The Public Defender’s Office submitted an annual report to the Parliament of Georgia on the situation of human rights and freedoms in the country. The 486-page report reviews the challenges identified and progress made in 2020 in terms of protection of human rights enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia, as well as the implementation of Public Defender’s recommendations and proposals.
State of equality in Georgia
The Public Defender’s office has also published several reports highlighting the state of equality in the country:
In June 2021, within the framework of the International Child Protection and Environment Weeks, representatives of the Eastern and Western Georgia Divisions of the Public Defender’s Office held webinars and meetings in Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian languages with public school students, teachers, parents, representatives of preschools and community centers in various regions of the country. They also participated in TV/radio programmes.
Among its other activities, the Public Defender of Georgia has called on the Parliament of Georgia to expeditiously adopt the updated rules for the selection of members of the High Council of Justice, which will ensure greater transparency and trust in the justice system and reduce the spheres of influence on the judiciary.
The Dean of the Department of Social and Political Sciences of Tbilisi State University (TSU) considered the appeal of the Public Defender’s Office and replaced homophobic literature with other textbooks. The Public Defender’s Office, on the basis of the application of the Equality Movement, studied the mandatory literature of the elective discipline of political culture of the Department of Social and Political Sciences. The study revealed that the educational material contained homophobic content. The Public Defender’s Office appealed to the administration of the department and as a result of constructive cooperation with the Dean, the discriminatory educational material was removed from the mandatory literature.
The Public Defender of Georgia filed an amicus curiae brief with the Tbilisi City Court relating to a suit concerning alleged discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy/sex by the employer. According to the suit, the employer informed the plaintiff that the labour-legal relations would be terminated between them due to the expiration of the contract. The plaintiff states that by that time she was pregnant and the employer was aware of it. The amicus curiae brief reviews general standards, including practices identified by international studies: companies avoid letting their employees enjoy maternity leave by not extending the term of contract in a discriminatory manner, or by using other formal reasons; Employers often use fixed-term contracts with women of the relevant age, unlike men.