Georgia - Twenty Third Session - 2015


10 November 2015- 9:00 - 12:30



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National Report

Compilation of UN Information 

Stakeholder Information 

Accepted and Rejected Recomendations


National Report

III. Human rights situation in the occupied territories

15. The occupation line, illegally established by the occupying power, prevents several hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees from returning to places of their permanent residence in safety, dignity and security. In the spring of 2011, the Russian occupation forces intensified the process of the installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial obstacles along the occupation lines in Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia (placed in 2009). This process has been further intensified since January 2013 and is still ongoing. Currently, the total length of artificial barriers along the occupation lines is 63 km. In some segments, the barbed wire fence and the so called “border signs” have intruded into territory controlled by the Government of Georgia, thus extending the area of occupation. Russia continues to place undue restrictions on the local population wishing to cross the occupation line2 that often runs through their orchards, yards, grazing fields, agricultural plots and cemeteries. People are regularly detained by Russian FSB border guards for so called “illegal border crossings” while the operating crossing points along the occupation line allow crossings only to individuals having one of the types of “documents” recognized by the occupying power and based on vague criteria as to the validity of these documents.3 Those unable to present those documents or show up at the crossing point out of working hours, are denied the right to cross, often leading to casualties among those locals, including children and women, seeking urgent medical treatment. In 2012 towards the Tskhinvali direction only 110 people were arrested for the mentioned reasons. In 2013 (January-October 1 period) alone about 2000 people were arrested in the Abkhazian direction. In 2014 (January-October 1 period), this number reached nearly 3000. In 2013 as well as in 2014 the number reached 142 people per year. Since the beginning of 2015 until April/2015 in total 19 persons were detained for the same reasons.

16. Human rights violations occurring in the occupied territories on a frequent basis include but are not limited to: kidnappings, robberies and assaults, violation of the right to life, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions of ethnic Georgians, systematic and gross violations of property rights, restriction of freedom of movement, the restriction of the ethnic Georgian school children to receive education in their native language. Information on concrete cases of severe human rights violations on the occupied territories is provided in the annex of the report.

IV. Promotion and protection achievements and challenges

23. One of the main objectives of the Commission is to promote the determination of IHL programs and various educational activities in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On 15 July 2014, the Commission approved the 2014- 2015 Action Plan, envisaging inter alia the dissemination of the IHL’s principles among target groups (journalists, teachers, schoolchildren, doctors, etc), training the personnel of the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces on IHL and providing information regarding the civilian population and objects. The main objective of the 2014-15 Action Plan is to ensure compliance of Georgian legislation with international obligations. With this objective, the Action Plan envisages the integration of the IHL and the IHRL norms into the manuals and doctrines of the armed forces.

6. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees

57. Various activities for strengthening the integration process of the refugees and humanitarian status holders have been implemented, based on the National Migration Strategy of Georgia for 2013-2015 and the Action Plan. According to Georgian legislation, in the field of education and healthcare, asylum-seekers, as refugee or humanitarian status holders, enjoy the same rights as citizens of Georgia. The vulnerable category of asylum seekers and humanitarian and refugee status holders are provided with financial support for renting accommodation. In accordance with the Law of Georgia on the State Budget of 2015, persons holding refugee or humanitarian status are granted a monthly allowance consisting of GEL 45.

60. The Law of Georgia on Combating Trafficking was amended in accordance with the recommendations of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) in April 2012. In particular, the new chapter inserted in the Law refers to the social and legal protection, assistance and rehabilitation of child victims. In May 2014, amendments to the Criminal Code of Georgia and Law on Combating Trafficking were introduced, providing a more clear definition of the term “exploitation”.

8. Rights of the child

63. The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with UNICEF and the EU completed working on the first ever standalone juvenile justice law (Juvenile Justice Code) based on the UNODC Model Law on Juvenile Justice and Related Commentary, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international standards. The aim of the Juvenile Justice Code is to fully incorporate into the legislation the best interests of the child and other principles of juvenile justice enshrined in the CRC and relevant international standards, to expand the alternatives to criminal prosecution, such as diversion and mediation, and to diversify the sanctions available to the judge to ensure that detention and imprisonment are used only as a last resort. The draft Juvenile Justice Code was adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on 12 June 2015.

64. The Public Service Development Agency of the Ministry of Justice collaborates with the Social Service Agency in order to introduce the relevant amendments in legislation to create temporary identification documents for children living and working in the streets. Nowadays most street children have no identification or citizenship, so the Social Service Agency is not able to provide health care and educational services for these children. As a result of the amendments, the state will be able to provide a temporary identification document for street children, until their citizenship and legal status is determined.

