People with disabilities are not allowed to meet human rights defenders

Organization “Partnership for Human Rights” (PHR) expresses its profound concern over the incident occurred in Dusheti institution for people with disabilities, where lawyers of the organization were not allowed to meet persons with disabilities living in the institution.

On October 12, 2016, at the request of people with disabilities living in the Dusheti institution, lawyers visited the facility, however, they were restricted to enter the place by the head of the institution. Despite, informing him that the beneficiaries were willing to have a meeting with the lawyers to get a legal assistance, the director demanded to show a special entrance permission from the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.

PHR believes that the head of the Dusheti institution exceeded his authority and therefore violated the fundamental rights and freedom of people with disabilities who live under the state care institutions.

PHR notes that many facts of major human rights violations have been observed in the institutions for people with disabilities. There are facts of inhuman treatments, physical and other types of abuses.

%e1%83%a4%e1%83%9d%e1%83%a2%e1%83%9d1Over the last period of time, human rights organizations have been receiving information from the people with disabilities living in the institutions indicating the facts of inhuman and degrading treatments against them. Residents of the institutions revealed that in case of protesting something against the administration, they are forcibly hospitalized in psychiatric institution by the directors and employees of the facilities. The purpose of these inhuman treatments is scaring and “silencing” beneficiaries. There is a reasonable doubt, that people with disabilities are isolated in psychiatric institutions in order to prevent them from communicating with nongovernmental organizations. It raises an obstacle to the ability of human rights organizations to operate freely with people with disabilities.

According to the Constitution of Georgia, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other local and international human rights standards, every person has a right to have a relationship with anyone freely, access to information in order to receive equal and effective legal protection.

It should also be emphasized that none of the legal documents regulating Dusheti institution which might require a permission from the state authorities for human rights defenders to enter the institutions. Moreover, state institutions are obliged to take all appropriate measures to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people with disabilities.

Based on the above considerations, PHR calls for the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking to:

  1. Examine the case and impose disciplinary sanctions against the head of the Dusheti institution for the people with disabilities.
  2. Explain human rights standards and their obligations to heads of the institutions that are under the supervision of the fund.
  3. Provide every person living in the institutions with free and accessiblecommunication with human rights defenders. 
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