Public Defender's Statement on 6th Anniversary of Adoption of Anti-Discrimination Law
On May 2, 6 years have passed since the adoption of the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, which has enabled many people to be protect their rights effectively. The law defined the authority of the Public Defender and the court, and on the other hand, it gave rise to a discussion about equality in the society.
The Public Defender, as an equality body, has considered more than 800 cases of discrimination and has made more than 100 decisions since the adoption of the law, which were related to effective implementation of the right of children with disabilities to education, reinstatement of dismissed pregnant women, enrollment of non-citizens of Georgia in the hepatitis C elimination programme, introduction of a sexual harassment complaints mechanism, etc.
The practice of the Public Defender shows that the positive results achieved by the adoption of the law cannot be equally enjoyed by all groups. Negative prejudices, stigmas and discriminatory practices have a particularly serious impact on the rights situation of specific groups, such as women, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities and members of the LGBT+ community.
Despite the adoption of the law, there are many challenges in terms of achieving equality in Georgia. In this regard, it is necessary that the following be done:
- A state policy tailored to the needs of specific groups should be introduced;
- High political officials should make statements in support of equality;
- The private sector and other members of society should realize the legal and social responsibilities imposed on them in the process of eliminating discrimination.
In order to raise public awareness of protection mechanisms, representatives of the Public Defender of Georgia held about 500 informational and educational meetings. The Public Defender of Georgia continues to work actively to promote equality in Georgia.