Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia launches Human Rights Protection Department to strengthen response to violence against women and domestic violence

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia established the Human Rights Protection Department within its structure and presented it to a wider audience in partnership with UN Women on 23 January 2018.

At the launching ceremony opening remarks were made by the Minister of Internal Affairs – Mr. Giorgi Gakharia and UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Erika Kvapilova
At the launching ceremony opening remarks were made by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia and UN Women Country Representative, Ms Erika Kvapilova; Photo: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia

Opening remarks were made by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia, and UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Erika Kvapilova. In his remarks, Mr. Gakharia declared: “The structural reform of the Ministry has commenced by launching the Human Rights Protection Department with the awareness that our achievements in the fight against crime will be in vain without observing human rights standards. The Department will work to further improve the response of the police to violence against women and domestic violence cases, as effective prevention of and response to these crimes still remains one of the challenges for the Ministry.”

The Department has been established on the basis of the ministerial order on 12 January 2018 to ensure timely response and effective investigation into the following crimes: domestic violence; violence against women (including sexual violence); crimes committed on the grounds of discrimination; hate crimes; trafficking and crimes committed by and/or towards minors.

The core functions of the Department will be to monitor the process of investigation and administrative proceedings regarding the above-mentioned crimes; identify the gaps; and prepare and enforce measures to enhance law enforcement’s role in eliminating them. The Department will also analyze the statistics related to the investigation process and related administrative procedures.

 Launch of the Human Rights Protection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia
Launch of the Human Rights Protection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia; Photo: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia 

The Ministry plans to appoint specialized investigators on violence against women and domestic violence issues. It is planned to develop and implement a standard of their specialization; adopt relevant job descriptions; and develop a specialized training module to train them.

In order to increase the efficiency of the response from police at the forefront of the law enforcement system, NGOs together with UN Women had been calling on the Ministry to establish a specialized unit or department to improve law enforcement’s prevention of and response to violence against women and domestic violence cases for several years. The recommendation had also been voiced by the Public Defender of Georgia, as well as through the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council.

The partnership between UN Women and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia around issues regarding domestic violence and violence against women launched in 2012 in the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented jointly by UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women.