Georgia 2016 CEDAW Follow Up

The Advocates for Human Rights and Anti-Violence Network of Georgia submitted a joint follow-up report in response to the concluding observations made in the 58th Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women regarding Georgia’s failure to comply with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Although Georgia has enacted several legislative advances on behalf of women in the last two years, the societal response does not show substantive positive change nor has the government properly implemented these attempted advances. The number of murders of women by their partners has increased in recent years. Victims of sexual violence often avoid reporting their assault due to fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, lack of confidence in law enforcement, lack of specialized services for victims, social stigma, and fear of being a source of shame to the family’s honor. The State gives little attention to the effective investigation of domestic violence, and therefore, the real scope of domestic violence in Georgia is unknown. Domestic violence case investigations are excessively prolonged and thus, are rendered ineffective for preventing future violence. While new amendments identify victims’ rights to receive comprehensive services for damage suffered, the State party has not yet developed the regulations for delivering or identifying the amount of services. The State party does not sufficiently ensure access to effective protection for victims of violence, exemplified in limited resources for crisis shelters. The State party does not currently have a law that specifically prohibits and sanctions the practice of virginity tests.

While the joint follow-up report points to these evident legislative shortcomings, The Advocates for Human Rights and Anti-Violence Network of Georgia also recognize various efforts made in a positive direction in recent years and make suggestions for the continued pursuit of justice for women in Georgia.