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:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

  • Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Further noting the following:

  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

  • European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

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:

  • Domestic Violence;

  • Trafficking;

  • Sexual violence and abuse;

  • Violence committed in wars and armed conflicts;

  • Harmful practices, that negatively affect women’s sexual and reproductive health rights;

  • Social and economic hardships, unemployment and lack of adequate social services and welfare, which negatively impacts on women’s living conditions and freedoms;

  • Ecological violence, which negatively affects and worsens the reproductive health of women.

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.
Considering the aforementioned, we, the undersigned local and international organizations and representatives of government:

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.

Also mark

  • The UN International Day against Gender Violence (25th November annually)

  • The White Ribbon Campaign, a global initiative created by men, for men, to promote the elimination of violence against women.

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:

  • Prevention of violence

  • Protection from violence

  • Rehabilitation of victims-survivors of violence

  • Accountability for committing violence

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:

a) June 1999 Presidential Order # 511 “On the Measures for Facilitation of Protection of Women Rights in Georgia” and

b) February 25th Presidential Order # 64 “On Approving the Plan For Fighting Women Violence for the Years 2000-2002”

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
        Metekhi Sheraton Palace Hotel
        Tbilisi, Georgia



Public Defender's Office

Government Ministries:

  • Education

  • Justice

  • Labour, Health and Social Protection

  • Refugees and Accommodation

Parliament of Georgia

  • Committee on Human Rights, Petitions by Citizens and the Construction of Civil Society

  • Sub-committee for Mothers and Children Issues

State Chancellery:

  • Commission on Elaboration of State Policy for the Advancement of Women

  • Department of Social and Demographic Affairs, Women and children Protection and Family Development

  • Service on Human Rights Issues, National Security Council

Government Institutions:

  • AIDS and Clinical Immunology Centre

UN Agencies:

  • UNDP




  • UNV

  • WHO

International Organisations:

  • IOM

  • OSGF

  • Project Harmony

  • Save the Children

  • WomenAid International

National NGOs:

  • Association of IDP Women

  • Association of the Lawyers of Caucasus

  • Association of Women from Abkhazia "Sabinebi"

  • Association of Women Journalists

  • Biliki

  • Caucasus Human Rights Centre

  • Caucasus Women's Research and Consulting Centre

  • Centre of Protection of Constitution Rights

  • Centre for Women's Health Care and Introduction of Healthy Life Style

  • Child & Environment

  • Claritas

  • Foundation for Development of Human Resources

  • Georgian Association of Facilitating Women Employment "Amagdari"

  • Gender Development Association

  • Georgian Centre for Psychological & Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT)

  • Georgian Committee Against Torture

  • Georgia Disabled Women's International Organisation

  • Georgia Foundation

  • Georgian Fund for Protection of Children's Rights

  • Georgian Mental Health Association

  • Georgian Young Lawyers Association

  • Helsinki Citizen's Assembly

  • HIV/AIDS Patients Support Foundation

  • Human Rights in Georgia

  • International Advisory Centre for the Education of Women

  • International Centre for Civic Culture

  • MSF - Tanadgoma

  • Ndoba - Centre for Social & Psychological Aid

  • People's Harmonious Development Society

  • P.I.C. Alternativa

  • Project "Sapari"

  • Psycho-rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture, Violence and Pronounced Stress Impact "Ephathia"

  • Studio Mobile - Accent on Action

  • Sakhli - Women Consulting Centre

  • Tbilisi International School of Human Rights

  • TransCaucasian Women's Dialogue

  • Transition

  • Tskhinvali's Human Rights Centre

  • UNA - Georgia

  • Union Article 42 of the Constitution

  • Union of Human Rights Protection Activists

  • Union of Wives of Invalids and Lost Warriors

  • Women's Assembly of Society "Tbiliseli"

  • Women's Centre

  • Women in the Changing World

  • Women's Club "Peoni"

  • Women for the Future

  • Women's Information Centre

  • Women's Initiative for Equation

  • Women Journalists Association

  • Women's Resource Centre "Satnoeba"

1. Note Bene:
WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL initiated this Joint Declaration Against Gender Violence.  Drafted by the WomenAid team with members of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Coordination Committee in Georgia it was launched at the WomenAid sponsored conference on ‘Gender Violence and Human Rights’ held to mark International Human Rights Day, 10th December 2000, at the Metekhi Sheraton Palace Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.

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