10 Years Pass since Creation of Equality Mechanism

On May 2, 2024, 10 years have passed since the Parliament of Georgia, in accordance with the Association Agenda with the European Union, adopted the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, and within the framework of the Public Defender’s Office, a national anti-discrimination mechanism was created.

The adoption of legislation against discrimination was an important event, in terms of protection of human rights in the country, however, material and procedural-legal shortcomings were soon revealed, which hindered the implementation of the normative framework in practice. In order to improve the anti-discrimination legislation, on February 11, 2015, the Public Defender addressed the Parliament with a legislative proposal. In 2019, the mandate of the Public Defender relating to discrimination cases was significantly strengthened. Private persons have been obliged to provide information to the Public Defender, as well as to consider Public Defender’s recommendations and inform the Public Defender of the relevant results. Harassment and sexual harassment were defined as forms of discrimination in 2019 and denial of reasonable accommodation - in 2020.

  • During 10 years, the Public Defender has studied 1 363 cases of alleged discrimination, out of which, in 97 cases, proceedings were initiated on the Public Defender’s 865 cases concerned alleged discrimination in public agencies, and 498 - in private law entities. From year to year, the quantities of grounds protected from discrimination were actively changing, which, in many cases, was determined by the social, economic or political situation in a particular year;
  • The Public Defender prepared 110 recommendations and 51 general proposals;
  • In order to develop best practices and establish correct legal standards, the Public Defender filed 28 amicus curiae briefs to the common courts;
  • The Public Defender used the mechanism of third-party intervention in a case considered by the European Court of Human Rights and provided the court with information on the situation of women's equality in Georgia;
  • On April 17, 2024, the Public Defender signed a settlement act between the parties for the first time relating to the case of alleged discrimination. With the involvement of the Office, an oral hearing was held, where an agreement was reached between the parties;
  • Representatives of the Public Defender conducted about 400 information meetings and trainings and provided information on equality issues to a total of 6 500 people. The target audience included both civil servants and representatives of private companies, professional associations and various vulnerable groups, students, teachers, pupils, journalists and non-governmental organizations;
  • 12 special reports, 1 guide, 6 videos and 2 electronic training courses were prepared;
  • Within the framework of cooperation with international and local actors, in 2017 the Public Defender of Georgia became a member of the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet).

The Public Defender’s Office is grateful to all those who have contacted the Office for the examination of alleged discrimination cases over the past 10 years. In addition, the role of all international and local organizations that supported the Public Defender in protecting the rights of victims of discrimination, spreading information about equality and implementing various educational activities should be emphasized; The Public Defender expresses hope for the strengthening of cooperation with them in the future.

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