Safe and Healthy Labour Conditions to be Monitored in Public Defender’s Tbilisi and Batumi Offices

The Public Defender has been recommending the Government of Georgia to establish an effective mechanism for monitoring labour conditions for years. He has been emphasizing the necessity for similar monitoring not only in harmful and dangerous workplaces, but in other public services as well. At the same time, it is important the inspection mechanism to be authorized to enter all facilities without prior notification or permit, including without a court order.

The current legislative framework does not oblige institutions to let representatives of the Labour Conditions Inspection Department to conduct inspection, which degrades the efficiency of the mechanism. Therefore, in order to show an example to other public agencies, the Public Defender of Georgia has agreed to allow the Labour Conditions Inspection Department to inspect labour conditions in the Tbilisi office of the Public Defender and sent a corresponding letter to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. In addition, the Public Defender requested inspection in the Batumi office.

The Public Defender of Georgia has repeatedly appealed to the Government of Georgia with regard to the grave and insecure working conditions in the Tbilisi office of the Public Defender of Georgia since 2013. In particular, the Public Defender requested allocation of a proper building within the law, though the request has not been satisfied so far. An appeal sent to the Prime Minister of Georgia on 29 January 2016 and the report of Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau of 30 December 2013 indicate that the foundation of the Public Defender's Office, located on Nino Ramishvili Street, is deformed, the bearing constructions are at risk of being seriously damaged, and therefore, the building is not safe. The appeal sent to the Prime Minister also says that a library and a dining room have in fact been canceled in the office due to the lack of work space, while part of the staff have to work in semi-cellar type rooms.

Inspection of labour conditions by the Labour Conditions Inspection Department is important in the Public Defender's Batumi office as well, as working conditions are hard and insecure there too.

The Public Defender expresses hope that the report prepared by the Labour Conditions Inspection Department will be another basis for allocation of an adequate and safe building for the Public Defender's Tbilisi office, which will not endanger the life and health of the employees.

Herein, we remind the public that the Public Defender of Georgia launched informational campaign Make Labour Safe on September 11, 2017, in order to advocate the protection of labour rights and creation of safe working atmosphere. Within the framework of the campaign, the Public Defender underlined the challenges, needs and required changes in relation to the labour policy. Seminars were held journalists, various types of printed informational materials were published and meetings were held with the employees. The Public Defender's representative is also involved in the group working on the amendments to the draft labour safety law, where the Public Defender presented his remarks and opinions.

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