65. The Government continues the deinstitutionalization course in the field of child welfare, through replacement of the large institutions with alternative, family type services and promotes development services for homeless children and children with disabilities. Since 2013, the Government has increased a financial aid package for children with disabilities and survivors. Access to the social care programs has been significantly increased.

66. In order to ensure quality of services, respective Standards have been elaborated on the basis of which permanent/systematic monitoring and quality control is carried out.

67. In 2014, within the framework of a state social program, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia launched the Emergency Assistance Sub-program for Families with Children in a Critical Situation in order to satisfy their urgent needs. The program budget amounts to 1,000,000 GEL which enables the state to give material support food, hygienic materials, and home appliances to the value of 1000 GEL to each family in need.

68. In order to ensure access to an adequate healthcare service to children, starting from September 2012, the country has provided health insurance coverage to all children from 0 to 6, as well as to disabled children up to the age of 18. Furthermore, all publicly financed healthcare services include special benefits in terms of reduced or no deductible requirement for services rendered to children benefiting from those programs.

69. The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is responsible for providing a child friendly quality educational policy, in order to envisage the principles of the best interests of children and raise them as fully-fledged citizens. The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is dedicated to ensure the accessibility and the quality of the education system. For this purpose the Ministry is collaborating with local and international organizations: UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, USAID, MCC and many others.

70. The Georgian law on General Education (approved by Parliament April 8, 2005 of Georgia) ensures free general education for students at all public schools in Georgia. Educational institutions are open to all children regardless of their race, skin color, religion, language, national and ethnic and social belonging. To ensure that all children have the possibility to access educational institutions and have quality education, the following decisions were made recently, for example:

  • The National Curriculum has been revised according to the main principles of modern education. Together with traditional subjects the National Curriculum also covers civic education, human rights, non-discrimination, tolerance, cultural diversity, ecology, safety and protection, disaster risk reduction and other themes important for further personal, social and professional development. 
  • An inclusive education is given in all schools of Georgia; supporting children with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Integrated classes have been also opened in several schools to help SEN children to integrate with their peers and to receive education. An alternative curriculum is prepared for children with severe and profound mental disabilities. National compulsory exams are also adapted for those who have special educational needs. 
  • The Social Inclusion Program aims to support vulnerable children by including them in formal education through a social inclusion program. Program beneficiaries are children with special educational needs such as Roma, Meskhetians, and children without citizenship who have problems being integrated into the formal education system. 
  • The Ministry of Education and Science elaborated a policy for second chance education for children living and working in the streets and other vulnerable children. In 2014, a study was conducted to identify the main challenges preventing inclusion in formal education of street children. From 2015 it is planned to start piloting the integration of an education component into daycare centers as well as the preparation of a specific curriculum framework. 
  • The Ministry of Education and Science is working hard to ensure ethnic minority children are included and can benefit fully in educational institutions. For this purpose the Ministry carries out a number of activities and tailored program, on the one hand to retain their identity and on the other hand, to support the process of teaching the official language to ethnic minorities to support their integration into the state social, cultural and economic life. 

75. In December, 2012 the Georgian Government started a systemic and conceptual review of the Labour Code of Georgia with the aim of bringing its labour laws in full compliance with the international labour conventions and to incorporate the best international practices, thus significantly enhancing the protection of women’s rights. Maternity leave policy has been improved, both in terms of remuneration (from GEL 600 to 1000) and lengths (from 4 to 6 months). In addition, the Labour Code guarantees that the working overtime of pregnant women or of women having recently given birth is prohibited. Furthermore, the Labour Code ensures maternity childcare, newborn adoption and extra maternity or child care leave of absence. In addition, terminating labour relations shall be inadmissible during the period after notifying her employer of her pregnancy by a female employee.

11. Rights of ethnic minorities

80. The Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality coordinates the process of the implementation of state policy towards ethnic minorities. The National Concept for Tolerance and Civic Integration and respective Action Plan for 2009-2014 expired in 2014; therefore, the Office of the State Minister elaborated a new Civic Equality and Integration Strategy and Action Plan for 2015-2020. The new policy document is based on the results obtained due to the implementation of the previous strategy. The new civic integration strategy is based on a more diverse, and more integrated approach and aims at: contributing to the provision of equality; ensuring ethnic minorities’ full-fledged participation in all spheres of public life; preservation of their culture and identity. Each of these directives implies a state language component and also a gender approach. The new strategy will be especially special focused on the protection of the culture of small minorities as well as on the socio-economic integration of Roma and their access to education.19 Prior to the submission for adoption of the document to the Georgian government, it was actively considered and discussed by different actors, including target groups.

