Deputy Public Defender Participates in International Webinar on Institutionalization of Persons with Disabilities

On March 4, 2021, the Deputy Public Defender of Georgia, Ekaterine Skhiladze, attended an international webinar on the institutionalization of persons with disabilities and presented a report on the mandate and role of national human rights institutions.

The event was organized by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The aim of the event was to apply the concept of the right to truth in the process of advocating for the deinstitutionalization of institutions for persons with disabilities and to hold a discussion on this issue, as well as to discuss the challenges created in the process of de-institutionalization in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"National human rights institutions have a unique mandate to study situation in closed institutions without the permission and prior warning of the state authorities, which helps to establish the truth about the situation in the institutions and to provide information to the public, persons with disabilities and their families," said the Deputy Public Defender when speaking about the importance of independent life, the responsibilities of the state and the role of national human rights institutions in this regard. She also stressed the importance of deinstitutionalization: "Deinstitutionalization is not an easy process, but today, when we have both good and bad examples of international practice, we, the national human rights institutions, must advocate for the formation of the state will and must use all the levers at our disposal, so that to ensure that the Government fulfills its international obligations and gives all persons the opportunity to live where they want to live and with whom they want to live."

Speeches were also delivered at the webinar by Facundo Chavez, Human Rights and Disability Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, Fabian Salvioli, UN Special Rapporteur on the Special Rapporteuron the Promotion ofTruth and Justice, Kriti Sharma, Representative of Human Rights Watch, and other invited guests.

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