Joint Submission for UPR by TDI and CPD: Racism, ethnic minorities
On 9 July the Tolerance and Diversity Institute and CPD made a joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Georgia. The document overviews the issues of racism, the rights of foreign nationals, the rise of fascist, populist groups, and the situation in terms of political and civic inclusion of ethnic minorities in Georgia.
The following topics are discussed along with relevant recommendations to the State :
Racism and anti-migrant discourse
There are no specific state policies, programs or strategies for tackling racism and xenophobia in Georgia.
Incidents and dynamics of racial discrimination and intolerance in Georgia
Recent years saw several widely covered cases of racial discrimination involving physical and verbal abuse against individuals with different ethnic and national backgrounds. In September 2018, a Georgian national, human rights activist Vitaly Safarov, was murdered on the grounds of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism.
The rights of foreign nationals: problems to obtain residence permits
Nationals of African and Asian countries reportedly experience problems in their attempts to obtain residence permits in Georgia as they face numerous impediments and barriers.
Problems during state border crossing
The state often rejects entry to representatives of specific countries on the grounds of unjustified refusal.
Legislation limiting the purchase of agricultural land
The newly amended legislation of Georgia prohibits ownership of agricultural land by foreign citizens.
Political and civic participation of ethnic minorities
The chapter overviews the main challenges that ethnic minorities face in Georgia in terms of political and civic inclusion, such as their underrepresentation in the political life, and the prohibition of political parties on a territorial principle; poor command of the state language; problems of teaching Georgian and minority languages, discriminatory practices at public schools and the violation of religious neutrality by school administrations.
The rise of the populist, violent and fascist groups in Georgia
Different far-right populist and extremist groups, including Neo-Fascist and Neo-Nazi, increasingly assault people in public places and organize rallies with intimidating slogans against foreigners.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. A review cycle is a four-and-half year period within which all UN Member states’ human rights records are reviewed. The reviews are based on the information provided by the State under review, the information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, and information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations. The State has the primary responsibility to implement the recommendations contained in the final report. In the frame of the 3rd cycle of UPR, Georgia will be reviewed at the 37th session in January-February 2021.