Public attitudes toward LGBTQI people in Georgia are changing, yet the protection and realization of their rights remain a challenge

Published in Society
Friday, 06 May 2022 16:24

The United Nations and the Government of Sweden unveil research on human rights, legal protection and public attitudes toward the LGBTQI community in Georgia

TBILISI. 6 May 2022 – The LGBTQI people remain one of the least protected and most marginalized social groups in Georgia. They face discrimination and violence, while the protection and realization of their rights remain a challenge. Yet, recent research reveals that negative public attitudes toward the LGBTQI community have been decreasing in the last five years.

A series of studies were conducted by Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office and the non-governmental organization ‘Women’s Initiatives Support Group’ (WISG) with assistance from the Government of Sweden and the United Nations through its three agencies – UN Women, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The research reviews international standards in protecting LGBTQI rights and Georgia’s commitments in this area. It analyses the legal environment and widespread practices and examines public attitudes toward LGBTQI people in Georgia. The research also includes recommendations for specific state agencies.

The research findings point out positive changes in public attitudes in the last five years. Since 2016, the number of respondents who think that the LGBTQI community is interested in propaganda, and not in achieving equality, has decreased by 20.6 percent (55.9 percent in 2021 compared to almost 78 percent in 2016). The number of people with an extremely negative attitude toward the LGBTQI community and its human rights defenders dropped by around 20 percent and now hovers around 56 percent.

However, the research also captures the negative perception of the LGBTQI community in Georgia’s society. 48.2 percent of the respondents believe that LGBTQI people are fighting for privileges. 39.5 percent are convinced that the rights of the LGBTQI community are fully protected. At the same time, 38.6 percent note inadequate state response to the acts of violence and discrimination faced by the LGBTQI people.

The research was conducted under the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, a Sweden-funded initiative implemented by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA. Its reports are available on the UNDP website

Read 310 times

Related items

  • Joint statement by the UN Country Team on entry into force of plain packaging regulation of tobacco products

    December 31, 2022 is the deadline set by the Law of Georgia "On Tobacco Control" for the regulation of plain packaging of tobacco products to come into force. Plain packaging was expected to enter into force in 2018, but was postponed until the end of this year. Currently, a legislative initiative on another postponement of this deadline has been submitted to the Parliament of Georgia. We call on the Parliament of Georgia to reject this legislative initiative and ensure that the plain packaging regulations will enter into force within the timeframe specified in the current law.

    To reduce the enormous health, social and economic damage caused by active and passive tobacco use in Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia adopted a strong tobacco control legislation in 2017, which was later recognized by international organizations and experts as a visionary law that serves as an example for many countries in the region. Just two years after the successful implementation of this law, studies show a significant decrease in tobacco use and second-hand tobacco smoke pollution in Georgia, which resulted in the reduction of the burden of tobacco-attributable diseases.
    To build on this success, further comprehensive tobacco control measures need to be implemented in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Regulation on plain packaging for tobacco products is one of the most powerful regulations that make tobacco products less attractive and reduce the ability of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.
    The United Nations in Georgia would like to commend the firm position of the decision-makers of the Parliament of Georgia of various convocations and the Government of Georgia on the smooth implementation of tobacco control regulations. We hope that the Parliament of Georgia will take immediate steps to avoid another postponement and to ensure the plain packaging regulation enters into force in the beginning of 2023 and will thus help to protect the health of the current and future generations of Georgia.

  • Public opinion polls are not a substitute for opinion

    Zaal Anjaparidze, political analyst (Tbilisi, Georgia)

    Political actors are increasingly and proactively trying to manipulate public opinion polls. Georgia is not an exception in this respect.

    In this regard, a truly unique situation has been created in our country. Public opinion surveys in Georgia have been practically monopolized for years by American organizations (NDI, IRI) and their local contractors, which are financed by international donors. Sociological surveys are practically not financed by the state from the local budget. Therefore, we should not be surprised that the existing polls, in addition to sociology, also serve the interests of their sponsors to create the appropriate political and social conjuncture in the country.

    Today, the one of the central topics in the country is to obtain the status of a candidate for EU membership and to fulfill the 12 recommendations of the European Commission. Although, based on polls, the narrative that European integration is the solid choice of the majority of the Georgian population has been firmly established in Georgia. However, how true this is, especially in the light of recent events in the country?!.

