This Joint Declaration Against Gender Violence (see Note Bene) confirms the joint will of those parties who have signed below to address the establishment and strengthening of a mutual cooperation between the Georgian Government, Georgian Civil Society and International Organisations aimed at combating gender violence and promoting the human rights of women.
Considering the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the UN, recognises “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” (Preamble, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966)
Acknowledging that the human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community. (Article 18, Vienna Declaration 1993)
Affirming that gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, including those resulting from cultural prejudice and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated. This can be achieved by legal measures and through national action and international cooperation in such fields as economic and social development, education, safe maternity and health care, and social support. (Article 18, Vienna Declaration 1993)
Noting that women’s human rights are enshrined in the following international instruments and that Georgia has ratified these as part of its commitment to human rights:
Further noting the following:
Agreeing “the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. (Article 1, UN Declaration for the Elimination of Violence against Women).
Noting gender-based violence refers to a wide range of violations of human rights, that concerns both genders, but affect women in a disproportionate way, such as:
Recognising gender violence is a universal problem that continues to grow and is one of the major concerns on the international human rights agenda.
Appreciating that the prime obligation of every state is to protect the human rights, fundamental freedoms and honor of individuals.
Recognising that one of the main and prerequisite conditions for the process of peace and further development of democracy in Georgia is the continuous protection of all human rights.
Welcoming Georgia’s participation in the basic international conventions and international legal acts related to the protection of human and, specifically, women’s rights.
Acknowledging that protection of women’s rights and interests in Georgia is regulated by a multitude of important normative acts.
Further acknowledging that the protection and promotion of human rights is not the sole responsibility of government, or inter-governmental organizations, but also of civil society.
Calling upon citizens to take responsibility and accept their moral obligation to promote all individuals’ human rights regardless of their sex, race, nationality, religious affiliation, political beliefs, social and property conditions, and personal abilities.
Considering the context of social, economic, and political transformations in Georgia, we, the undersigned parties, strongly believe that increased efforts to combat gender violence in Georgian society are required from all sectors of society.
Acknowledging one of the most important functions of the state and law and order concerns the protection of human rights and that Georgia has adopted national laws which are in accordance to international standards for the protection of women’s human rights.
Recognising the country
faces difficulties in implementing and enforcing its laws and as a result,
the realization of women’s rights is not speedily progressing in the country,
further complicated by the existing tendency in society to ignore and negate
violence against women.
Declare that we do not act on behalf of any political interest group, be they mainstream or otherwise. We support all initiatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations aimed at the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women in Georgia.
Confirm that all parties will conduct activities in line with the universally acknowledged legal and moral norms, using permissible methods and means and utilizing the experience of international and national human rights protection organizations.
Support local and international initiatives to raise public awareness and end violence against women,
Welcome and join the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25th - December 10th) an international campaign that links gender violence and human rights. This year, 2000, is the first time that Georgia has participated in the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
Aim, through this Declaration Against Gender Violence, to ensure each citizen’s respect for, and acknowledgement of, national and universally recognized human values and rights.
Urges that all efforts to combat gender violence should be based upon the following basic principles:
Further urging all parties to unite their efforts in ending gender-based violence and promoting human rights by:
1) freeing themselves from discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, nationality, religious affiliation, political beliefs, social conditions, or any other motivations
2) putting into force, developing, and closely monitoring both the:
3) taking preventive measures, which include the facilitation of programs of educational awareness raising and an informational character in order to enable the growth of societal consciousness in regard to gender violence and human rights issues
4) analysing education text books and scrutinizing media and public information to detect and remove gender stereotypes in order to facilitate gender equality
5) sensitising and training public officials of the executive and legislative branches of the state to recognise and understand the nature and forms of gender violence as well as supporting victims-survivors of violence
6) creating protection and support mechanisms through establishing shelters and legal and psychological consultation centers for victims-survivors of violence
7) utilizing all the mechanisms of the law to fight crime and combat violence and establish compensation mechanisms for victims of violence
8) conducting continuous research on the nature and magnitude of trafficking; taking measures to fight trafficking; declare trafficking a crime violating basic human rights; define trafficking in the Georgian law as a criminal activity as it is declared in International Law; establish programs for protection and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking; strengthen cooperation between all of the involved organizations and governmental structures
9) creating the grounds upon which the women will be included in the peaceful processes at all the levels
10) ensuring that the social status of women who have lost their husbands or partners in civil conflicts and wars are rehabilitated
11) protecting the rights of internally displaced and refugee women
12) reducing maternity and infant mortality rates
13) informing and educating society about women's reproductive and sexual health rights
14) facilitating public discourse about the impact of ecological violence on women's health and taking effective counter-measures
15) prohibiting torture and any other form of inhumane action against women in detention or prisons
16) promoting and implementing all the internationally declared legal norms concerning the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women
17) developing and maintaining close contacts and cooperation with international non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental structures, human rights and other foreign democratic institutions which will help to ensure positive attitudes towards implementation of women’s rights and, generally, human rights in Georgia.
Date: 10 December 2000
At: The Conference
on Gender Violence and Human Rights
GEORGIAN JOINT DECLARATION AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE
Public Defender's Office
Parliament of Georgia