A Recent Webinar Highlights Human Rights Violations to be Addressed in Egypt
On March 6th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) organized a webinar in Egypt to exchange ideas to address rampant human rights violations resulting from discrimination of minority religious groups during the pandemic.
Prolonged corona crisis and the internal disputes left the Egypt vulnerable to abuse and human rights violations. UN and EU also stressed the necessity of interventions to provide humanitarian assistance. The webinar invited lawyers and the heads of human rights and youth organizations to discuss the work of peace even in the pandemic situation and pave the ways to ease the tense atmosphere of the country.
"Since religious discrimination and conflict are heightened as the global crisis, causing pain and death, it should be changed so that people don’t consider these human rights issues as a personal matter and can make a society where individuals could enjoy human dignity and equality with their own identity." Hon. Adly Hussein, President of the Court of Appeal of Cairo stressed the necessity of peace activities in protecting human rights.
Mr. Tharwat Gaid Salama Gaballa, President from Horus foundation also stressed the necessity of peace activities for the protection of human rights and decrease the hatred crimes, “Thus, all activities performed last year focused on quarantine measures to carry out various activities in the post-corona era in the future, but in 2021 and all the future to come, we hope all physical and emotional obstacles posed by Corona are resolved and we can do practical activities to get closer to peace.”
When the basic human rights are violated, it deters individuals from playing contributing roles in a society. It further pushes people to neglect the importance of national or global peace which, in return, could put their future at greater risks. Growing a number of socially wounded people in a society and ignoring human rights abuse normally hinder the country from building a peaceful and sound society.
HWPL promotes the respect for human rights through a series of webinars with personnel from civil society and advances toward realizing sustainable peace development. Hence, after the webinar, HWPL plans to regularly hold online discussions to further address the human rights issues in the Middle East.
Press-release of the HWPL
Learning human rights to make a difference in Georgia
The European Union and the United Nations are working in partnership to equip Georgia’s public and civic sectors with real-world, practical insights into human rights protection, organising a series of trainings last month for public servants, civic activists and journalists.
The trainings brought together representatives of state institutions, media, professional associations and civil society, and focused on the available tools and mechanisms to ensure respect for human rights in all areas.
On 15-16 July, a training session for journalists, carried out in partnership with the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, addressed the impact of misinformation and disinformation on protecting the rights of ethnic and national minorities. The training programme highlighted the critical role of the media in combating hate speech and fake news and providing the public with reliable and trustworthy information.
On 17-18 July, lawyers from the Legal Aid Service and the Georgian Bar Association participated in a training on the rights of people with disabilities. They discussed international standards in protecting disability rights and the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Georgia in getting access to justice.
On 19-20 July, human rights activists and representatives of organisations engaged in protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons learned how to prepare and submit alternative reports and communications to the UN human rights Treaty Bodies and how to use the UN human rights mechanisms for advocacy and strategic litigation.
Finally, on 28-29 July, representatives of Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office discussed how better to protect the right to health in Georgia, and refreshed their knowledge of international standards in this area.
“At UNDP, we deeply believe that respect for human rights is the foundation of democracy,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia. “A democratic society is primarily assessed by how it protects the rights of minorities and not just the rights of the majority. With this in mind, we join hands with the European Union and our partners to assist journalists, lawyers, civic activists and the LGBTQI+ communities to better understand and more effectively protect human rights, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
The European Union and the United Nations, through their ‘Human Rights for All’ programme, promote a human rights culture in Georgia and help increase public awareness of human rights values and principles. Working with a wide range of local and international partners, the EU and the UN seek to ensure that all citizens can enjoy the rights and freedoms safeguarded by Georgia’s Constitution and major policy documents in line with the country’s national priorities and international commitments under the Association Agreement with the European Union, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN human rights treaties.
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The sixth round of bilateral political consultations have been held between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Arab Republic of Egypt
On 28 July 2022, Tbilisi hosted the sixth round of bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Arab Republic of Egypt. From the Georgian side, the consultations were led by the Deputy Minister, Aleksandre Khvtisiashvili, and from the Egyptian side – by the Deputy Minister on European Issues, Ihab Nasri.
The sides discussed the current issues on the cooperation agenda between Georgia and the Arab Republic of Egypt. They highlighted the necessity of deepening the existing cooperation in the political, trade-economic, investment, cultural, education and tourism areas. Special emphasis was put on the importance of exchanging high-level visits between the two countries, of improving the legal framework and cooperation within international organizations.
The sides reviewed current issues on the international agenda at the regional and global level, the ongoing processes in the Caucasus and Middle East regions, Russia's war in Ukraine. Talking points included the challenges facing the regions and the world as a whole and their impact on the security environment.
The Egyptian side was provided with information about the current situation in the occupied territories of Georgia, the Geneva negotiations, and the gross violations of human rights and international legal agreements by Russia in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. The Egyptian side once again confirmed its unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.
The sides agreed to continue active cooperation in different directions.
MFA of Georgia
Social Justice Center from Georgia named winner of the 2022 Max van der Stoel Award
THE HAGUE, 26 July 2022 – The Social Justice Center (SJC) from Georgia has been selected as the winner of the 2022 Max van der Stoel Award. The Award recognizes its work to support and empower vulnerable groups, including national minorities, in Georgia.
