Membership in International Organizations
The Public Defender’s Office is a member of the following international and regional organizations:
1. The Global Aliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Established in 1993, and previously known as the Human Rights International Coordinating Committee (ICC), the Global Alliance of NHRIs promotes the role of NHRIs worldwide, providing a forum for its members to interact and exchange, as well as facilitating their engagement with international organizations.
The Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions is an international association, which unites human rights institutions from 4 regions - Africa, America, Asia and Europe. The alliance is managed by a bureau composed of four institutions (A status accredited) from each region. The Public Defender of Georgia, together with human rights national institutions of Germany, Finland and Croatia, was elected as a representative of the European region for a three-year term on 22 March 2016.
- Croatia - Office of the Ombudswoman of Croatia
- Finland - Finnish Human Rights Centre/Finnish NHRI
- Georgia - Office of Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia
- Germany - German Institute for Human Rights
GAHNRI facilitates and supports NHRI engagement with the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies; Encourages cooperation and information sharing among NHRIs, including through an annual meeting and biennial conference; Undertakes accreditation of NHRIs in accordance with the Paris Principles; Offers capacity building in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR); Assists NHRIs under threat and If requested, can assist government to establish NHRIs.
2. European Ombudsman Institute (EOI)
The EOI is an independent, non-profit association for European ombudsmen, whose aim is to spread the idea Ombudman and promote. This is done by scientific treatment and research in the field of human rights, Focuses on the for promotion of exchange of experience at national, european and international levels, by taking an active role in the development of social, economic and cultural rights, by the collaboration with local, regional, national and international institutions with the same or similar of similar objectives. The EOI maintains as its cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, the European Ombudsman and other international institutions with the objective of for promotion and safeguarding of human rights.
3. European Network of National Human Rights Institution (ENNHRI)
The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) is a membership international not-for-profit association (AISBL) under Belgian law. In 2013 it established its Permanent Secretariat in Brussels bringing together National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from across the wider European region. ENNHRI has been actively working in the field of promotion and protection of human rights in wider Europe for 15 years. ENNHRI essentially assists in the establishment and accreditation of European NHRIs, coordinates the exchange of information and best practices among its members, facilitates capacity building and training, engages with international and regional mechanisms for protection and promotion of human right and intervenes on legal and policy developments in Europe.
European Coordination Committee (ECC)
ENNHRI’s governing body is the European Coordinating Committee (ECC), which comprises a group of NHRIs elected from amongst ENNHRI’s members and led by its Chair. The ECC, along with ENNHRI’S Permanent Secretariat, is responsible for ENNHRI’s management and administration.
ENNHRI’s Finance Committee, led by its Chair, oversees ENNHRI’s financial situation and fundraising and makes proposals to the ECC and General Assembly to strengthen ENNHRI’s financial outlook. The FC also advises the Secretariat on financial administration and makes recommendations on membership fee waiver applications.
Finance Committee Members
- Belgian Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities (UNIA);
- Great Britain - Equality and Human Rights Commission;
- Georgia - Office of Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia (for second term).
4. European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC)
The European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) is a not-for-profit association of independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs). Its mandate is to facilitate the promotion and protection of the rights of children, as formulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
ENOC wants to establish links and share information and strategies with independent children’s rights institutions – children’s ombudspersons, commissioners for children, or focal points on children’s rights in national human rights institutions or general ombudsman offices.
On March 29, 2018, by the decision of the Board of the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC), the Public Defender's Office of Georgia became a full member of the organization.
5. International Ombudsman Institute (IOI)
The International Ombudsman Institute (I.O.I.) was established in 1978 as an independent global organisation to help more than 150 independent public sector local, regional and national Ombudsman institutions to cooperate. Typically these organizations handle complaints from the public about the public administration in their country, protecting people against violations of their rights.
The International Ombudsman Institute is organised in regional chapters in Africa, Asia, Australasia & Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, and North America. The organisation has three working languages, English, French and Spanish. The General Secretariat is located in Austria, Vienna and is run by the Austrian Ombudsman Board.
6. Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen (AMO)
The Association of Mediterranean Obudsmen was created on the 19th december 2008 at Marseilles on the occasion of the 2nd meeting of the Mediterranean network of Ombudsmen.
The association and its members are commited to promote the mediterranean space the defense of: democracy, rule of law,social peace. Also the association wants to spread: the respect of national and international texts related to Human Rights, the Universal Declarationof Human Rights and finally Rabat declaration.
This association includes institutions, ombudsmen and mediators. Are included also: some national Human Rights institutions in the mediterranean basin and other international organisations that support the same missions as that of the association.
7. Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA)
The Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) was established on April 16, 1996 as a non-governmental, non-political, independent and professional forum for Ombudsmen in Asia. The idea to form the AOA surfaced In 1995, during the meeting of the Board of Directors of International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), where it was emphasized that Asia should organize a regional body for promoting the principles and practices of Ombudsmanship. Pakistan, supported by China took the initiative to establish the AOA and the then Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) of Pakistan, Justice Abdul Shakurul Salam, was elected as the first Chairman of the Board.
The AOA currently has 34 members from 17 countries and is governed by a Nine-member Board of Directors.
8. The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia has an observer’s status in European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET)
Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, brings together 45 organizations from 33 European countries, which are empowered to counteract discrimination as national equality bodies across the range of grounds including age, disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.
Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies promotes equality in Europe through supporting and enabling the work of national equality bodies. It supports equality bodies to be independent and effective as valuable catalysts for more equal societies.
9. The International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) was established
The International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) was established in 2009 and has been taking place annually ever since. The aim of ICOAF is to enhance the role of ombuds institutions in the sphere of human rights protection in defense.
ICOAF gathers representatives from Ombuds organizations with various mandates from around the world. The Public Defender of Georgia is among 52 participating institutions.
Additionally, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the European Organisation of Military Associations (EUROMIL), are participating in ICOAF conferences as observers.
The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces is the main supporter and the organizer of the ICOAF.