Public Defender Sends Letter of Invitation to Joseph Cannatacithe, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Privacy

For the purpose of overcoming the challenges in the field of protection of privacy in the country, the Public Defender sent a letter of invitation toMr.Joseph Cannatacithe, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. The aim of the invitation is to study individual, as well as broader and systemic violations of human rights and to develop a response mechanism.

The right to privacy is enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia. In addition, it represents one of the key elements in the Government’s human rights strategy for 2014-2020, though despite the legislative safeguards, the issue is still problematic in modern Georgia.

In the letter of invitation, the Public Defender reviewed the positive and negative trends in terms of protection of the right to privacy in the country, as well as the importance of setting up the office of the personal data protection inspector. He also noted that notwithstanding the adoption of the new law, the issues of effectiveness of the legislative regulations concerning wiretapping and provision of its control mechanism were still on the agenda.

The letter also refers to the information campaign - The Self-timer Is Turned On, launched by the Public Defender for the purpose of quick and effective investigation of the release of videos showing private life in March 2016. It should be noted that even though a year has passed since the launch of the campaign, the individuals, who released the videos, have not been identified so far. Protection of the right to privacy and impunity of perpetrators are still problematic in the country.

Special Rapporteur's visit is an important tool, which allows the mandate holder to give an overall assessment of the human rights situation and/or specific institutional, legal, judicial or administrative situation in the country. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur meets with representatives of the Government, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the United Nations agencies in the country, victims of human rights violations, journalists, as well as representatives of academic and diplomatic circles, in order develop recommendations, which will be then published in the public report. The Public Defender hopes that in case of successful cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur, the responsible parties will take more effective measures, which will contribute to full realization of the right to privacy in the country.

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