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Public Defender initiates labor safety campaign

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, May 26
The Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili, has started a special campaign on labor safety issues, which envisages the creation of an effective labor inspection in the country.

The conference was attended by the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, the European Union Ambassador to Georgia, Janos Herman, and representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the executive authorities.

The Ombudsman said that labor safety and labor rights will be one of the main directions of the Public Defender's Office.

Nanuashvili stressed that in the period of 2011-2016, more than 270 people died and 776 were injured due to improper working conditions.

“These are very sad statistics, and unfortunately the government has not made any concrete steps to improve the situation,” he added.

The Public Defender believes that a real labor inspection should be created, and it must be able to inspect all enterprises without permission.

“We should be achieve this result step-by-step, and create an effective labor inspection in order to improve labor rights. From now on we will be everywhere where human lives and health are in danger,” said Nanuashvili.

EU Ambassador Herman says that proper working conditions are very important in ensuring human rights protection.

“The EU supports the introduction of labor inspection in Georgia. We know this will not prevent all incidents, but it will improve working conditions,” he stated.

President Margvelashvili also delivered a speech at the conference. He said the country should come to such a standard where labor rights will be protected without employers’ interests being affected.

“Even if the state has no such standards, the employers should have an unwritten, human responsibility – to create such working conditions for their employees that will not affect their dignity, health and lives. In the current situation creation of labor inspection is of utmost importance,” the President stressed.

The Vice-Speaker of Parliament and a member of the ruling party, Georgian Dream (GD), Tamar Chugoshvili, says that the remarks over the country's labor standards are fair.

She said that the government will initiate the issue at the spring plenary session of Parliament.

The issue of creating an effective labor inspection became active after four miners died in the Tkibuli mine earlier this month.