On April 27 - May 2, the Legal Aid Service (LAS) attorneys undertook the training of trainers course on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) - International and National Standards.
The training was held with the support from the South Caucasus Field Presence of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with the funds from the UN Sustainable Development Fund (SDG Fund) and the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).
After this training on these attorneys are eligible to build capacity of their fellow lawyers using the curriculum developed by OHCHR with the financial support from the UN SDG Fund.
Welcoming the training participants, OHCHR Program Manager Sophio Benashvili emphasized the importance of legal aid for PWDs for full realization of their rights. According to her, there is a need to focus on the continuing education of lawyers and human rights defenders in international and local standards of communication with PWDs.
"There is still a big need of raising public awareness on the need and rights of PWDs, as there are still discriminatory attitudes and stigma towards PWDs in the society. State institutions should take the term 'inclusiveness' in a broad sense, as a means by which any citizen can function in a society." – said the training participant, a lawyer of the LAS, Teona Kvernadze.
Ledi Kordzadze, a lawyer of the LAS believes that “PWDs are full-fledged members of society and they do not need morality from society and the state. Their right to full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms is guaranteed. Therefore, it is our role as lawyers to protect PWDs’ rights by establishing proper communication with them."
"As a practicing lawyer, it was very important for me to get acquainted with the theoretical material and practice of international and national legislation on the rights of PWDs. This will help me to set a strategy on how to restore PWDs rights of labor, independent living and other basic rights. At the same time, my role as a future trainer is particularly responsible, to help my colleagues increase their knowledge about the rights of PWDs.” – LAS consultant Lela Euashvili pointed out.
"The right of access to justice gives any person the opportunity to protect another person and his/her rights. Consequently, the right to access to justice is a vital right for PWDs. We, the lawyers, have a special role to play in helping PWDs realize these important rights, without compromising their other rights, and it is important to constantly deepen our knowledge and pass it on to our colleagues.” Stated Tea Kaulashvili, a lawyer of the LAS.
The topics covered at the training included: Standards for the Relationship with Persons with Disabilities; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Practice of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to specific rights; the National Legislative Framework for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities; techniques and methods of conducting the training. Among the trainers were experts: Ekaterine Tavartkiladze, Sopho Chachava, Giorgi Chkheidze, Ana Abashidze and Ana Arganashvili.