81. According to 2013 data, there are 213 non-Georgian language schools and 77 non- Georgian language sectors functioning in Georgia. Textbook approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia in all subject areas throughout I-VI grades are translated into Armenian, Russian and Azeri languages. All learning materials to all minority school students are delivered for free by the state. The “4+1 program” envisages the introduction of the mitigation system, the so-called quota system, for national minority students. At the same time Georgian language programs that aims at improving state language instruction and the civic integration of ethnic minorities are conducted at non-Georgian schools. Z. Zhvania School of Public Administration conducts Georgian language classes for public servants, schools administration staff for free...

90. Improving the health conditions of mothers and infants continues to be the key priority of the Government. In line with this, the government continues increasing the quality of prenatal services that implies service evaluation, promotion of effective practices and developing the service regionalization plan.

14. Labour and employment

92. Georgia’s labour legislation has been brought in line with international labour conventions and incorporates the best international practices. Amendments to the labour code balance the rights of employees and employers. The main amendments address previous shortcomings related to workers’ rights and guarantees, such as the freedom of association, anti-union discrimination, collective agreements and bargaining, child labour, overtime work, and dismissal procedures. At the same time state realizes that it is important to continue to work for further improvement of the legislation. Discussions on any amendments proceed in a tripartite format and with non-governmental organizations. Implementation of the International conventions is being monitored and reported. Review and transposition of European directives into labour legislation is currently in process.

VII. Conclusions

105. As a firm supporter of the UPR and a candidate for membership in the HRC, during and after its membership of the Council, Georgia is committed to support the UPR process and continue its full cooperation with the HRC, as well as with all arms of the UN human rights machinery, to engage in finding ways to improve the working methods of the HRC, including strengthening its capacity to address the situation in the areas of the human rights “black holes” worldwide as well as initiatives in strengthening the HRC capacity in promoting the rights of the most vulnerable groups, with special emphasis on children, women and IDPs. Georgia will continue to support efforts aimed at ensuring a prompt and efficient international response to the newly emerging human rights challenges, to promote the right of a healthy environment and to work closely with all interested NGOs to increase their representation and participation in international human rights fora.


Compilation of UN Information 

B. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures

Status of national human rights institutions

11. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended that Georgia be encouraged to further promote human rights education and training.

III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

A. Equality and non-discrimination

18. That same Committee was concerned that a large number of children did not have birth certificates. It recommended that Georgia take all the measures necessary to register the births of children, in particular those from minorities born in remote parts of the country, and that Georgia ensure the issuance of birth certificates and other documents to all members of the Roma minority.

B. Right to life, liberty and security of person

29. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women welcomed the adoption of the amendments to the Criminal Code in 2012, introducing provisions defining the scope and categories of domestic violence. It also welcomed the Action Plan for Combating Domestic Violence and Implementing Measures for the Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence for 2013-2015.61 The country team made recommendations to address domestic violence, including on the need to put in place monitoring mechanisms for the enforcement of restriction and protection orders and establish police units specialized in the areas of domestic and gender-based violence. The country team recommended that Georgia reinforce the capacities of professionals in the identification, referral and protection of child victims of violence through the development of training.

32. That same Committee was concerned that child marriage continued to be practised, and recommended that Georgia prevent such marriage among all ethnic groups. It urged Georgia to amend the Civil Code to allow marriages of persons between the ages of 16 and 18 years only by judicial authorization in exceptional circumstances and to ensure that such court decisions are made only with the express consent of the child in person before the court. The country team noted the actions taken by Georgia, including the amendments to the Criminal Code of October 2014 that stipulated criminal sanctions for forcing a person into marriage, and provided further recommendations to address child marriage.

33. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was concerned that children were living in the streets of Tbilisi. It recommended that Georgia protect Roma children living and working in the streets.

34. While noting the establishment of mobile trafficking inspection groups in 2013, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women remained concerned at the decreasing number of prosecutions and punishment of traffickers. It recommended that Georgia, inter alia, ensure that all reports of trafficking in women and girls are promptly and effectively investigated and perpetrators prosecuted and adequately punished.

44. The Human Rights Committee welcomed the increase in the age of criminal responsibility from 12 to 14 years. The Committee and the country team noted the launch of the Juvenile Diversion and Mediation Program. The country team noted the development of the Juvenile Justice Code and other progress, such as in reducing the number of children in detention. It recommended that the juvenile justice system be improved, including through the development of a comprehensive data collection system on children in contact with the law.

F. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work

59. While noting the efforts made by Georgia to improve pregnancy and maternity protection through the amendments to the Labour Code in 2013, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women remained concerned about the lack of childcare facilities. It recommended that Georgia facilitate the reconciliation of professional and private life for women and men.

H. Right to health

63. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women noted the new State programme on universal health care that provided health insurance to all citizens free of charge. It remained concerned about the lack of access to family planning services and contraceptives by women, especially in rural areas, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services by adolescent girls and young women. It urged Georgia to improve women’s access to high-quality health care and health-related services. The country team recommended that reproductive health be placed at the top of the State health strategy and called for sustainable government investment towards the achievement of universal access to quality reproductive and sexual health services. The Committee remained concerned at the absence of age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health and rights education.

I. Right to education

65. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women remained concerned at the low level of school attendance among children belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups. It recommended that Georgia ensure full-time school attendance at all levels. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that Georgia increase the rate of school enrolment of Roma children. The country team noted that preschool attendance had increased between 2012 and 2013 and recommended, inter alia, that Parliament adopt the Law on Early and Preschool Education.

66. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was concerned at the significant rate at which girls were dropping out of secondary school. It recommended that Georgia promote school attendance by girls belonging to ethnic minorities and remove barriers to their access to education, such as child marriage.

67. That same Committee recommended that Georgia abolish the requirement for Georgian citizenship or identity documents for gaining access to education beyond the ninth grade.

J. Persons with disabilities

68. The country team recommended that Georgia align its current laws on children with disabilities with international standards, support their implementation and develop alternative services to provide quality care for children with severe disabilities.

K. Minorities

70. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination welcomed the development of the Action Plan for 2009-2014 on National Minorities’ Integration through Multilingual Education.

M. Internally displaced persons

78. UNCHR considered the adoption in 2014 of the Law of Georgia on Forcibly Displaced Persons to be a step forward in the protection of internally displaced persons. The Secretary-General stated that the socioeconomic aspects of the integration of internally displaced persons, such as sustainable livelihoods and access to quality education, medical and social services, must be addressed. UNHCR and the Human Rights Committee recommended that Georgia ensure that all internally displaced persons can exercise their right to make a free and informed decision as to whether to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and dignity, to integrate locally or to resettle elsewhere in the country. The Secretary-General noted that progress made with respect to integration, locally or by resettlement, did not result in a loss of the right of return, which was both a human right and humanitarian issue that must be addressed irrespective of any solution to an underlying conflict.



Stakeholder Information 

I. Information provided by the national human rights institution of the State under review accredited in full compliance with the Paris Principles

10. PD stated that integration of persons with disabilities into society was problematic; there was a lack of equal opportunities; an absence of statistics; inadequate social protection and healthcare; barriers to access and a low participation rate in decision-making and socio- economic development. Rehabilitation services were offered mainly by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and only for children.

11. PD was concerned that the 2014 Strategy for the Repatriation of Meskhetians lacked an action plan. This population faced challenges in accessing education and the possibility of learning the Georgian language and their lack of Georgian citizenship hampered their integration into society.

B. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

1. Equality and non-discrimination

Joint Submission 5 (JS5) called for education on tolerance in schools.

2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person

32. JS2 called for all kinds of corporal punishment of children to be made a crime and for awareness-raising campaigns to increase public knowledge about its harmful effects.

33. JS2 recommended establishing services for victims of sexual abuse in all regional centres and a unified standard of services for child victims of sexual abuse with multi- disciplinary teams. JS15 recommended providing access to comprehensive and integrated social, health and legal services for all female survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. JS2 also recommended retraining law enforcement staff in communicating with victims of sexual abuse and implementation of awareness-raising campaigns on sexual abuse among the general population.

34. JS2 noted recommendations accepted in the first UPR relating to street children, but stated that there was no database on street children and this prevented effective measures to eradicate the problem. JS2 also highlighted the lack of a mechanism to identify and react to cases of labour exploitation of children living or working on the streets.

35. CoE referred to the 2012 findings of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). These included the need for Georgia to strengthen preventive measures for vulnerable groups such as IDPs, orphans and street children. It also referred to the need to secure the proper identification of victims and their possibility of a period for recovery and reflection before having to decide on whether to co-operate with the law enforcement authorities. It further noted that few victims had benefitted from rehabilitation and reintegration plans and that the number of prosecutions and convictions had reduced significantly since 2010.

