Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December worldwide, with this year's slogan being “Stand up for someone's rights today!”.
Georgia marks Human Rights Day
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, December 12
A special reception was dedicated to Human Rights Day in Tbilisi, organized by the Government of Georgia.
The event was attended by the diplomatic corps, government officials, Members of Parliament (MPs), the international community and NGOs. Supporters of the event were the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) within an EU funded project, Human Rights for All.
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, delivered a speech and expressed gratitude to everyone working on human rights, rule of law and democracy in the country.
“The protection of human rights and creation of institutional foundation are the most important priorities of our political agenda,” the PM stated, adding that the government had a National Strategy and Action Plan on Human Rights.
Kvirikashvili highlighted the implemented human rights reforms and added that the government would resume a review of the Third Wave of the Judiciary Reform.
Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, released a statement regarding Human Rights Day.
He says that the main ethical principle of the event –“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” - must be observed by everyone.
“We all have to understand that by protecting other people’s right we are protecting our rights too,” Margvelashvili’s statement reads.
Furthermore, the Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili, presented a report on the situation of human rights and freedoms in Georgia in 2016 to the representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations and civil society.
The report revealed that positive changes have taken place in the penitentiary system in terms of hepatitis C treatment and in terms of ill-treatment in prisons.
Criminal subculture in the facilities, poor living conditions, freedom of religion, tolerance and equality and homophobic manifestations remain problematic, according to the report.
The ombudsman stated that several fields like: violence against women, hate crime, basic human rights violations in Georgia’s Russian occupied regions, children’s rights, labor code and ill-treatment of detainees by police also needed to be improved.
Moreover, the Public Defender held an information campaign in 9 cities of Georgia on the occasion of the Human Rights Day. Within the campaign, representatives of the Public Defender's Office and the Nanuashvili himself, together with representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations, talked about human rights and freedoms of the population in order to raise the level of public awareness.