    In July-August 2022, NDI's public opinion poll shows that the support of the European Union by the population of Georgia is 75%. Although this is 5-7% less than the results of previous months (80-80%), it is still an impressive majority. However, let's not rush to final conclusions.

    If you aspire to be a member of any union, you should have a very positive attitude towards it. At this time, in the sociological research conducted by the European Foundation in 2021, we read: "Overall, 46 percent of Georgians have either very positive (16%) or rather positive (30%) attitudes towards the European Union. About 43% have a neutral outlook, while a minority (7%) has either a rather negative or very negative attitude." It turns out that only 46% of our population, or less than half(!), consciously supports the European Union.

    The point is that in the polls sponsored by Western donors, it is clear that the attempt is not to question the pro-European orientation of the population of Georgia, in which they have invested. That's why, even if they receive an unwanted image, they try to model this image so as not to violate professional standards too much. Political messages can also be read in the titles of individual blocks. For example, to reinforce a pro-European message, NDI says, "Most people are convinced that Georgia would benefit more from European and Euro-Atlantic integration than from close relations with Russia." How did NDI measure and determine the degree of "certainty" of respondents when its survey only has one question on European integration? posed and it does not attempt to determine what is really behind the respondent's “YES” or “NO”.

    It is very interesting, in a survey by the European Foundation, how only 46% of those who love the European Union agree with 77% of those who are in favor of joining the European Union? One of the most realistic options for the answer is consumerism with the EU, not value unity. In the presence of this unity, there would be neither the problem of holding an LGBT-march in the center of Tbilisi, nor such intense unacceptability of same-sex marriage that a relevant entry in the constitution became necessary. Examples can be continued.

    In addition, the survey data is seriously distorted by the so-called respondents themselves. A "self-selection" or "self-censoring" effect, where a certain percentage of respondents consistently refuse to participate in a survey or do not provide a response. It is even more problematic, the so-called "Falsification of preferences" - a situation where instead of giving an honest answer to a directly asked question, the respondent gives an answer that is expected from him by an imaginary majority. Therefore, we should not be surprised by the many "YES" answers to the direct question of support for European integration during the said surveys. In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, this can also be explained by the respondent's desire for psychological comfort, as well as conformist behavior and fear of social condemnation. If we take into account the information-psychological environment and pressure created with us, a different view from the mainstream opinion is considered a betrayal of the state and a crime. It turns out that the conducted surveys actually measure not the respondent's true attitude towards a specific issue, but only his socially and politically acceptable attitude.

    Considering all the above-mentioned circumstances, it is not difficult to guess how the 81-83% rate of support for European integration, or the unusually high rating of some faceless but acceptable person for the client, is established. These are all tools of political and psychological manipulation, and it seems that our political class and society have come to terms with this modeled reality.

    The situation will not change until the state changes its attitude towards this issue and creates national public opinion research institutions in the country. The situation will also not change if trust in the polls themselves, their commissions, operators and results is not measured. Episodic studies on this issue are not enough and cannot change the weather.

    In general, the importance of polls was probably best summed up by Margaret Thatcher: "If you are guided by opinion polls, you are not practicing leadership -- you are practicing followership.”

  • EU and UNDP help bring life back to Georgia’s historic landmarks

    On 18 October, Georgian parliamentarians presented their study on the potential to revive disused historic sites in the country.

    Initiated by the Parliamentary Culture Committee with assistance from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the enquiry engaged leading Georgian experts and representatives of the public, private and civic sectors.

    The four-month study looked into ways to bring new life to historic sites, using their cultural value for redeveloping surrounding areas. It explored policy approaches for sustainable protection and preservation of historic heritage and studied the role of national and local authorities, the private sector and civil society in designing conservation and management tools. 

    The final report will be published at the end of October.

    Find out more

    Press release

  • Information Meetings on Issues of Persons with Disabilities

    In June-August 2022, representatives of the Public Defender of Georgia held 28 informational meetings in 22 municipalities, the purpose of which was to raise public awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities.