Since its foundation in 2012, the SJC (formerly Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre) has worked towards long-term political and socio-economic transformation in Georgia, thereby putting the principles of human rights, equality and solidarity into practice. The SJC gives a voice to minority ethnic and religious groups, and supports their interests, with an emphasis on youth and women.
Commenting on its decision, the international Jury, chaired by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov, stated: “This non-governmental organization advances equality, solidarity, participation and democracy at the political, economic and social levels through programmes such as the Social Policy Programme, the Equality Policy Programme and the Justice and Democracy Programme. This has resulted in community organizations and campaigns to promote the interests of national minorities.
“Acknowledging its activism and courage as it tirelessly advocates for equality for all social groups in Georgia, the Jury took the unanimous decision to reward the SJC with the 2022 Max van der Stoel Award.”
The Award of 50,000 euros was established by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001 in honour of the distinguished Dutch statesman and first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel. It is awarded biennially to recognize a person, group or institution for extraordinary and outstanding achievements in improving the position of national minorities in the OSCE participating States.
The Award ceremony will take place in The Hague on 17 November 2022.
Georgia should ensure effective implementation of the anti-discrimination legislation and improve protection of human rights in the fields of labour and the environment
Strasbourg, 15 July 2022 - The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today the report following her visit to Georgia in February 2022, with recommendations on combating discrimination against LGBTI people and those belonging to religious minorities, as well as protecting human rights in the fields of labour and the environment.
To ensure that LGBTI people and persons belonging to religious minorities live free from violence and discrimination, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to address the inadequate implementation of legal standards and the persistent deficiencies in combating impunity for hate crimes and incitement to violence, and to remove the discriminatory barriers to the enjoyment of their rights.
The Commissioner notes that LGBTI people remain affected by instances of hate crime and pervasive discrimination in Georgia. She calls on the authorities to step up efforts to combat impunity for human rights violations against them and stresses that raising awareness among the public and training relevant categories of professionals on the importance of their role in promoting equality, dignity and non-discrimination should be a priority. She adds that hate speech against LGBTI people in the public sphere is an issue of concern and that an appropriate response to hate speech, including when voiced by officials, religious and community leaders and media professionals, is needed through an effective use of law enforcement channels and other mechanisms, such as prevention, monitoring, self-regulation, and counter-speech. In light of repeated occurrence of LGBTI people having been denied their right to peaceful assembly, the Commissioner stresses that authorities should adopt comprehensive measures enabling LGBTI people to freely express their views and assemble. Regarding transgender people, the authorities should facilitate legal gender recognition without invasive medical requirements and in a quick, transparent, and accessible manner.
As regards religious minorities, the Commissioner urges the authorities to ensure effective investigation, prosecution, and dissuasive and proportionate sanctioning for hate crimes committed on the grounds of religion and to remove discriminatory barriers in accessing places of worship and in regulating tax and religious property matters. “An open dialogue with all religious communities should be established”, she stated. To support this dialogue, she underlines the need for a meaningful partnership between competent authorities and religious denominations, for changes to the relevant regulations and for continuous training and awareness raising activities targeting officials and the general public. In addition, the Commissioner notes that the authorities should pursue their efforts in eliminating religious biases and stereotyping from school textbooks.
Noting that a decade of deregulation and the abolishment of the labour Inspectorate in 2006 led to a significant deterioration in the protection of labour rights in Georgia, the Commissioner welcomes the recent comprehensive legal and institutional reforms and urges the authorities to close the remaining legislative gaps by establishing a minimum wage compliant with international standards, by ensuring equal access to parental leave, and by developing clear guidelines on the duration and compensation for overtime work. “It is now important to ensure a full implementation of the labour standards, including the anti-discrimination provisions”, she stated. To this end, it is crucial to provide the Labour Inspectorate with sufficient and adequately trained human resources and an appropriate budget. While welcoming recent progress in the reduction of workplace accidents, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to further improve occupational safety at the workplace. She also recommends promoting and supporting diversity and equality at work, including with regard to the integration of persons with disabilities. The Commissioner further recommends that the authorities address the gender pay gap and gender stereotypes in employment, to continuously raise awareness about sexual harassment, ways to report it and available remedies, as well as to take resolute action to address child labour and prevent and combat child trafficking.
As regards human rights and the environment, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to strengthen the implementation of the existing national legal framework, to guarantee public access to information and meaningful and transparent public participation in environmental decision-making processes at various levels of government, as well as to improve air quality and the tracking of air pollution. They should also develop and implement preventive measures to reduce the risk of environmental disasters and to ensure protection of the rights of people displaced by such disasters or owing to climate change. The authorities should also provide a safe and enabling environment for environmental human rights defenders and activists and support their work
- Read the Commissioner's report following her visit to Georgia in February 2022
- Read the comments of the authorities of Georgia on the report
- Watch the report in a nutshell
Georgia and the EU hold annual Human Rights Dialogue
On 22 June in Brussels, the EU and Georgia held the 15th round of the annual Human Rights Dialogue.
Participants exchanged views on the human rights situation in Georgia and on recent developments in the promotion and protection of democracy and human rights since the last dialogue in July 2021.
The Georgian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Gianjalia, and the EU delegation was led by Richard Tibbels, from the European External Action Service. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, also participated in the meeting.
The next EU-Georgia human rights dialogue is planned to take place in Tbilisi in 2023.
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