Georgian Parliament debates human rights reforms

georgian parliament The government of Georgia has this month adopted a resolution calling on numerous state bodies to investigate and tackle human rights violations reported within the Georgian authorities. The resolution comes after a report made by the country’s Public Defender’s, who recommended reforms be made to tackle any future breaches of human rights.

The report, which was last month debated at a parliamentary session, looked into several incidents raised in the last year and made recommendations based on the findings. Opposition lawmakers used the opportunity to speak against the current government, which it has accused of failing to react “efficiently” to reports of human rights violations in the country.

In response to criticism several government politicians accused the opposition of hijacking the debate for their own political gain.

Among recommendations made to government was a proposal to establish an independent body specifically to investigate alleged cases of human rights violations within Georgian law enforcement agencies. Currently any complaints made are investigated internally, which has previously led some to accuse authorities of covering up incidents within the police.

Human rights breaches within law enforcement have previously been an issue in Georgia when one special advisor to Georgia stated that “oversight over the law enforcement structures remains a problem”.

Although the response to the report from government and opposition members remains mixed the response from parliament was largely positive, who stated that the proposals were “noteworthy” and that initiatives will be made to work on the reccomendations.

Amongst the human rights violations investigated were several incidents made in previous months, including the abuse of prisoners, refugees and foreign citizens attempting to cross the border.

Although these debates appear to be a positive step in Georgia’s fight for human rights it is unclear how seriously government will take recommendations. It is likely that no action will be made on these proposals for some time.

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