Public Defender’s Statement on World Autism Day
Every year on April 2, the world celebrates the World Autism Awareness Day. This year the United Nations is focusing on the inequalities further exacerbatedby the pandemic, which has had a negative impact on people with autism.
The UN Secretary General states in his 2021 address that one key goal must be to build a more inclusive and accessible world that recognizes the contributions of all people. To truly leave no one behind in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, we must realize the rights of all persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, ensuring their full participation in social, cultural and economic life.
People with autism living in Georgia have encountered a number of challenges in a situation caused by the novel coronavirus. It became even more difficult for them to exercise their rights properly.
The State still does not provide programmes tailored to the individual needs of these individuals. Access to health care facilities and services, non-adapted medical services, communication with medical staff are problematic. No social or psychological support activities are provided for people with autism or their families.
There are gaps in terms of integrating people with autism in the inclusive education process. The existing social protection system does not meet the challenges. Stigma and wrong attitude of the public are still problematic.
The Public Defender calls on the State to make more efforts to protect the rights of people with autism, to solve problems in the areas of health, education and social protection in a timely manner, to create modern services available to all people with autism, to take care of the development of skills necessary for their independent living and to support the families of people with autism by taking positive measures.