We, the nongovernmental organizations united under the civil platform
No to Phobia! believe that an alarming tendency of late ofincreased violence
against women and femicide requires a joint response from the government, other
institutions and the wider society. It must however be noted that the primary
responsibility for this response lies with the government.
Government of Georgia and the Interagency Commission to Combat Domestic
Over the past few years the Georgian authorities have drafted a number
of legislative acts to combat domestic violence and ensure gender equality as
well as a policy document determining corresponding steps to take in this
direction. Moreover, Georgia acceded to such important international formats as
the Istanbul Convention and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, envisaging
the approximation of national legislation and practice with international
standards. The member nongovernmental organizations of the platform No to
Phobia! believe that the problem lies more in enforcement of the legislation
rather than in lack of legal provisions. Consequently, we call on the
government of Georgia and the Inter-agency
Commission to Combat Domestic Violence at the government of Georgia:
- · To properly assess and analyze the reasons impeding
the implementation of the legislation;
- · To facilitate the establishment of effective legal
methods for detecting and preventing facts of domestic violence;
- · To carry out measures ensuring the effective
conduct of legal prosecution against offenders as well as those employees of
the Interior Ministry who, neglecting the law, fail to offer adequate response
to facts of violence, thereby encouraging impunity and allowing the scale of violence
- · For the aim of preventing crime on the ground of
discrimination, it is important that, along with the Prosecutor’s Office, the
Interior Ministry and courts engage institutionally in collecting the statistics
on the reports as well as facts of gender-motivated violence against women.
This will help correctly assess a motive of discrimination – something which is
often ignored in a legal proceeding;
- · Although programs oriented on human rights,
including gender issues, is integrated within the curriculum of the Police
Academy, it is important for both the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor’s
Office to conduct a periodic monitoring and evaluation of these programs in
order to assess new needs and revise existing modules accordingly;
- · In order to bring training programs for law
enforcement officers in line with international standards, it is important to get
involved in the OSCE/ODHIR training program which is designed to develop skills
for preventing and timely responding to hate crimes.
- · It is important that political parties and especially,
the ruling coalition fully understand the scale of the problem and by their public statements, avoid strengthening traditional
attitudes towards stereotyped roles of women and men; also refrain from controversial
interpretation of separate tragic incidents;
- · It is important that political parties offer
society such party programs that will define solutions to this concrete
problems and will be more gender sensitive in general.
- · Religious associations can play a positive role
in combatting this problem by promoting the idea of equality and denouncing any
form of violence against women in their public statements and sermons. At the
same time, the misconception and misinterpretation of this or that religious
teaching may play a negative role and become a cause of discriminationagainst
- · The denouncement of all forms of violence
against women by the Council of Religions at the Public Defender's Office is a
welcoming fact. At the same time, we believe that a positive message from the Georgian
Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church,
condemning the violence against women would be of great importance.
- · Journalists are not in the position to stop
violence during conflict, but by providing comprehensive informing in a
professional manner, they can mobilize and create well-informed society that
addresses violence responsibly.
- · The nature of news does not allow journalists to
disregard stories about conflicts and violence, but when covering such stories journalists
must provide the audience with a bigger picture on the problem.
- · Media must assist audience in understanding the domestic
violence from the human rights and legal perspective and have the audience avoid
stereotypical perception of such instances of violenceas those of "crimes of honor”
because the domestic violence is a crime, not an "internal family problem".
- · It is important that media avoid re-victimization
of victims of violence; respect their rights and present the crime not as a
separate incident but as part of the process.
- · It is important that media is consistent in the
coverage of incidents of such violence in terms of following
up on legal proceedings as well as on victims’ handling post-traumatic period.
Media Development Foundation, MDF
Georgian Democracy Initiative, GDI
Georgian Young Lawyers Association, GYLA
Constitution Article 42
Tolerance and Diversity Institute, TDI
Georgian Reforms Association, GRASS
European Centre for Minority Issues, ECMI
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, ISFED
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, EMC
Transparency International Georgia, TI
Other NGOs joined the address:
Association "Peaceful and Business Caucasus"
Women’s Information Centre
Association "Green Alternative"
Election Environment Development Centre
Levan Mikeladze Foundation
Community Foundation "Adgilis Deda"