On the International Day for Tolerance marked today, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia and its partner organisations have hosted the official kick-off event of the Equality Week - 2022. Every year, under the initiative students, activists, NGOs, and representatives of the public sector take part in series of events aimed to encourage public discussion around the importance of diversity and equality in Georgia. This year, the Equality Week is held on 15-22 November under the slogan of “Georgia is Us.”
"Georgia has made significant progress towards improving legislation to address discrimination and, as latest surveys show, society too, has become more aware of importance of protection of the rights of minority groups. We hope that the governmental agencies and civil society will be successful in addressing equality challenges," said Stefen Sirbu, the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia in his opening remarks to celebrate the launch of the Equality Week in Georgia.
Nino Tsilosani - Member of the Parliament, Chairperson of the Permanent, Parliamentary Gender Equality Council; Alexander Darakhvelidze, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia, H.E Maaike van Koldam; Ambassador of Estonia H. E. Riina Kaljurand; Gela Geladze – Head of the Office of Resource Officers of Educational Institutions, a representative of the Office of Prosecutor General, Salome Shengelia and Vano Chkhikvadze - Equality Coalition addressed the public with their opening remarks.
Achiko Guledani, founder of Tbilisi Open Air / AlterVision festival talked about its role in raising public awareness of equality.
Samira Bairamova, an activist; Luiza Mutoshvili, a teacher; Lusine Dostibegian, a ranger and Aleksandre Kavtaradze, an activist described the perspective of ethnic minority representatives in Georgian society in a discussion moderated by Ketevan Shubashvili, Head of the Equality Department, Public Defender’s Office and Davit Gorgiladze, TV presenter.
„I expect to hear inspiring stories today as each participant of the discussion has made valuable contribution to the field they serve. Their dedicated work has led to significant shifts in public attitudes and raised awareness on the rights of minorities, women and children,” says David Gorgiladze.
Video highlights from these talks can be found at the Council of Europe Office in Georgia Facebook page.
The events are organised in Tbilisi and the regions of Georgia in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Office of Resource Officers of Educational Institutions, the Training Centre of Justice, Equality Ambassadors, and civic activists.
Below some key events from the Equality Week:
- Training of the community officers on legal issues of fighting against discrimination organised together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA)
- Working meeting on hate crime data reporting organised together with MIA, Prosecutor’s Office, Supreme Court of Georgia, GeoStat and the Council of Europe
- Round table on strengthening equality in public service organised together with the Training Center of Justice
- Human Rights School for Children
- Informational meetings with students, teachers and school principals and municipality employees
- The Game on equality ‘What, Where, When’ organised together with the Office of Resource Officers for Educational Institutions
- Presentation of the reports on the social issues and the rights of the Elderly organised together with the member organizations of the Coalition for Equality
- Training for journalists on discrimination and standards of its coverage organised together with the Rule of Law Center
- To promote equality, diversity and redress mechanisms, during the Equality Week the shops representing the Retail Association will display the visibility items supporting equality. The visibility items will be available free of charge i at the entrance of the shops.
More information about the upcoming activities can be found on the Council of Europe Office in Georgia and I Choose Equality campaign Facebook pages.
Equality Week is implemented in the framework of the I Choose Equality Campaign which is part of the Council of Europe project “Promoting the Effective Protection of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Georgia.” The Project is funded through the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023.
Contacts for the press:
Ana Toklikishvili, Council of Europe Georgia Office, [email protected] cell: +995 595 221 999
Tatiana Baeva - Council of Europe (Strasbourg)