Georgia’s Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan presented

"Presentation of the State Strategy and Action Plan on Human Rights.", 13 Feb 2014 - 19:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

A seven-year document highlighting state priorities and strategies regarding the protection of human rights is complete.

The Government's 2014-2020 Action Plan focused on physical and personal liberty as well as political and social-economic rights.

Today, the The State Strategy and Action Plan on Human Rights was presented by the Georgian Government to journalists, non-Government organisations, human rights protectors and other guests.

The Action Plan was created by the Georgian Government with assistance from the European Union, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Tamar Chugoshvili, Assistant to the Prime Minister on Human Rights and Gender Equality Issues, presented the Action Plan, which describes the Government’s activities in 2014-2015 in the area of human rights. The Action Plan is a flexible and dynamic document and will shortly be approved by the Government of Georgia.

Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani, Head of the United Nations in Georgia Niels Scott and EU Special Adviser on Constitutional and Legal Reform and Human Rights in Georgia Thomas Hammarberg were board representatives at the conferences and addressed participants at the opening session.

PM Garibashvili said standards of European countries should be a guideline for Georgia in the field of human rights.

"Protection of human rights is a priority of Georgia’s Government,” Garibashvili said in his address.

"We are very pleased that today we are meeting to discuss the most important issues, such as human rights. This is the foundation on which a European-style state stands and we are especially proud that we are starting to build democracy in our country with this,” the PM announced.

He believed a "very important first step” had been taken by Georgia in the presentation of the Government’s national strategy and action plan for human rights.

‘’The Interagency Council and the Secretariat, which had been working on this topic, said documents had already been written up and would be sent to the Government and Parliament for approval.

"Our foreign partners and civil society representatives were actively engaged in the elaboration of these documents”, Garibashvili said.

Meanwhile, Head of the United Nations in Georgia Neils Scott said Georgia had progressed in the field of protection of human rights and discussions on how to implement the strategy and action plan will continue in the future, he said.

At today’s conference, Hammarberg said protecting human rights a serious issue.

"This is not only ‘beautiful writing’ on the paper [but] it required harsh implementation. Another important issue is consultation between ministries, including General Prosecutor's Office. Therefore, an explanation to civilians about what human rights means is very vital too,” Hammargerg stated.

"The Government should not interfere in people’s private lives, it should protect their dignity, and women should enjoy the same rights enjoyed by men. I should necessarily mention the freedom of assembly and minority rights. They too should be protected by the state,” he said.

The preparations for developing the National Strategy and Action Plan in Human Rights were launched by the Government last December.

The Government is set to approve the Strategy before it will be sent to Parliament for further approval.