As Georgia strives to build an inclusive society based on fundamental principles of human rights, civic actors play a critical role in strengthening human rights mechanisms and creating an inclusive environment for all. Non-governmental and community organizations, activists and youth groups are monitoring and promoting human rights protection, creating a human rights discourse in civic space and educating the public, including the vulnerable and marginalised social groups.
In 2021, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) extended its support to civil society organisations working on human rights, equality and non-discrimination, and offered them strategic development and learning opportunities in several critical areas. This included social and legal protection of the LGBTQI+ community, economic and social empowerment of women and girls, human rights and gender aspects of climate change, and the rights of people with disabilities, people displaced by conflict and religious and ethnic minorities.
UNDP provided learning, networking and funding opportunities to equip non-governmental and community organizations with much-needed information about international and local mechanisms available for human rights defenders. UNDP also assisted them to explore new areas of strategic development and collaboration.
Up to 350 representatives from leading civil society organizations took part in learning and development programmes. More than 60 organizations benefitted from grant support to carry out their projects and initiatives.
UNDP assistance was implemented in partnership with the Public Defender’s Office and a range of local and international experts. It drew on the resources provided by the European Union (EU), the Joint SDG Fund and the governments of Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
“Civil society is at the heart of promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Civic activists work in defence of fundamental rights and freedoms, sometimes at great personal risk. Georgia is most fortunate to have a strong and vibrant non-governmental sector that has a prominent say in national development. UNDP fully supports civil society in Georgia and its essential work for justice, democracy and human rights for all”, said UNDP Head in Georgia Nick Beresford.
Human rights, equality and non-discrimination are the cross-cutting themes of UNDP’s work in Georgia. In close collaboration with local and international partners, UNDP actively supports Georgia to develop and implement national human rights strategies, create and adopt laws and policies that comply with human rights principles, reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalised social groups and take practical steps towards an inclusive, fair and just society.