“We, local authorities, have a key role in respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights by raising awareness in our communities, sharing good practices among peers and equipping ourselves with the necessary mechanisms for their realisation”, stressed Harald Bergmann, Congress Spokesperson on Human Rights at Local and Regional Levels. “In this endeavour, it is of utmost importance to co‑operate with independent human rights institutions, like the Public Defender of Georgia, and with civil society organisations”, he added on the occasion of the workshop ‘Strengthening human rights at local level in Georgia’ held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 26 November 2019.
Jointly organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), participants discussed the implementation of human rights obligations and standards at local level in Georgia, with a particular focus on gender equality, non-discrimination and inclusion of minorities and vulnerable groups.
“The European Charter of Local Self-Government sets out the principle of subsidiarity – i.e. the transfer of competences to local communities on issues of their concern – which gives us exclusive and delegated powers as well as shared responsibilities with national authorities, including on human rights”, stated NALAG and Congress Vice-President Tamar Taliashvili (Georgia, SOC/G/PD).
The workshop gathered together 40 representatives of local authorities, civil society organisations, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia and NALAG.
The discussions and peer-exchanges among the participants of the workshop will contribute to an assessment report being developed by the Congress Secretariat to identify the needs and challenges faced by Georgian local authorities in the realisation of human rights