The conference organized by Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) on May 7 opened up a discussion on the issue that has long been inadequately addressed by the government – homelessness.
Today’s gathering of major actors gave opportunity to assess state policy on central and local level, analyze and address homelessness from human rights angle and seek solutions for challenges.
In 2018, as a result of OSGF-supported advocacy effort, the Government of Georgia promised to elaborate national housing policy as part of Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs has been tasked to develop the strategy and action plan for 2019-2020. Tea Gvaramadze of the Ministry of Health, was among the conference speakers. The research papers presented at the conference as well as familiarization with international standards of homelessness at an initial stage will promote the process, enabling the Ministry to develop housing policy plan based on the best international practices and local needs.
“It is important that the issue of homelessness and adequate housing remains within the competence of the Health Ministry so as it does not lose its social content and does not turn into a purely urban issue,” Anano Tsintsabadze of OSGF and one of the moderators at the conference noted.
Homelessness and housing exclusion has long been inadequately recognized within political and social spaces. In 2017, the Foundation financed the first researches on the causes of homelessness and housing policy that created the basis for the government to pay attention to the issue.
The conference was opened by Executive Director of OSGF, Keti Khutsishvili. Among the speakers were Ana Pirtskhalashvili, member of the State Constitutional Commission; Tea Gvaramadze of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia; Kote Eristavi of Human Rights and Monitoring Center (EMC); Jondo Arabidze of Municipal Department of Healthcare and Social Services; Nino Lominadze, Head of Housing Infrastructure Management and Development Service of Kutaisi City Hall; Sophio Mikeladze, Head of Health and Social Protection Service of Batumi City Hall; Nano Zazanashvili, representative and researcher at Urban Reactor.
Research papers on the topic: