Public Defender’s Recommendation on Access to Social Programs for Persons with Residence Permits
On October 5, 2017, the Public Defender addressed the Government of Georgia and the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia with regard to the case of discrimination on grounds of nationality.
According to the factual circumstances of the case, the applicant has a permanent residence permit in Georgia, but he/she cannot enjoy the state program on hepatitis C for not being a citizen of Georgia.
The Public Defender notes in his recommendation that in terms of the purposes of social benefits, the citizens of Georgia and the persons with permanent residence permits are essentially in the same situation, as the persons with residence permit equally pay taxes established by the law and contribute to the welfare of the community; therefore, the state should not treat them like temporary visitors.
The Public Defender urged the Ministry to ensure the enjoyment of the state program on hepatitis C by the applicant in a reasonable period of time. He also called on the Government of Georgia to make amendments to the mentioned program so that the existing social, economic and healthcare programs are made available for the persons with residence permit on an equal basis with the citizens of Georgia and to observe the principle of equality in planning and developing state programs in the future.