Acting Public Defender of Georgia Holds Meetings with Various Bodies of Council of Europe

On January 30-31 and February 1, 2023, the acting Public Defender of Georgia, Tamar Gvaramadze, and the Deputies of the Public Defender, Ekaterine Skhiladze and Giorgi Burjanadze, held meetings with representatives of various bodies of the Council of Europe. The purpose of the visit was to provide international partners with information about the situation of human rights and the activities implemented and planned by the Public Defender’s Office during the transitional period.

The main issues discussed at the meetings were the fulfillment of the 12 preconditions set for Georgia for receiving the EU candidate status from the perspective of human rights; as well as the protection of freedom of expression, freedom of journalists and the media in Georgia, protection of human rights in the penitentiary system and detention conditions of the third president of Georgia, rights situation in the occupied territories, socio-economic rights, issues of equality, electoral rights and participatory democracy in Georgia, challenges relating to the protection of human rights by local self-governments and human rights defenders, etc. The functioning of the Public Defender's Office at the current stage and the existing legislative framework in this regard were also topics of special interest at the meetings held with partners.

Meetings were held with representatives of the Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Heads of the Division of Cooperation on Freedom of Expression and the Media and Internet Division, Advisers to the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, the Head of the Anti-Discrimination Department, as well as the Head of the Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy, the Heads of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Directorate of External Relations.

At the meeting held with the Head and other representatives of the Department on European Social Charter, the alternative reports prepared by the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia were positively evaluated and the prospects of active continuation of cooperation between the Committee and the Office were discussed.

At the meeting with the Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Georgia and the Deputy to the Head of the Assembly's Monitoring Committee, the topic of discussion was the fulfillment of human rights obligations set for Georgia.

Another meeting was held with the Director of the Council of Europe Directorate of Programme Coordination, which was also attended by the incumbent and former heads of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia. They discussed the implementation of the Council of Europe’s strategy and action plan, as well as the stages of development of the future plan and the possibility of involvement of the Public Defender’s Office in this process. From our side, we emphasized the necessity of participation of civil society representatives in this process.

A meeting was also held with the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe, Ms. Tamar Taliashvili. At the meeting, special emphasis was placed on the possibilities of further development of cooperation between the Public Defender’s Office and the Council of Europe institutions in the direction of protection of human rights in the occupied territories of Georgia.

The Public Defender’s Office continues to actively cooperate with various bodies of the Council of Europe for better protection of human rights in the country and for using its mandate as efficiently as possible.

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