Visit of the Public Defender to the United States
On February 23-27, the Public Defender of Georgia and his Deputies held over 20 meetings in Washington and New York with heads of the US government bodies and international organizations. The Public Defender provided them with information on human rights and fundamental freedoms in Georgia. The Public Defender emphasized positive tendencies and existing challenges in this area in the country. Special interest was attracted by the process of adoption and implementation of the anti-discrimination law, human rights situation in conflict-affected regions and progress of justice reform in Georgia. At the meetings, importance of establishment of labour inspection and effective realization of labour rights in Georgia were also stressed.
“They in the United States are interested in the processes that are taking place in Georgia and namely, human rights situation and we provided detailed information on that” – said Ucha Nanuashvili after the meetings.
On February 23, in Washington, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili met with Regional Director of the International Republican Institute, Director of the Eurasia Center of the Atlantic Council, Regional Program Director of the Solidarity Center and a representative of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“Abolishment of the labour inspection does not comply with requirements of the international convention and given this, it is important to restore this institution which should ensure supervision of realization of labour rights in Georgia. We believe that participation of the Public Defender in this process is important”, - said Rudy Porter, Regional Program Director for Europe and Central Asia at the Solidarity Center.
On February 24, the Public Defender and members of the delegation met with representatives of the US Congress and the US State Department. A roundtable with the Public Defender of Georgia was organized at the State Department with participation of high-rank state officials.
Also, meetings were held with representatives of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI), Freedom House, the Eurasia Foundation and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
On February 25, the Public Defender had a meeting with Deputy to the President for Strategy and Policy of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Director of the Eurasia region. Also, a large meeting was organized with representatives of the United Stated Institute of Peace (USIP).
The Public Defender and his deputies also had a very heavy schedule for the visit to New York. On February 26, in New York, the Public Defender met with international expert in political development and strategic communications Lincoln Mitchell who follows development of events in human right area in Georgia with great interest.
“Challenges still remain in Georgia in the area of human rights. The authorities should pay more attention to protection of rights of minorities. All hate crimes should be investigated. Also, a reform in law enforcements agencies is important in order to increase trust of the population towards law enforcers. One way to achieve this is to establish civil monitoring mechanism,” – said international exert Lincoln Mitchell.
On the same day, the Public Defender met with Deputy Executive Director of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) and Deputy Director of international organization Human Rights Watch; also, representatives of the United Nations Women Organization (UN Women).
On February 27, meetings were held with Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice and Program coordinator of Open Society Foundations.
“These meetings clearly showed how much importance the strategic partner of Georgia places on adherence to high standards of human rights, principles of equality and civic values in the country; to functioning of strong democratic institutions “, - said Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili.