The embassies accredited in Georgia and the representatives of international organizations issue a joint statement in connection with the International Day of Combating Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
In a joint statement, they welcome diversity and stand in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in Georgia.
The statement mentions that LGBTQI+ people experience harassment, discrimination and stigmatization every day, face hostility and violence.
The statement also states that they do not have the opportunity to live with dignity as free and equal members of the Georgian society.
“We welcome the increased public support for the protection of minority rights in Georgia – since 2015, the number of those who claim that the rights of LGBTQI+ persons should be protected has doubled. We also welcome the protection of people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity expression, which has been provided by the Georgian Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination since 2014. We recognize the efforts of various government agencies and civil society organizations to ensure full protection of human rights and freedoms,” the statement said.
In a joint statement, embassies and representatives of international organizations express their concern that, despite efforts, progress in this direction has been delayed.
“Newly adopted national policy documents, in particular, the National Human Rights Protection Strategy of Georgia for 2022-2030, the State Concept of Gender Equality of Georgia and Vision 2030 – Development Strategy of Georgia, do not include mechanisms for strengthening the protection and inclusion of LGBTQI+ persons. Stigmatization, discriminatory expressions and hate speech by some public officials, politicians, media and clergy contribute to further harassment of LGBTQI+ persons and endanger their lives. In recent years, the majority of people who clearly instigated and committed violence against LGBTQI+ people, including during Pride Week in July 2021, have not been brought to justice. This further limits the ability of LGBTQI+ persons to exercise their right to peaceful assembly,” the statement said.
Embassies and representatives of international organizations emphasize that the exclusion of any member of society strengthens social, economic and political inequality and injustice, which hinders the further development of Georgia’s democracy.
“We call on the government of Georgia, political, civil and religious leaders to protect human rights in general, to raise their voice against hatred, discrimination and violence, to work with LGBTQI+ communities and to ensure their full enjoyment of human rights. We call on the government of Georgia to bring state policy and practice into line with Georgia’s international obligations. To protect the rights of LGBTQI+ persons and promote the development of an inclusive society in which everyone can safely and freely make decisions about themselves and their lifestyle. As international partners and supporters of Georgia, we are ready, together with our Georgian partners, to continue working to achieve these goals,” the statement said.
The joint statement is joined by the United Nations Organization, the European Union Representation in Georgia, Austria, the United States of America, New Zealand, Belgium, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, The embassies of Norway, Portugal, Romania, Greece, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the regional representation of the European Investment Bank in the South Caucasus and the head of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia.