Public Defender's International Advisory Board Asks Government to Provide Ombudsman’s Office with New Building

The Public Defender's International Advisory Boardmembers have sent a special letter to the Government of Georgia, where they ask for provision of a proper working environment for the Public Defender’s Office.

The letter, signed by Norwegian Helsinki Committee advisor Aage Borchgrevink, conflict and cooperation expert Jorgen Johansen, human rights expert Eva Pastrana and UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai, emphasizes the issues of safety and adaptation of the building.

"The Advisory BoardMembers hope that the Government will provide the Public Defender’s Office with a new, more convenient and safe building, since there are no appropriate working conditions in the current building due to the multitude of employees. In addition, it should be noted that the building is not adapted for people with special needs,"- reads the statement of the Advisory Board.

In December 2013, at the Public Defender’s request, the Construction, Seismic and Engineering Examination Center carried out technical examination of the building of the Public Defender’s Office located on Nino Ramishvili Street. The Center concluded that the foundation of the building was deformed and that the load-bearing structures could be significantly damaged after some time.

There are 38 small-size rooms in the 5-story building of the Public Defender’s Office, which are not enough for 118 employees.

It is impossible to fully adapt the building for people with disabilities. The building has no hall or conference rooms, where it would be possible to organize meetings. Consequently, the Office has to hire expensive halls when necessary, which requires additional expenses.

The building suffered significant damage as a result of the flood of 13 June 2015; cracks in staircases on various floors, which had been increasing in size and quantity for several years, started to more rapidly expand after the flood, which emphasizes the existing danger.

The Public Defender hopes that the Government will take every effort to ensure that the human rights institution can fulfill its statuary duties in a functionally and technically secure environment.

Woking Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00–18:00
Hot line: 1481 (24/7)