Deputies of Public Defender Hold Official Meetings in Council of Europe
Within the framework of the official visit of the Public Defender of Georgia to the Council of Europe, Tamar Gvaramadze and Ekaterine Skhiladze, Deputies of the Public Defender of Georgia, held meetings in Strasbourg on January 25-27, 2022.
At the meeting with David Milner, Head of the Human Rights Intergovernmental Cooperation Division and Secretary of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), the Deputies of the Public Defender discussed the effective implementation of the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe relating to national human rights institutions.
Tamar Gvaramadze talked with Jan Malinowski,Headof theDepartmentof theEuropean Social Charter, and representatives of the Department, about the protection of socio-economic rights as one of the priorities of the Public Defender's Office, current activities and future plans. The meeting focused on the Council of Europe project - "Strengthening Protection of Social and Economic Rights in Georgia" and the involvement of the Public Defender's Office in this project.
The importance of the HELP courses of the Council of Europe and the courses interesting for the staff of the Public Defender's Office were discussed at the meeting with Eva Pastrana, Head of the Justice and Human Rights Training Division.
The rights situation of asylum seekers in Georgia and the activities carried out by the Public Defender's Office in this direction were discussed with Leyla Kayacik, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees.
Freedom of expression, use of hate speech and independence of the media, as well as offences committed against journalists were the issues discussed by the Deputies of the Public Defender at the meeting with ArtemizaChisca, Head of theInformation and Media Department of the Council of Europe.
The implementation of the Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine was discussed with Laurence Lwoff, Head ofthe BioethicsUnit and Secretary of the Bioethics Committee. The parties discussed new projects and cooperation prospects for strengthening the capabilities of the Public Defender's Office.
At the meeting with Claudia Luciani, Director of Human Dignity, Equality and Governance of the Directorate General of the Council of Europe, and Cornelia Perlas, Senior Adviser at the Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy, the Deputies of the Public Defender discussed activities under the project “Strengthening Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at Local Level in Georgia" and the opportunities for the involvement of the Office, as well as the human rights challenges in the regions.
Meetings were also held with MaritéMoras, Head of the Cooperation and External Relations Unit of the CongressofLocalandRegional Authoritiesof theCouncilofEurope, and representatives of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the No Hate Speech Unit and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit of the Directorate of Anti-discrimination of the Council of Europe. The topics of discussion were the situation of equality in Georgia, the events of July 5, freedom of religion, investigation of hate crimes, use of hate speech, problems faced by the LGBT+ community, etc.