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Let’s meet Europe, Georgia

By Natalie Osipovi
Thursday, December 12
The European Union’s Special Advisor on Legal Constitution Reform and Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, spoke about the development of Human Rights in Georgia to the Let’s Meet Europe project, financed by the EU.

According to him, many negative tendencies have been observed in the latest decades in Georgia. This means that agreements that were achieved within the sphere of human rights have been neglected. The main contributing factor was not only the economic crisis, but also the activities of radically disposed groups which caused a sense of intolerance among society.

Hammarberg mainly focused on the problems of various minorities, including ethnic and religious minorities, as well as those within the LGBT community. He also touched upon the IDP issue.

“I have been in Georgia many times, mainly as the commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, and that was also the period during the 2008 August War. One problem which is still there to some extent is the situation of IDPs, who in most cases would like to go to their original homes, but cannot for political reasons. The situation is of course a matter for human rights. It’s important that possibilities are offered, different options in order to continue their lives in the most human rights- friendly way possible,” Hammarberg said.

According to Hammarberg, the system of justice also needs to be reconstructed. “The justice system itself must be impartial. There is no place for political retribution there. The same goes for the parliament. It is being chosen by people, so the main aim of its activity must be the protection of peoples’ interests,” he said.

Corruption, poverty also have some kind of the infringement of the human rights.

In order to solve all these problems, Hammarberg advises Georgia to inform society better about the Human Rights issue.

“Children should be introduced to the values of human rights at school, which will result in the formation of a well-informed society in the future,” Hammarberg mentioned.

The proper education on the human rights should also be owned by the representatives of various professions, which have direct contact with this issue in their everyday lives.

“The representatives of the media, police, courts, politics, social work, medical personal, etc. should be educated and well-informed on the question of human rights. That is the main aim of their work,” he said.

International society plays a very important role, because every standard taken on human rights has to be fitted to the international agreements.

The readiness of Georgia to cooperate significantly eases the solving of this problem.

“Our main aim is to lessen the discrimination and to make Georgian society know that every human has the right of using human rights,” Hammarberg said.