On 14-15 February the Council of Europe representatives will pay a visit to Tbilisi under the new project Fight against discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech in Georgia”. The project is financed from the voluntary contribution of DKK 15,000,000 (approximately €2 million) made by the Government of Denmark this week, on the 6th of February.
The delegation will discuss the project both with the governmental bodies (the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ministry of Interior, Police Academy and others), MPs, the Public Defender of Georgia (Ombudsman) and civil society representatives.
According to the latest report by the Council of Europe’s anti-discrimination body, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), “hate speech against ethnic and religious minorities, as well as against LGBT persons, continues to be a widespread problem in Georgia”, despite certain progress achieved by the country on anti-discrimination policies and legislation. Recently, The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia announced the launching of a human rights department which will also be tasked with monitoring investigation of hate crimes.
The campaign “No Hate Speech Movement”, coordinated by the Council of Europe, has been running a national campaign in Georgia since 2013, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs of Georgia together with the Ombudsman of Georgia and civil society.