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Europe

Inclusion in Germany and Georgia: Georgian delegation visits the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

On 15 May 2018, a delegation made up of six Members of the Georgian Parliament paid a visit to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They were welcomed by Anette Kramme, one of the Parliamentary State Secretaries at the Ministry. Anri Okhanashvili, Sopio Kiladze, Davit Matikashvili, Irakli Zarkua, Rati Iionatamishvili and Vano Zardiashvili are members of the human rights committee of their parliament. They were especially interested in Germany’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Germany's new Federal Participation Act and the reforms of the Act on Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The talks also focused on the implementation of Article 33 of the CRPD, which requires the States Parties to designate one or more government focal points and to involve civil society in the process to monitor implementation of the Convention. In addition, every State Party is to give due consideration to the establishment of a coordination mechanism within government to facilitate the implementation of programmes. In Germany, the Focal Point is located at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the German Institute for Human Rights serves as the independent monitoring body. The state coordination agency located at the office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Relating to Persons with Disabilities involves civil society in the work.

The delegation also asked about the German process of assessing severe disabilities and about accessibility standards for public spaces. Sopio Kiladze, the head of delegation, stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. She added that Georgia had just enshrined the welfare state principle in its constitution - a step necessitating a number of reforms not only in the field of inclusion, but also of social and labour market policies in general. Anette Kramme welcomed the plans for a more in-depth dialogue.