Conference: The Future of Labour Inspection in Georgia

On May 25, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia, together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), held a conference on the theme: "The future of labour inspection in Georgia." The goal of the conference was to create a space for high-ranking politicians, representatives of legislative and executive authorities, social partners and experts, where it would be possible to discuss the challenges in the labour policy, as well as the necessity and importance of effective inspection of labour conditions.

At the opening of the conference, President Giorgi Margvelashvili spoke about the difficult situation of labour rights and labour safety in the country. He pointed out that the state does not control labour rights and that they are regulated by the market. However, not only the state, but each of us should care for people and the employers must be ready to care for it too. Relations between employers and employees, as well as mutual profitable balance in this process, should be somewhat regulated the labour inspectorate.

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili said that since 2013, he had been demanding in his reports, at various levels and in various forms, establishment of effective service for regulation of labour rights. His recommendations are the same from year to year, but nothing has been changed in this direction. The only thing changed is that from 2011 to 2016, more than 270 people were killed and 776 were injured during the working process. And unfortunately, this is a problem of only the families of the dead and the injured. Labour inspectorate is not a panacea and it will not be able to eliminate all problems, but it should have the authority to effectively and independently monitor private companies, as well as the situation of labour rights and relations there, without any hindrance.

"Today we are launching a special campaign for the protection of labour rights and it will be one of the main directions in our activities. The state should create a system that will protect human life and I hope that the Government has a political will to take real steps," said the Public Defender.

Tamar Chugoshvili, First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament, noted that the Parliament will start discussion of draft amendments to the labour legislation in the nearest future.

EU ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman spoke about the necessity of establishment of an effective mechanism for the protection of labour rights and permanent control over the working conditions, healthcare and human rights situation, and expressed the hope that pursuit of a correct legislative policy would create a legislative base reinforced by international legal documents, which would simultaneously protect the interests of employees and investors.

Felix Hett, Director of FEF South Caucasus, stressed the importance of labour inspection and spoke about the EU-Georgia relations and challenges in the mentioned field.

Jolt Dudas, Senior Technical Advisor of the International Labour Organization, briefly reviewed the stages of improvement of labour legislation in the process of economic development, world practice, adoption and sharing of documents, and the culture of labour relations.

The conference was held in two sessions, during which experts discussed labour inspectorate, as a mechanism of performance of existing obligations, as well as the vision and nearest plans of the state in this direction.

Reporters and participants of the discussion talked about the absence of a state mechanism for supervising the violations of labour rights, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries in the workplace. In light of all this, the necessity of establishing an efficient labour inspectorate has become the subject of broad discussion in the society.


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