Public Defender Describes Situation of Employment of Persons with Disabilities as Alarming
Realization of the labor rights of persons with disabilities is a significant challenge among the existing problems of protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, the employment rate of persons with disabilities registered in the Social Service Agency's united online system worknet.gov.ge is extremely low. In particular, only 12 disabled persons out of 1 022 registered job seekers were employed as of February 2015; by April - 18 out of 1 170 persons with disabilities were employed, while as of February 2016 - 21 out of 1 689 persons with disabilities, registered in the labour market management information system, were employed.
The obligation of employment of persons with disabilities is not properly performed by the public sector either. According to the report of the Civil Service Bureau 2015, only 112 out of 53 109 people, employed in the public sector, are disabled persons.
During 2015, several citizens addressed the Public Defenderwiththe above-mentioned problem. The study of the cases revealed that despite a number of projects and the declared will of the state - to ensure employment of persons with disabilities, the labour rights cannot be properly implemented due to lack of appropriate legal safeguards, practical promotion and effective enforcement mechanisms.
Pursuant to the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities, the primary responsibility of the state in terms of employment is to ensure availability of profession orientation programs, as well as vocational and continuous education for persons with disabilities; to promote their employment and career advancement opportunities at the labor market; to employ persons with disabilities in the public sector and to ensure their employment in the private sector through pursuing relevant policies and taking necessary measures.
In the Annual Report 2015 the Public Defender recommended the Government to work out a coherent national policy and strategy for the promotion of employment of persons with disabilities by considering the basic principles of the UN Convention of 2006 and to facilitate employment opportunities for such persons at the open market in equal conditions with others.