Human Rights Day 2022: Striving for Leadership, Equality, Advocacy and Democracy

UNDP and Norway launch a new project to protect the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups in Georgia

December 5, 2022
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Nino Zedginidze

Ahead of International Human Rights Day, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Norway raise their voice to protect the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in Georgia.

The new “Leadership, Equality, Advocacy and Democracy” (LEAD) initiative draws on US$4 million in funding from Norway to support institutional, legislative and societal changes needed to ensure meaningful protection of minority rights and combat discrimination that shadows Georgia’s society. The project will be implemented in 2023-2025 in collaboration with a wide array of partners and supporters.

The initiative was presented to the public on 5 December, with representatives of the Government, Parliament, civil society, international organizations and diplomatic corps attending an event.

“Georgia has established a strong legislative framework for human rights protection. However, the practical implementation of these progressive laws, as well as deep-rooted social practices, present a persisting challenge. It took years of targeted work to bring change for greater equality in Norway. It will take targeted work in Georgia too, and we want to invest in that work to help Georgia move forward on that path. We will address these issues from three angles – empowering vulnerable communities, transforming societal attitudes, and supporting state institutions in democratic reforms.”
H.E. Helene Sand Andresen, Ambassador of Norway to Georgia
“Democracies understand that the rights of all people, including the most vulnerable and marginalised, must be protected. It is a fundamental principle of a prosperous society where people can live in peace and strive for success and happiness. Ahead of Human Rights Day, UNDP reiterates our lasting commitment to supporting and promoting human rights protection in all areas of life. We stand on the side of those who need it most, including national and religious minorities and LGBTQI+ communities.”
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia

Other speakers at the event included human rights activists sharing their personal stories of struggle and success.

Despite evident progress achieved on the path to equality, Georgia still faces challenges associated with discrimination and human rights violations. Throughout the last decade, the country has adopted laws and policies that ensure state support for human rights protection. This includes the adoption of the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (2014), the Law on State Language (2015), the National Human Rights Strategy (2014-2020), and the State Strategy for Civic Equality (2021-2030).

UNDP and Norway, through their LEAD project, will support Georgia to fully implement this progressive legislative framework and lift all barriers that hold citizens back from realising their Constitutionally guaranteed human rights.

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