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Report of Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs on Implementation of Public Defender’s Recommendations

The Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee has started consideration of the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Parliament’s resolution of June 24, 2016, following the Public Defender’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia in 2015.

The Parliament’s Resolution includes Public Defender's recommendations developed for the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs in three directions: mental health, child's rights and the rights of persons with disabilities.

On February 27, 2017, the report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs was presented by Deputy Minister Zaza Sopromadze.

Despite the Ministry’s position, the Public Defender considers that the majority of the recommendations concerning mental health have not been implemented. In particular, the monitoring conducted by the Public Defender showed that rehabilitation of patients in psychiatric facilities is not underway according to the individual plan devised on the basis of international standards. As a result, the patients forcedly transferred from the penitentiary facilities, as well as the so-called "timeless" patients, are treated with undifferentiated approach, under strict regime. Patients are not involved in the treatment process and are not well informed about the legal complaints procedures. Patients’ aggression is managed by intimidation and injections.

The recommendations on strengthening of efforts to solve the social problems of the patients, gradual transfer of psychiatric care to general-profile hospitals, involvement of relevant specialists in the treatment and rehabilitation process, definition of the minimum number of personnel, restoration and development of patients’ skills necessary for independent living, cannot be considered implemented. The report does not mention anything about cooperation with the relevant offices in order to protect the rights of parents of persons with mental disabilities. It is unknown whether the system of monitoring the patients' rights and the state supervision of psychiatric assistance is reviewed. The increased funding is said to be the means for improving infrastructure of mental institutions, although the amount of the funding will not be enough to improve the poor conditions existing in several large institutions.

We welcome the fact that the staff of phsycatric facility is regularly trained, including about the amendments carried out within the framework of the capacity legal reform. However, together with training, it is important to introduce a methodology of inspecting and assessing the realization of the gained knowledge in practice.
In order to improve the quality of statistical data and availability of all necessary information, a new electronic module of reporting of the cases of hospitalization is being introduced across the country. The list of basic drugs needed for mental hospitals is being developed, although it should be noted that these drugs are still not available for all mental institutions.

Certain measures are being taken for the development of outpatient services, however, the effect is very limited and it is obvious that it is necessary to strengthen efforts to achieve the goal of deinstitutionalization.

The submission of the revised bill on Adoption and Foster Care to the Parliament should be praised in terms of protection of child’s rights. The bill provides for effective regulations in this field. Unfortunately, alleged cases of violence against the children under foster are still reported, which refers to the necessity for systemic monitoring of cases and foster parents by LEPL Social Service Agency.

The recommendations concerning the rights situation of children involved in the reintegration state service have been partially implemented. In addition, the analysis shows that more efforts are needed to ensure social strengthening of the families involved in the reintegration state subprogram and to raise their awareness about the protection of children from violence.

The report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs notes that the Social Service Agency works with the juveniles at the boarding schools operating under the Orthodox Church of Georgia, while the Public Defender requested in his recommendation to thoroughly evaluate the situation of the juveniles of the boarding schools, as well as their parents, and to determine alternative forms of appropriate care. In addition, the Public Defender does not know whether the Social Service Agency works with juveniles of Muslim boarding schools.

Despite the decree of the Government of Georgia on "Child Protection referral procedures", alleged cases of physical or psychological violence against children, as well as cases of alleged labor exploitation, are not systematically referred to the responsible authorities and are not timely responded by responsible authorities. Insufficient attention is paid to the identification of cases of violence and rehabilitation of victims of violence. It should also be noted that 40 cases against children’s sexual freedom and integrity were reported last year and the rate of child neglect was also high.

The only recommendation on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, which can be considered implemented at this stage, is reflection of the obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the labour law of Georgia, through developing the relevant bill.

The recommendation on collection and maintenance of statistics on the employment of persons with disabilities in the public and private sectors and the creation of a single strategic document, as well as adequate consideration of the employment needs of these persons in the social integration programs, has been partially implemented.

In accordance with the Public Defender’s recommendation, the Ministry monitored daily specialized facilitates for older people. However, other recommendations relating to the boarding houses for older people have not been yet implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs. The risk factors of violence and ill-treatment, including degrading treatment or other forms of violence, have not been assessed and no adequate response and effective supervision system has been created.

No necessary measures have been taken to improve the skills of the personnel.

The recommendation concerning the improvement of feedback and complaints mechanisms and delivery of anonymous feedback has not been implemented; no minimum standard of nutrition has been developed/approved.

