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GYLA criticizes anti-discrimination draft

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, April 11
The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) stated that the anti-discrimination draft initiated by Parliament will not cause any real changes in terms of discrimination. The organization claims that the existing version of the draft significantly differs from the one developed by the Ministry of Justice several months ago.

“The draft no longer lists the creation of a special institute for the elimination of discrimination. According to the current draft, a special institute of the Inspector for the Protection of Equality will not be formed,” GYLA states, noting that the draft prepared under the Ministry of Justice was composed with the participation of various NGOs, and representatives of different ethnic and religious minorities.

The NGO informs that through the draft the Public Defender of Georgia should ensure protection of equality.

However, the organization emphasizes that the draft does not grant additional financial, human or legal resources to the Ombudsman to effectively fulfill the obligation.

“We are especially revolted that the specific norm is removed from the draft that concerns fines towards those physical or legal entities, state or local administrations committing discrimination. Monetary sanctions are essential for disturbing discrimination from the individual who does it, and, on the other hand, fines have a preventive connotation,” the GYLA states.

Giorgi Gotsiridze, representative of the GYLA says that the draft suggests “nothing new.”

“The aim of the draft was that there was no effective anti-discrimination mechanism in Georgia. The draft initiated at Parliament has nothing in common in an effective battle against discrimination,” Gotsiridze states.

Member of the coalition Georgian Dream, Eliso Chapidze, states that the majority has questions regarding the draft.

“None of the drafts have ever been confirmed under the new Government without certain modifications and remarks. However, the idea and the step itself are very significant. There would be real legal guarantees in the country that no one will be discriminated for their beliefs and attitudes. This is a very serious step forward,” Chapidze says.

Representative of the opposition United National Movement, Sergo Ratiani, states that the process of developing the draft was not too transparent.

“I do not know the draft. However, major principles for such drafts are acceptable,” Ratiani said. The minority will support the draft. “It is important the draft to be adopted soon,” Ratiani added.