Independent expert report on Georgia’s National Human Rights Strategy for 2014-2020 finds significant achievements in legislative and policy reform and provides recommendations on better practical implementation, especially in the areas of judicial independence, media pluralism, transparent and democratic law-making and non-discrimination.
Assessing Georgia’s progress on human rights over the past six years, an international expert commissioned by the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today lauded significant achievements in legislative and policy reform, including new laws on anti-discrimination, juvenile justice, occupational safety, child rights and the protection of migrants and asylum seekers. At the same time, the expert presented a list of recommendations aimed at helping Georgia translate its notable policy achievements into better practical implementation to ensure the everyday protection of human rights. Top priorities include protecting the independence of judges and prosecutors, preventing discrimination, defending media pluralism and developing a culture of transparent, democratic law-making.
The assessment, prepared by the independent human rights expert Maggie Nicholson, covered all major areas of Georgia’s National Human Rights Strategy for 2014-2020. The report was commissioned under the joint EU-UN “Human Rights for All” programme, which was implemented over nearly four years by four UN agencies: UNDP, OHCHR, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The presentation of the expert report was followed by an account of the results of this joint programme.
“Respect for human rights is at the core of EU-Georgia relations," said Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia. "It remains our goal to continue assisting Georgia in building a society where a culture of human rights takes firm root throughout the country and for all citizens. We are looking forward to supporting the development of the next national human rights strategy here in Georgia.”
“Protecting human rights requires deeds as well as words,” said UNDP Head Louisa Vinton. “Although Georgia has made praiseworthy progress in almost all areas covered by the current strategy, much human rights business remains unfinished. Coming just a year before the strategy ends, this new assessment provides a helpful and timely roadmap for Georgia to follow in advancing its human rights journey.”
The “Human Rights for All” programme helped with implementation and monitoring of Georgia’s National Human Rights Strategy for 2014-2020 and accompanying Action Plans for 2016-2017 and 2018-2020 in areas prioritized by EU-Georgia agreements. These included the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups, internal and external oversight of law enforcement, labour rights, freedom of expression and information, the protection of privacy and personal data as well as child rights.
The EU and the four UN agencies worked hand in hand with Georgia’s government, parliament, civil society and human rights institutions to increase national capacities for the protection of human rights, adopt new legislation and improve existing policies, promote a human rights-based approach in law-making and operation of the state agencies, and advocate a culture of human rights across society. Monitoring and impartial analysis of the human rights situation in Georgia was one of the priorities of the programme. Two surveys released in 2017 and 2018 probed public perceptions on human rights, and independent assessments by expert Maggie Nicholson were commissioned in 2017 and 2019.
Independent report by the international human rights expert Maggie Nicholson
The joint EU/UN rogramme Human Rights for All