With the support of the EU and Denmark, and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) has developed a specialised webpage regions.geostat.ge integrated into its public website, offering information on 64 Georgian municipalities.
The platform tracks economic, demographic and social dynamics across 82 indicators, with 52 indicators provided by Georgia’s public agencies, and the rest by GEOSTAT through statistical surveys.
The project was developed with the aim of improving municipal data collection, systematising already available statistical information, defining and collecting new statistical indicators, and making sub-national statistics easily accessible to the public.
“The EU cares deeply about further developing the regions of Georgia to make sure that the whole population has access to opportunities and services. The foundation of this is clear and reliable data,” said Colombe de Mercey from the EU Delegation to Georgia. “The new GEOSTAT platform will help policy-makers and local authorities to make well-informed decisions for the people living in their regions.”
UNDP’s assistance to Georgia’s National Statistics Office, GEOSTAT, is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD) promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions,
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The research examines widespread practices related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people and provides recommendations for public agencies and the civil and private sectors to raise existing standards and fill in the gaps.
Commissioned by the European Union and UNDP, the research was carried out by the non-governmental organization “Rule of Law Centre” with contributions from civil society organizations “Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group” (WISG), “Equality Movement” and “Identoba Youth”.
- The healthcare sector often collects the personal data of LGBTQI+ community members in an insulting manner and without a legal basis. Excessive data collection and intentional or accidental disclosure of confidential information are common practices. Most healthcare institutions lack the organizational and technical capacities needed to gather, process and protect personal data.
- Similar problems are registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The personal data of LGBTQI+ community members are being collected in a humiliating manner and without legal grounds. There are cases when criminal case information provided by an LGBTQI+ person is disclosed to an unauthorized third party or when data protection measures are not in place. For example, a crime witness and a victim can be interviewed at the same time in a shared space while interview protocols can be accessible to unauthorized third parties.
- Lawyers often disclose confidential personal data in their media interviews or on social media. This includes information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of court case participants.
- Psychologists and therapists disclose the confidential personal data of their patients without their consent.
- Georgian legislation does not consider personal data protection as a ground for closing a court hearing for the public. Judges usually do not grant relevant requests submitted by LGBTQI+ community members involved in civil or administrative cases.
- Public Service Hall employees sometimes use personal data for unofficial purposes or disclose it to third parties. The open-plan arrangement of Public Service Halls increases the risk of accidental data disclosure.
- Journalists often disclose information about the sexual orientation and gender identity of their respondents, violating the standards of journalistic ethics and personal data protection.
- Discrimination in the workplace is another challenge faced by the LGBTQI+ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity increase the risk of losing a job and can lead to humiliating treatment and personal data disclosure.
- The Personal Data Protection Authority does not segregate its statistical data by the cases related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people. This makes it hard to analyse its actions and decisions.
- LGBTQI+ people are reluctant to respond to their personal data violation cases. Partly because they often lack information on data privacy and personal data protection, and partly because they feel vulnerable and uncomfortable contacting law enforcement authorities.
- Civil society organizations working to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ communities need support to increase their expertise and capacities in personal data protection.
The European Union in Georgia, Denmark, UNDP in Georgia and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) have helped kindergartens in Telavi municipality of Georgia to organise a first aid training course for their staff.
The initiative covered 32 pre-schools. Two kindergartens received additional support to equip doctors’ offices in their premises.
The importance of these courses is due to the fact that Georgian legislation obliges kindergartens to certify their first aid personnel in order to be allowed to protect children’s health and prevent accidents.
This initiative was selected as part of a grant competition funded by the EU and Denmark to improve management, policies and services in municipalities in Georgia.
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Joint statement by the UN Country Team on entry into force of plain packaging regulation of tobacco productsTuesday, 29 November 2022 10:28
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.
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.
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The European Commission will provide $21 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support work to dismantle infrastructure in Ukraine that has collapsed as a result of Russian aggression.
The funds will also be used to identify, map and neutralise explosive ordnance and urgent environmental threats. They will also be used to repair or purchase strategic elements of infrastructure in the affected areas, such as transformers, thermal substations, water pumps, heat and water pipes, water decontamination systems and renewable energy supply equipment.
“This project will restore power and water stations and heating utilities. These are essential services that will give residents dignified lives and livelihoods at home,” said Manal Fouani, UNDP interim Resident Representative in Ukraine.
“The upcoming winter season will be very harsh and we need to do our utmost to make sure that people and the authorities have the necessary infrastructure operational”, said Matti Maasikas Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.
The project is a part of the UNDP Resilience Building and Recovery Programme, launched by UNDP in April 2022 to support the Government of Ukraine to sustain essential governance structures for emergency response management, deliver vital public services, and protect livelihoods.
