Georgia

Cooperation with Georgia: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/42/34) [EN/RU]

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Human Rights Council Forty-second session
9−27 September 2019
Agenda items 2 and 10
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Technical assistance and capacity-building

Summary

The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 40/28, outlines the technical assistance provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights between June 2018 and May 2019 to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights in Georgia. It highlights the main human rights developments and outstanding challenges to be addressed. The report also provides an update on the situation of human rights in and around Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 40/28, in which the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance in Georgia through the presence of her office in Tbilisi. The resolution also called for immediate and unimpeded access to be given to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and international and regional human rights mechanisms to Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia. 1 The Council also requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update at its forty-first session on the follow-up to resolution 40/282 and a written report at its forty-second session on developments relating to the resolution and its implementation.

  2. The present report gives an update on the technical assistance provided by OHCHR in Georgia and on the main human rights developments during the period from 1 June 2018 to 31 May 2019.3 3. OHCHR applied the same methodology for the elaboration of the present report as for those prepared in 2017 and 2018.4 The report thus draws on information provided by the Government of Georgia, the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia (an A status national human rights institution), international, regional and non-governmental organizations and credible open-source documents.

  3. OHCHR draws the attention of the Council to the ongoing constraints related to the implementation of the reporting element of resolution 40/28 in the continued absence of a dedicated budget for this purpose. It encourages Member States to provide an adequate programme budget implication5 for any future requests.

II. Context

  1. On 28 October and 28 November 2018, presidential elections took place in Georgia.
    The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) assessed the elections as competitive and well administered, while reporting incidents of misuse of administrative resources throughout the electoral campaign. It held that the gathering of voter data and mapping of political preferences, together with tracking voters on election day, raised concerns about the potential for intimidation and the ability of voters to vote free of fear of retribution. In addition, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights observed that “the use of negative, harsh and at times violent rhetoric significantly overshadowed the campaign” and went unaddressed by the authorities.6