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LIMITED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Tamta Tvalavadze

She is specialist of cloth   modeling, but now is unemployed. At the different times she worked as hotline operator, consultant of public relations, volunteer.  These positions were temporary jobs, which were offered by the Non- Governmental Organizations working on the disabled persons issues. Chigladze said: “generally it is very difficult to find job, especially in Qutaisi, where don’t appear vacancies for the disabled persons. I need a job,so that I don’t want to be always dependent on others. Since the last year I have constantly looked for a job, but haven’t found it.”

    Based on international experience for the social integration adult disabled people, it is very important to involve them in the labor process. Despite their  wishes and skills they don’t find jobs, this issue are confirmed by the Public Defender’s report of 2013 year about freedom and human rights in Georgia.

    Georgian law about Social Protection of Disabled Persons, the article 21 states that the  disabled  persons have the right to work and realize their creative and entrepreneurial skills. For them it is not allowed any form of discrimination in employment. Vakhushti  Menabde, specialized lawyer about disabled persons’ rights, said: “Georgia  has duty to  develop these persons’  labor skills, so that they must get protected jobs in the open market, on the way to solve unemployment problem should be introduced a quota system in public and incentives mechanisms in the private sector.”

 Georgia joined UN Convention of Disabled Persons’ Rights in 2006, but this convention   was ratified two weeks ago by The Parliament of Georgia. Since then, Georgia have  a responsibility to take appropriate measures, in order to fully implement the Rights of Labor Employment. Gia  Kakachia,  Social Program director of  Ministry   Health, Labor and Social Affairs said :” So far, employment program for disabled program isn’t designed, it will  be implemented is the  second  half of year.”

    There is no statistical information about working disabled persons in Georgia. Neither the National Statistics Office and the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Welfare, has no information about how many disabled persons  are employed in the private sector  and government agencies. This and other problems are  reflected in the latest 2013 year research   Assessment of needs of disabled people in employment  which was conducted by Human Rights and Monitoring Center with EU’s financial support. This study indicates: “external and internal infrastructure is bad, there are problems  related  with  education  and  vocational  training.

        Representative of    Non-Governmental   Organization   For Independent Living   Rati Ionatamishvili,   moves with wheelchair, draws   attention   to poor infrastructure and discrimination of labor market. Ionatamishvili    thinks , organizations   doesn’t have fixed ramps and   proper environment. Employers usually refuse to hire disabled person. The reason explained often conceal the real reason- strong stereotypical thinking: disabled persons aren’t qualified employees.

      In the private sector one of the most effective mean is social enterprise. One of such enterprise was established by the Coalition For Independent Living with support USAID. The  enterprise are employees  : 8 disabled persons in Tbilisi and 4-in Gori and Zugdidi.  Enterprises  produces wheelchairs, fixed-ramps, hand-operated vehicle systems and crutches, with  one- year warranty. Ionatamishvili   said,” the most importantly is that each carriage is made individually, taking into account the needs of beneficiary. This practice has never been in Georgia and haven’t large-scale nature, they are well aware of the wheel theme.”

     In 2012, Revenue service employed 20 disabled persons in the Disputes, Human Resources, Information  Technology departments.  Anna  Goguadze, 25, photographer,  with wheelchair was one of them. After pre-interviewing  and  job training , she was hired. Goguadze  said : “we can’t come out all cafes have a ladder, I can’t go down in the underground , none of the streets don’t have sidewalks fixed ramps, which jobs are we talking?  Fortunately, I am exception, ten times harder to employ disabled persons.

        For their employment, they need  inclusive  educational  and  vocational programs, which is the responsibility   prerogative of the Ministry of Education. They should realize their professional knowledge into  practice  and find appropriate job, which is  the duty of the Ministry   Health, Labor and Social Affairs.