvadze and Giorgi Dzneladze, Chairman of the Coalition for Independent Living.

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