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National human rights strategy: learning from Georgian experience

18-20 November, Tbilisi, Georgia - Representatives of state authorities visited Tbilisi to examine the development and implementation of the Geaorgian National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan.

 
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Led by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the Ukrainian delegation, comprising representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and the Office of Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, spent three days, gaining insight into the experience of their Georgian counterparts in the development of the National Strategy on Human Rights.

The agenda of the visit included meetings with the Head of Government Administration and Co-Chairperson of the National Council for Human Rights, a public defender of Georgia, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, and representatives of the Ministry of Justice.

Georgian National Strategy on Human Rights (2014-2020) was adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on 30 April 2014, while a two-year Action Plan on Implementation of the Strategy (2014-2015) was approved by the Government of Georgia on 9 July 2014. The same day, the Government of Georgia established the National Council for Human Rights, a special coordinating body of high-level aimed at promoting effective implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan. The National Council is headed by the Prime Minister of Georgia, and its members are heads of ministries, including representatives of UN, EU, Council of Europe, and local human rights organizations.

Adoption of the Strategy was preceded by year-long painstaking work of the working group of representatives from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, SCOs, international organizations, and expert and academic community. The working group held more than 10 meetings attended by over 100 representatives of non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders. In addition, suggestions and recommendations toward the Strategy content were received through the Human Rights in Georgia web portal (http://www.humanrights.ge/).

Georgian National Strategy outlines 23 priorities for the protection and promotion of human rights, regulates the activities of various government agencies, and facilitates donor coordination. Specific measures, terms, output indicators, and responsible parties are reflected in the National Action Plan.

In Ukraine, the development of the National Strategy on Human Rights was established by Presidential Decree #811/2014 «On the Development of a National Strategy on Human Rights," which mandates the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to ensure preparing a draft of the National Strategy on Human Rights with participation of representatives of the national government, local self-government, civil society, and leading national scholars and international experts by 1 January 2015.

The study visit of the Ukrainian delegation to Tbilisi was carried out with support from UNDP Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark within the framework of the "Democratization and Human Rights in Ukraine" project.