25 July 2024,   18:04
Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee heard the report of the Public Defender of Georgia

The Committee heard the Report of the Public Defender of Georgia On the Situation of Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia for 2023, introduced by the Ombudsman. According to Levan Ioseliani, the Report features the progress and challenges in human rights protection, as well as the recommendations and proposals issued by the Ombudsman.

“4849 applications about the facts of human rights violations were submitted to the Office of Public Defender during the reporting period, to which, the respective response has been ensured. 17,567 calls were received on hotline. The Office has issued 79 recommendations to the state agencies, developed 10 special reports and 3 alternative reports, submitted to international organizations. 3 constitutional claims have been developed, 23 amicus curiae and 3 communications for the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe”, - he said.

In view of the identification of the offenses and challenges, the PD Office has served numerous visits to various institutions. Ioseliani accentuated the fulfillment of the recommendations issued in 2023. Per his assessment, the state of the fulfillment remains non-satisfactory. In 2022, the PD issued 281 recommendations to the state agencies and municipal bodies and 63 proposals to the Parliament and the President: “11% of the issued recommendations have been fulfilled in full, 19% - partially, and 52% - pending; 6% of the recommendations were not fulfilled due to the failure of the agency to submit information, and 10% - failed on the reasonable ground”.

Levan Ioseliani outlined the human rights tendencies, requiring the due and timely response of the government in 2023. He overviewed the facts of the ill-treatment in the penitentiary departments, the Interior Ministry system, mental clinics, and shelters and accommodations for persons with mental disorders.

He introduced information about the violations of the freedoms and safety rights. According to him, the situation in the penitentiaries constitutes an acute challenge. The Ombudsman concentrated on illicit detention and ill-treatment of the citizens on the occupied territories. Per his information, the accessibility of the national minorities to education rights remains a problem. The report included the violations in gender equality direction and the facts of femicide.

“In 2023, the Office detected 24 facts of femicide and 27 facts of the attempted murder of women. I would like to express my alarm about the murder of 4 women in May 2024. The horrendous facts of violence deprive us not only of children, mothers and sisters but undermine the security and equality rights, the adherence to which is the universal obligation. If we sum up these two figures, we will envision that one woman is murdered or physically abused per week in 2023, which is of utmost alert, requiring urgent response.

Poverty lingers as one of the acute challenges and the grave socio-economic situation in the country negatively affects the human rights stage.

As for child poverty, the number of children registered in the database of socially vulnerable families increased by 5.2% compared to preceding years; the indicator of those who are socially vulnerable and living below the poverty line is high among the elderly population. The recognition of the rights of the elderly as a priority direction in the 2024-2026 Action Plan on Human Rights is a positive development, however, it is imperative to timely undertake respective activities in addressing the lingering problems”, - said the Ombudsman.