On Monday, diplomatic missions in Georgia emphasised the Georgian government’s responsibility to protect LGBTQI+ people’s right to peaceful assembly, to prevent discrimination and violence, and to commemorate IDAHOBIT, the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, “openly and publicly.”
This joint statement was published by the United Nations in Georgia, the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Austria, the United States, New Zealand, Belgium, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, the embassies of Japan, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, France, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, noted LGBTQI+ persons remained among the “least safe” and “most marginalised” in Georgia, stating “they face discrimination and brutality, which often are underreported, while the protection and realisation of their rights remain a challenge.”
On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we once again express our support and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gay and intersex (LGBTQ +) community in Georgia. LGBTQ + people are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in Georgian society.
We regret that, as in previous years, security considerations prevent Georgian citizens from openly expressing solidarity with the LGBTQ + community and raising their voices against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. We would like to emphasize that the Georgian Government has an obligation to protect the right to peaceful assembly, to prevent discrimination and violence, and to ensure that citizens can openly and publicly celebrate IDAHOBIT, with due regard for their rights and security.
It has not escaped our attention that several participants in the Tbilisi Pride events July 5, 2021, the march of dignity, and the violence against LGBTQ + people and the media were sentenced to imprisonment. We call on the authorities to prosecute all instigators and perpetrators of violence.
At the same time, we would like to note that the growing number of Georgian citizens supports diversity and believes that the protection of the rights of LGBTQ + individuals is important. According to the latest data, the number of people in Georgia who consider it unacceptable to restrict the right of assembly and expression for LGBTQ + communities is unacceptable and believe that the state does not respond properly to violence and discrimination against LGBTQ + individuals.
State policy and practice must be in line with both Georgia’s international obligations and this social change. LGBTQ + rights must be effectively and adequately protected, including through the National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan. It is also necessary to strengthen social protection and support vulnerable members of the LGBTQ + community in painful issues such as food insecurity, the growing risk of homelessness and difficulties in accessing health care.
We call on the state, political, civic and religious leaders of Georgia to make every effort to combat discrimination, stigmatization and violence, including through respectful and compassionate public speeches and through constructive dialogue with the LGBTQ + community.
We stand together for the protection of human rights so that everyone can live in safety and dignity, in a free and equal environment, and we continue to support the Georgian people in building an equal society that strengthens and protects all its members.