27.02.17


The Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee has started consideration of the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Parliament’s resolution of June 24, 2016, following the Public Defender’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia in 2015.

The Parliament’s Resolution includes Public Defender's recommendations developed for the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs in three directions: mental health, child's rights and the rights of persons with disabilities.

On February 27, 2017, the report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs was presented by Deputy Minister Zaza Sopromadze.

Despite the Ministry’s position, the Public Defender considers that the majority of the recommendations concerning mental health have not been implemented. In particular, the monitoring conducted by the Public Defender showed that rehabilitation of patients in psychiatric facilities is not underway according to the individual plan devised on the basis of international standards. As a result, the patients forcedly transferred from the penitentiary facilities, as well as the so-called "timeless" patients, are treated with undifferentiated approach, under strict regime. Patients are not involved in the treatment process and are not well informed about the legal complaints procedures. Patients’ aggression is managed by intimidation and injections.

The recommendations on strengthening of efforts to solve the social problems of the patients, gradual transfer of psychiatric care to general-profile hospitals, involvement of relevant specialists in the treatment and rehabilitation process, definition of the minimum number of personnel, restoration and development of patients’ skills necessary for independent living, cannot be considered implemented. The report does not mention anything about cooperation with the relevant offices in order to protect the rights of parents of persons with mental disabilities. It is unknown whether the system of monitoring the patients' rights and the state supervision of psychiatric assistance is reviewed. The increased funding is said to be the means for improving infrastructure of mental institutions, although the amount of the funding will not be enough to improve the poor conditions existing in several large institutions.

We welcome the fact that the staff of phsycatric facility is regularly trained, including about the amendments carried out within the framework of the capacity legal reform. However, together with training, it is important to introduce a methodology of inspecting and assessing the realization of the gained knowledge in practice.
In order to improve the quality of statistical data and availability of all necessary information, a new electronic module of reporting of the cases of hospitalization is being introduced across the country. The list of basic drugs needed for mental hospitals is being developed, although it should be noted that these drugs are still not available for all mental institutions.

Certain measures are being taken for the development of outpatient services, however, the effect is very limited and it is obvious that it is necessary to strengthen efforts to achieve the goal of deinstitutionalization.

The submission of the revised bill on Adoption and Foster Care to the Parliament should be praised in terms of protection of child’s rights. The bill provides for effective regulations in this field. Unfortunately, alleged cases of violence against the children under foster are still reported, which refers to the necessity for systemic monitoring of cases and foster parents by LEPL Social Service Agency.

The recommendations concerning the rights situation of children involved in the reintegration state service have been partially implemented. In addition, the analysis shows that more efforts are needed to ensure social strengthening of the families involved in the reintegration state subprogram and to raise their awareness about the protection of children from violence.

The report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs notes that the Social Service Agency works with the juveniles at the boarding schools operating under the Orthodox Church of Georgia, while the Public Defender requested in his recommendation to thoroughly evaluate the situation of the juveniles of the boarding schools, as well as their parents, and to determine alternative forms of appropriate care. In addition, the Public Defender does not know whether the Social Service Agency works with juveniles of Muslim boarding schools.

Despite the decree of the Government of Georgia on "Child Protection referral procedures", alleged cases of physical or psychological violence against children, as well as cases of alleged labor exploitation, are not systematically referred to the responsible authorities and are not timely responded by responsible authorities. Insufficient attention is paid to the identification of cases of violence and rehabilitation of victims of violence. It should also be noted that 40 cases against children’s sexual freedom and integrity were reported last year and the rate of child neglect was also high.

The only recommendation on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, which can be considered implemented at this stage, is reflection of the obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the labour law of Georgia, through developing the relevant bill.

The recommendation on collection and maintenance of statistics on the employment of persons with disabilities in the public and private sectors and the creation of a single strategic document, as well as adequate consideration of the employment needs of these persons in the social integration programs, has been partially implemented.

In accordance with the Public Defender’s recommendation, the Ministry monitored daily specialized facilitates for older people. However, other recommendations relating to the boarding houses for older people have not been yet implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs. The risk factors of violence and ill-treatment, including degrading treatment or other forms of violence, have not been assessed and no adequate response and effective supervision system has been created.

No necessary measures have been taken to improve the skills of the personnel.

The recommendation concerning the improvement of feedback and complaints mechanisms and delivery of anonymous feedback has not been implemented; no minimum standard of nutrition has been developed/approved.

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