Public Defender’s Statement on March against Sexual Harassment

The Public Defender of Georgia is echoing the march Take Back the Night, organized by an independent group of feminists against sexual harassment, and considers it important the public to show due interest in the issue and the state to take effective steps.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a widespread practice both in the public space and workplace. Stereotypical attitude and absence of response mechanisms further deepen the problem. The rate of detection of such cases is critically low; cases of sexual harassment in the public space are especially problematic.

Despite the fact that the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, ratified in 2017, directly provides for a legislative definition of sexual harassment, the issue has not been included in the ratification package.

The Public Defender of Georgia considers that relevant legislative amendments should be made in the nearest future in order to provide the definition of sexual harassment and develop response procedures. At the same time, it is necessary to raise public awareness and take other preventive measures.

It is noteworthy that the Public Defender's Office has a policy document on the prevention of sexual harassment, which makes the Public Defender of Georgia the first state institution that promotes prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and establishes relevant response procedures. In addition, in collaboration with the UN Women, the website of Public Defender's Office offers an electronic educational course on sexual harassment in the workplace, which provides important theoretical and practical information.

The Public Defender of Georgia expresses readiness to cooperate with persons concerned, as well as to assist private and public institutions in developing sexual harassment regulations and raising awareness of employees. In addition, within the mandate granted by the legislation, the Public Defender of Georgia studies cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Any individual can apply to the Public Defender's offices, provide information electronically or via hotline 1481.

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