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Reports on Implementation of Recommendations Set Forth in Public Defender's Report 2018

6 state agencies presented their reports on the implementation of recommendations set forth in the Public Defender’s report 2018 to the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Integration of the Parliament of Georgia on June 4, 2020.

Out of 310 recommendations made to the state agencies and local self-government bodies, the Parliament of Georgia, in its resolution of September 20, 2019, gave 259 (approximately 78%) assignments to the state agencies based on 244 recommendations, which is the highest rate compared to previous years.

For the first time this year, the Public Defender presented a special report on the situation of performance of tasks by the state agencies on the basis of the resolution of the Parliament of Georgia.

Among the tasks performed by the Government of Georgia, the Public Defender positively evaluated the activation of the State Inspector's Office, as well as the opportunity provided for the blind or partially sighted people to apply to the Administration of the Government with applications made in Braille or other alternative forms.

The Public Defender termed the internship programme aimed at increasing representation of national minorities in the state agencies, which involved 294 young people in 2019, as partially implemented. Among the unfulfilled tasks is the non-approval of the state programme on measures aimed at reducing atmospheric air pollution.

In relation to the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, the Public Defender stressed the unsatisfactory level of cooperation and noted that the Ministry of Justice did not respond to a number of letters sent by the Public Defender for the purpose of assessing the quality of implementation of the parliamentary tasks. The Public Defender's Office assessed the performance of tasks by the Ministry through other sources.

The amendment carried out on the basis of the order of the Minister of Justice has been implemented, according to which, the term of keeping video recordings in the penitentiary institutions was set at 30 days. In addition, screening for non-communicable diseases has been provided.

However, Establishment No 15 is still overcrowded; the barracks-type buildings have not yet been abolished at Establishment No 17. Despite the assignment given by the Parliament, convicts still do not have the right to express their opinions during risk assessment. The term of placement in the de-escalation room has not been reduced from 72 to 24 hours either.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Georgia was instructed by the Parliament of Georgia to conduct an effective, thorough, timely and transparent investigation into the proportionality of the use of force against Temirlan Machalikashvili. After examining the case materials, the Public Defender found that the investigation contained significant deficiencies. Inter alia, no necessary investigative actions were carried out. The Prosecutor’s Office did not provide information to the public about the results of the official inquiry into the Khorava Street murder case either.

The Public Defender positively assessed the access to the materials of Ivane Merabishvili's case. She also welcomed the ongoing investigation into the cases of violence against women and domestic violence, as well as the trend of searching materials about the preconditions of violence. The Public Defender considers that the tasks in this direction have been performed.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is among the state agencies the rate of performance of parliamentary tasks of which is higher than the rate of non-performed tasks.

During the reporting period, medical centers were opened in 4 temporary isolators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In addition, the quality of documenting the injuries of persons placed in the isolators has been improved.

However, it should be noted that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not equipped the employees of territorial bodies with improved body cameras. It has not taken appropriate measures to prevent violent acts during rallies or counter rallies either. No guidelines have been developed for questioning victims of violence, including victims of sexual violence, so that to protect them from repeated victimization.

Much of the tasks performed by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs were related to mental health issues. The Ministry has not carried out regular or systematic monitoring of psychiatric institutions.

The Public Defender assessed the provision of constant supervision over the needs of juveniles in state care by social workers as partially fulfilled.

In the reporting period, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia did not establish an effective mechanism of school response to the student's failure to attend classes for 90 days in a row. In addition, no clear rules or conditions have been developed for issuing necessary permits for delivering lectures, seminars or trainings in public education institutions. The problems related to the enrollment of inmates of juvenile rehabilitation institution No 11 in the public school remain unresolved.

The Public Defender positively assessed the increase in the number of psychological service centers under the School Resource Officer’s Service, as well as the increased funding for students with special educational needs.

At the end, the Public Defender said that despite some progress, the performance of the state agencies, given the dynamics of the implementation of parliamentary tasks, was not satisfactory. Given the importance of the issue, the Public Defender is ready to be constantly involved in the process and share her knowledge and expertise with all stakeholders.

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