Constructive dialogue continues between State Fund and Public Defender’s Office on further improvements to survivors’ support services

Date: Friday, June 5, 2020

Children’s corner in Tbilisi based shelter. Photo: Mzia Saganelidze/RFERL
Children's corner in Tbilisi based shelter. Photo: Mzia Saganelidze/RFERL

UN Women has facilitated an information-sharing meeting between the Public Defender of Georgia and the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking pursuant to the report “Monitoring Results for Services of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Victims”.

The report, developed by the Public Defender’s Office, reflects the findings of monitoring the existing State services for victims/survivors set up to facilitate their recovery from violence while providing temporary housing, psychological and socioeconomic assistance and rehabilitation, and medical and legal services.
This assessment of the support services for victims/survivors in Georgia has been systematically carried out on the basis of the monitoring tool developed with the support of UN Women in 2014.

The vital importance of the existing support services for the victims/survivors, magnified by the beneficiaries’ overall satisfaction with the services, is well documented by the report. As highlighted in the report, beneficiaries stated that they felt secure and comprehensively supported.

Aside from overall positive dynamics and an increasing number of beneficiaries supported, the report identifies several gaps and calls upon the State Fund to further improve relevant infrastructure; advance the internal system of feedback and appeals at shelters; improve the procedures related to medical check-ups for survivors upon shelter admission; ensure the provision of psychological services to ethnic minority survivors in a language they understand; and ensure non-disclosure of personal information.

“We stand ready to actively collaborate with the Public Defender’s Office to facilitate further amelioration of support services for victims/survivors in Georgia,” states Mary Maghlaperidze, director of the State Fund.

The State-run shelters, crisis centres and hotline have been established with UN Women’s technical support and through generous funding from the Government of Sweden and the European Union. In 2019 alone, the shelters provided services to 411 beneficiaries, the crisis centres supported 242 beneficiaries and the hotline received 1,455 calls.

The Public Defender’s Office carried out the monitoring of the State-run shelters as well as the crisis centres and hotline for the victims/survivors of violence against women and girls and domestic violence in Georgia in the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality (funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women).