    The meetings were attended by persons with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities and representatives of their organizations, as well as members of the councils working on the rights of persons with disabilities; officials of local self-government bodies, persons employed in the territorial services of state care and social service agencies, providers of services under the state programme of social rehabilitation and child care, employees of kindergartens, preschool institutions and educational resource centers, doctors of primary health care institutions - outpatient clinics (308 persons in total).

    Employees of the Department of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and regional divisions of the Public Defender’s Office introduced the mandate of the Public Defender and the challenges identified within the scope of their activities to the participants in the meetings. They also discussed issues stipulated by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and national legislation, including problems related to the realization of accessibility and inclusive education, identification of violence, implementation of programmes operating at the central/local level, peculiarities of the functioning of councils of persons with disabilities at the local level, importance of the involvement of persons with disabilities in the decision-making process and existing guarantees in this regard.

    With the support of the European Union Delegation to Georgia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), meetings were held in Kvareli, Akhmeta, Sagarejo, Kutaisi, Tskaltubo, Khoni, Lanchkhuti, Ozurgeti, Chokhatauri, Keda, Khulo, Shuakhevi, Batumi, Tetritskaro, Tsalka, Ambrolauri, Oni, Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Borjomi, Kazbegi and Gardabani municipalities.

  • Public Defender Appeals to Constitutional Court against Temporary Exceptional Construction Rules in Batumi

    The Public Defender of Georgia has applied to the Constitutional Court and demanded to suspend the temporary exceptional rule approved for constructions planned in Batumi and to declare it unconstitutional. The mentioned temporary regulation allows construction companies to conduct the construction process without observing safety norms, basic construction requirements, as well as strength, sustainability, fire safety and evacuation rules.

    On June 23, 2022, in the last week of the spring session, the Parliament made changes to the Spatial Planning, Architecture and Construction Code of Georgia in an accelerated manner. The changes make it possible for a wide range of constructions planned in Batumi not to follow the construction obligations that ensure the safety of buildings and structures, safe environment for health and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

    The disputed regulation, until the approval of the general development plan for Batumi in 2027, in violation of the building safety norms and functional zone requirements, allows to exceed the maximum construction intensity coefficient (k-2) and maximum height of buildings by any volume, as well as to disregard all other regulations established by legislation, except for the regulations relating to the protection of cultural heritage.

    Particularly alarming is the possibility of implementing construction projects without observing the strength, stability, fire safety and evacuation norms of buildings, which poses a great risk to people's lives and health and violates the positive obligation of the State under Article 10 of the Constitution to take appropriate measures to protect the right to life.

    The disputed norms also suspend the requirement of ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities. Thus, the State violates the obligation under paragraph 4 of Article 11 of the Constitution to provide an accessible environment for persons with disabilities for full, equal and independent participation in public life.

    The disputed rule allows the implementation of the kind of construction projects in Batumi, which can have a serious negative impact on healthy living environment, bring irreparable consequences for correct urban planning and maintenance of recreational and public spaces.

    It is necessary to plan and implement measures in Batumi in order to alleviate, and not on the contrary, aggravate the difficult situation of spatial arrangement, created as a result of active, chaotic and spontaneous constructions over the years, something indicated by the Public Defender for many years.[1] The implementation of massive constructions without the general urban planning and the requirements established by the Code may cause irreparable damage to the realization of the right to environmental protection.

    In order to prevent the expected irreparable damage, we also request with the constitutional lawsuit to suspend the operation of the disputed norms until the final decision is made by the court.

Business News

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today. Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road...

Agreement between SES and GEE

Agreement between SES and GEE

A new multi-year agreement was signed between worldwide satellite operator SES and Global Eagle Ente...

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

The visa regime imposed by Georgia to Iran has been cancelled for 15 February,” -the Deputy Ambassad...

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

U.S. Department of State to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia. According to the budgetary d...

MOST READ

« December 2022 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

About

The News Agency,
NEWSDAY.GE is
a part of STARVISION
Media Group.
It made its first
appearance on the Internet..More

 

Contact

NEWSDAY Ltd.
Lechkhumi street.43

Georgia,Tbilisi

Phone: (+995 32) 257 91 11
E-mail: avtandil@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Social Media