Public Defender's Statement on Decease of Persons with Disabilities in Daily Specialized Facilities

The Public Defender is extremely concerned over the decease of persons with disabilitiesindaily special facilities over the recent months.

Over the past three months 3 cases of alleged negligence of responsible personnel have been reported. Decease of adult beneficiaries G.M. and I.G. in the Martkopi and Dusheti boarding homes for persons with disabilities was related to the feeding process, while beneficiary M.K. died in the Tbilisi infant home when a caregiver was absent.

The abovementioned is a particularly dangerous trend in the state care facilities, where, in accordance with the legislation, services must be provided in comfortable, clean and safe environment. Due attention should be paid to the beneficiaries’ health. They must be provided with high-quality and safe food in accordance with their needs. The administration should help beneficiaries with special needs in the eating process.

The aforementioned institutions represent territorial units (branches) of the State Fund for Assistance and Protection of (trafficking) Victims and they are controlled by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. It is necessary the relevant agencies of the Ministry to adequately respond to similar cases, to identify individual or systemic shortcomings and to take all possible measures in order to eradicate and prevent similar incidents in the future. At the same time, it is vitally important to strengthen internal monitoring and supervision mechanism for these types of facilities and to rule out possible conflict of interest.

The Public Defender also calls on the investigative agencies to timely carry out effective investigation and to identify all the responsible persons.

The Public Defender’s Office studies the mentioned cases within his competence, closely watches the progress of the investigations and will inform the public of the results.

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