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EU and UNDP help introduce youth work in schools and vocational colleges
TBILISI. 12 August 2022 – On the path to creating a high-performing educational system, Georgia introduces new educational models and tools to inspire young people to study hard and strive for professional success. These efforts aim to improve youth education and close the gaps between Georgia and the European countries in the areas related to youth participation and engagement.
For now, around 34 percent of Georgian youth are not engaged in employment, education or training (NEET), compared to 13 percent on average in the EU. Youth unemployment in some of Georgia’s regions exceeds 40 percent (13.3 percent on average in the EU). Only five percent of Georgian secondary school graduates choose to enter vocational education programmes (48 percent in the EU).
To help Georgia make education more responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) support the Ministry of Education and Science to introduce a concept of youth work in schools and vocational colleges. The initiative is implemented in partnership with ‘Sunny House’, a non-governmental youth organization.
In 2022, a new cohort of 18 youth workers went through professional training to join nine schools and vocational colleges across Georgia. Youth workers took a lead in establishing youth clubs at the educational institutions and arranging non-formal learning programmes.
In July and August, over 100 young people – high-school or college students, engaged in enjoyable and interactive educational activities organised by youth workers with EU and UNDP support.
In Kachreti, ‘Aisi’ community college grounds turned into a magical world of lost treasures where students had to show their physical and intellectual abilities and team-working skills to win the game.
In Kobuleti, young people will enjoy a rare opportunity to discuss generational challenges with well-known Georgian writers. The discussion will be organised and hosted by the youth club at ‘Akhali Talga’ (‘New Wave’) college.
“The European Union helps strengthen links between formal education and non-formal learning to ensure that young people have access to high-quality education and training and improve their transition from education to employment,” said Nino Kochishvili, Programme Officer at the European Union Delegation to Georgia.
“Getting more young people into employment – jobs that pay well, with real career paths ahead – is a big social and economic opportunity for Georgia. The EU and UNDP join hands with our national partners to curate new and more effective youth education and training programmes. Greater youth employment creates a brighter future for young people and contributes to developing a larger and more dynamic economy for everyone’s benefit,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia.
“We shape our work around the single most important goal – to help young people build skills they need to establish their place in society. Youth work blends formal and informal education to make the educational process richer and more effective,” said youth worker Tamuna Khalichashvili.
Starting from the new academic year in September, nine youth clubs across Georgia will resume their work to continue supporting young people in their personal development and social integration.
The EU and UNDP support draws on the EU-funded US$1,000,000 programme which contributes to creating new educational services in vocational education and training (VET), ensuring the sustainable and inclusive development of the VET system and the labour market. The programme is implemented in close partnership with Georgia’s Ministry of Education and Science, educational institutions and the private sector.
Over 50 rural locations are pinpointed on Georgia’s AgroMap, created jointly by the EU, UNDP and Georgian Farmers’ Association.
The map is a Google-based interactive information system and contains extensive data on agricultural enterprises, service providers, educational institutions, professional associations and other actors in the agricultural and food sector. In addition to private companies and non-governmental organisations, AgriMap also identifies government programmes and initiatives that support agricultural entrepreneurship.
Users can search for information by location or industry and contact specific companies to pose their business queries. They can also evaluate the quality of the information received and the effectiveness of the interaction.
The AgroMap was launched in 2020 through a pilot initiative focused on the Dedoplistskaro Municipality. For now, the resource lists over 50 locations across Georgia and offers information on 500 companies and organisations, arranged by 24 activity sectors.
“Digitalisation has the potential to transform rural living by making farming jobs more attractive for younger generations and helping farmers work more precisely, efficiently and sustainably,” said Ketevan Khutsishvili, from the EU Delegation to Georgia.
EU and UNDP support for rural development in Georgia is based on the EU-funded ENPARD programme with a total budget of €234.5 million.
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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 European Union and its partners welcomed the successful conclusion of Pride Week 2022 in Georgia, which took place in Tbilisi on 2 July.
In this regard, a joint statement was issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The signatories congratulated the organisers, Tbilisi Pride and other civil society organisations, and expressed their solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community and support towards their right as Georgian citizens to exercise their constitutional rights without fear.
The following was stated: “We acknowledge that marking Pride Week is still connected to safety risks and other stressful situations that many have to live through on a daily basis. It is our sincere hope that this year’s successful holding of events marks a step forward in protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons, including their right to freedom of assembly.”
In this context, the EU and its partners have also reminded the Georgian authorities of the need to take appropriate measures in relation to the events on the 5 July 2021 , including a full investigation and prosecution of the instigators and organisers of the violence.
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