The UN, EU, the European Investment Bank’s Regional Representation for the South Caucasus, the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and 28 foreign embassies in Georgia on Wednesday said the progress to protect the rights of the LGBT+ community had “stalled” in the country “despite efforts”, in their joint message on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
The missions welcomed the increase in public support for the protection of minority rights in Georgia, as the number of Georgians stating that LGBTQI+ rights must be protected has doubled since 2015.
They also welcomed the protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression that Georgia’s landmark Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination continues to provide since 2014.
“We acknowledge the efforts of various state institutions and civil society organizations in ensuring full protection of human rights and freedoms”, said the statement.
“We are concerned that despite these efforts, progress has stalled. Newly adopted national policy documents, such as the National Human Rights Strategy 2022-2030, the State Concept of Georgia on Gender Equality and the national development strategy Vision 2030 do not include measures to strengthen protection and inclusion of LGBTQI+ persons. Stigmatization, discriminatory language and hate speech by some public officials, politicians, media and religious figures incite further harassment against LGBTQI+ persons and threaten their lives”, said the dip corps.
They noted instigators and many perpetrators of open acts of violence against LGBTQI+ individuals in recent years, including during Pride Week in July 2021.
“We call upon Georgian state, political, civic and religious leaders to stand up and speak out against hate, discrimination and violence and to work together with the LGBTQI+ communities to ensure full enjoyment of everyone’s rights.
“We call on the Government of Georgia to align state policy and practice with Georgia’s international commitments to safeguard the rights of LGBTQI+ persons and to promote an inclusive society where everyone is safe and free to make decisions about their bodies and their lives”, said the statement.