4. Right to privacy and family life

44. JS2 noted the acceptance of recommendations on the alternative care for children, including those with disabilities, and avoiding their institutionalization.90 It observed that some children continued to live in institutions, including unlicensed institutions run by religious organizations, and called for their closure.91 It noted that there were no standards or system for licencing foster carers and that other child welfare resources provided by the state were insufficient.

8. Right to health

64. CoE mentioned that CoE-ECSR had found in 2013 that the measures taken to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates had been insufficient and that it had not established that there was a public health system providing universal coverage.

65. JS2 stated that there were not enough services for children with mental health problems and the availability of the services was also problematic in some areas in the country.

67. JS9 stated that access to and use of family planning services remained limited; the majority of family doctors had insufficient knowledge of modern contraceptives; and the reproductive and sexual health needs of adolescents were largely unmet. Joint Submission 11 (JS11) observed that many women did not have access to quality and affordable abortion services and there was a particular lack of information on contraception in rural areas. JS9 called for the removal of the mandatory waiting periods for women who decide to have an abortion.

69. JS11 observed that there had been a decrease in the availability of palliative care and children needing palliative care were served in adult departments of hospitals.

9. Right to education

72. JS3 referred to the limited access to pre-school education in the Kvemo-Kartli region where there is a large Azeri minority population.

73. JS3 noted the positive impact of the “1+4” programme to facilitate access to university for members of minorities. It recommended conducting wider awareness-raising campaigns on the programmed and creating a monitoring mechanism to prevent students from failing.

11. Persons with disabilities

78. JS5 observed that the legislation did not ensure inclusive education for persons with disabilities and that the education system allowed the existence of specialized schools.

82. JS5 stated that the rehabilitation programs for children with disabilities failed to respond to the standard of territorial accessibility, they were not sufficient and not available to those over 18 years of age.

12. Minorities

85. CoE-ECRI highlighted issues such as the need to reform the teaching of Georgian to ethnic minority pupils. JS5 called for access to high quality pre-school education for minorities; to ensure the teaching and preservation of minority languages.


Accepted and Rejected Recomendations

116. The recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue and listed below enjoy the support of Georgia:

116.1 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (Portugal);

117. The following recommendations enjoy the support of Georgia, which considers that they are already implemented or in the process of implementation:

117.14 Provide legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment of children, including in the home, and consider awareness-raising activities to increase public knowledge about the issue (Estonia);

117.15 Clearly prohibit all corporal punishment of children in all settings, including at home, and make awareness-raising campaigns to increase public knowledge about its harmful effects (Hungary);

117.16 Abandon the practice of corporal punishment of children and encourage non-violent forms of discipline (Poland);

117.17 Continue its efforts to eliminate child marriage, including through considering to set the age of entry into marriage at 18 years (Egypt);

117.57 Provide female prisoners with long-term visits, especially taking into account the best interest of their children (Croatia);

117.64 Take steps to address reported allegations of child and early and forced marriages (Ghana);

117.65 Prevent the practice of child marriage among all ethnic groups (Portugal);

117.87 Establish a system for birth registration that covers all children without discrimination by reason of race, ethnicity or nationality, sex or religion (Paraguay);

117.88 Improve the birth registration system to guarantee registration for every child with the issuance of a birth certificate (Turkey);

117.89 Adopt and implement all necessary measures to register the birth of children, particularly children belonging to minorities, who are born in remote areas of the country and guarantee the issuance of birth certificates and other documents (Panama);

117.90 Take measures for deinstitutionalization of child-care institutions and development of alternative, family-type services for deprived children (Ukraine);

117.107 Further improve the accessibility and quality of education, and increase the enrolment rate of vulnerable children, including girl children and children of ethnic minorities (China);

117.108 Consider promoting access to education for girls from ethnic minorities and remove barriers that impede access to education by Roma children (Nigeria);

117.109 Continue to pursue policies that will expand opportunities for all children of school-going age to access high quality education, in particular those with special-education needs (Singapore);

117.111 Advance the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by improving the inclusion of children and persons with disabilities in education and employment (Austria);

117.111 Advance the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by improving the inclusion of children and persons with disabilities in education and employment (Austria);

118.41 Allocate the resources necessary for the successful realization of the Strategy of the Health Protection System 2014-2020, which is aimed at strengthening maternal and child health (Belarus);

118.45 Ensure full-time school attendance at all levels to children belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups (Portugal);

118.47 Adopt measures that are considered relevant to promote learning support for girl children from ethnic minorities in order to reduce the dropout rate (Colombia);

118.51 Adopt a comprehensive action plan to accelerate the repatriation process of Meskhetian Turks, including measures to facilitate their integration and taking into account the educational needs of their children (Turkey);




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