Press Release, July 5, 2021
On 6 July 2021, the 14th Annual Meeting of the EU-Georgia Dialogue on Human Rights will be held, where representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Executive and Legislative Authorities of Georgia and the Office of the Public Defender will discuss the human rights situation in Georgia.
Civil Society Vision represents an alternative assessment of the legal situation in Georgia within the framework of the Human Rights Dialogue. The document, initiated and organized by the Open Society Georgia Foundation, was sent to the EU side in June.
“Although the direct involvement of the civil society sector in the dialogue process is not envisaged, NGOs have the opportunity to participate in a pre-consultation format, both in Brussels, at the EU External Action Service, and in Tbilisi, organized by the EU Delegation,” says Vano Chkhikvadze, EU Integration Program Manager at Open Society Georgia Foundation.
During the human rights dialogue, the agreement between the partner parties focuses on such issues as: anti-discrimination policy and protection of minority rights, gender equality, combating violence against women, protection of children, labor rights, as well as the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, etc.
At the end of the dialogue, the parties usually issue a joint statement emphasizing their adherence to universally recognized human rights principles, outlining key human rights challenges in the country, as well as calls for steps to be taken to improve the situation in this or that area.
Opinions and recommendations shared by non-governmental organizations with the EU side this year concern: 1) Anti-discrimination legislation – Georgian Young Lawyers Association; 2) The human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia – Democracy Research Institute; 3) Freedom of Religion and Belief in Georgia – Tolerance and Diversity Institute; 4) Violence against women and domestic violence – Equality Now; 5) Women’s empowerment – Union “Sapari”; 6) Children’s Rights – Partnership for Human Rights; 7) Labor rights – Fair Labor Platform; 8) Torture and ill-treatment – Penal Reform International; and 9) Office of the Inspector General – The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information.
The findings of the partner organizations indicate that despite the steps taken by the government, the overall progress is uneven. All areas are characterized by a formal nature of change – reforms are carried out, but practical changes have little effect on the well-being of the beneficiaries.
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Topics and Roles of the Organizations:
Initiator and organizer of the evaluation document – OpenSociety Georgia Foundation
Anti-discrimination legislation – Georgian Young Lawyers Association
The situation of human rights in the occupied regions of Georgia – Democracy Research Institute
Freedom of Religion and Belief in Georgia – Tolerance and Diversity Institute
Violence against women and domestic violence – Equality Now
Women’s empowerment – Union “Sapari”
Children’s Rights – Partnership for Human Rights
Labor rights – Fair Labor Platform
Torture and ill-treatment – Penal Reform International
Office of the Inspector General – The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information.