Public Defender’s General Proposal to Public Registry on Elimination of Discrimination on grounds of Religion
On December 21, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the National Agency of Public Registry with a general proposal within the framework of a case related to alleged discrimination on the ground of religion.
Examination of the case revealed that the regional offices of the National Agency of Public Registry set a requirement for the applicant religious organization, which was not provided for by law (provision of information on citizenship of its members), whereas no similar practices have been identified when reviewing the applications of other similar (including religious) organizations.
The Public Defender stressed the need for systematic training of the staff of public service providers on issues of freedom of religion and equality and called on the National Agency of Public Registry to:
- Develop guidelines for registration of land ownership by religious organizations registered as legal entities of public law
- Take proactive steps to develop an internal policy document on non-discrimination during registration proceedings, to raise awareness and to train staff of the National Agency of Public Registry on anti-discrimination standards
- Introduce an internal monitoring system to identify alleged discriminatory treatment and to respond promptly and effectively to any allegations of discrimination by staff of the National Agency of Public Registry in the future.