Ombudsman of Georgia Levan Ioseliani presents annual report on state of human rights

Tbilisi: The Ombudsman of Georgia, Levan Ioseliani, presented the annual report on the state of human rights and freedom protection in Georgia in 2022 to the Parliament of Georgia. The document has 347 pages, 31 chapters and two appendices. It outlines the challenges and progresses in the protection of human rights guaranteed by the constitution, as well as examines the implementation of the recommendations.

The main problems in the penitentiary system are informal management, the practice of prolonged detention in solitary cells, and access to somatic and psychiatric healthcare services. Also, the mechanism of releasing prisoners prematurely is unmanaged.

Illegal detention and improper treatment of citizens continue in the occupied territories. 69 cases of illegal “borderization” were reported in 2022. Access to education in the native language remains the most important challenge.

Challenges of the primary health care system are the shortage of nurses, old infrastructure, weak links between village doctors and other specialists, as well as the complex and fragmented system of funding of primary care facilities.

(It is welcome that as a result of the activities of the Public Defender apparatus, from May 2, 2022, the “State Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation Program” of the country has been launched in the top municipal hospitals of the country and the beneficiaries are provided with proper services. )

Among the negative events, it should be considered undoubtedly: the termination of the State Inspector’s job. Also, the fact that the Georgian parliament did not share the EU candidate status prerequisites regarding judicial reform. Preparation of the Georgian Law Draft on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” (2022) and then its initiation.

The decisions made by the Constitutional Court of Georgia raise questions regarding the independence and impartiality of the court.

Establishment of a politically neutral prosecutor’s office still remains a challenge. (Nika Gvaramia and E. S. the works of cartographers).

In recent years, there has been a tendency of further restrictions on freedom of expression in the country, including illegal interference in professional activities, damage of objects, assault, persecution, threats, handling of privacy secrets, alleged illegal attention.

In order to limit the right to assembly, administrative detention of participants of the assembly continues due to petty hooliganism and disobeying the legal request of a law enforcement officer.

The investigation into the case of violence against LGBT+ people and journalists on July 5, 2021 does not meet effective investigation standards.

Amendments to the Criminal Law Code of Georgia are particularly alarming in the context of the restriction of democratic space (e. S. The law of listening).

The process of de-institutionalization of psychiatric institutions and large-scale children’s residential institutions has begun in the country, however, it is necessary to increase the number of community services and geographical coverage area.

In the context of large institutions, it is important in the Ninotsminda pension – cases about systematic violations of children’s rights, degrading, inhumane treatment of minors equal to torture.

Significant changes have been made at the legislative level in the context of gender equality. However, the gender-motivated femicide (femicide) has not improved for years, nor has a downward trend.

Access to sexual and reproductive health services is a major challenge, especially for rural women and women with disabilities.

Poverty, and especially poverty of children, remains one of the main challenges of the country.

As per Ombudsman of Georgia, the quality and continuity of inclusive education is still an issue in the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, awareness of school staff and parents about inclusive education, employment difficulties, stigma-containing attitude by employers; at different levels, the essential participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations in decision-making process . Including the activities of local councils working on issues of persons with disabilities.

The full legal definition of homeless person and the framework legislation necessary for the realization of the right to proper housing have not yet been developed. There is no homelessness unit, and in a number of municipalities – local databases.

One of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups – 36% of elderly people are registered in the same database of socially vulnerable families. It has not been processed yet. S. Special rules for accommodation of refugees living in ruined buildings. The moving process has slowed down.

National minorities struggle to access the right to education, proportionate and equal involvement in decision-making in their state institutions, etc.

For years, the Ombudsman of Georgia has been calling for the creation of a unified policy document to fight discrimination and to achieve equality.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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