Civic Platform "No to phobia!" statement on the Disregard of the Needs of the LGBTQI+ Community in the Government’s Draft Action Plan

The Civic platform "No-phobia!" hereby comments on the initial version of the 2024-2026 National Action Plan for the Protection of Human Rights in Georgia. The platform finds the disregard of the needs of the LGBTQI+ community in the action plan entirely unacceptable and incompatible with the protection of equality and other fundamental rights.

The Administration of the Government of Georgia has shared the initial draft of the National Action Plan for Human Rights Protection 2024-2026 with civil organizations. Before preparing this document, the Parliament of Georgia approved the 2022-2030 National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights in March 2023,. Notably, this Strategy does not make any reference to the LGBTQ+ community. National civil organisations, embassies, and international organizations, including the European Union, criticized the strategy for overlooking the needs of the LGBTQI+ community. Regrettably, the Georgian authorities have not heeded this criticism, and the aforesaid initial draft of the Action Plan also omits any mention of the LGBTQ+ community, similar to the strategy.

The Civil Platform "No to phobia!" considers the absence of acknowledgment of the LGBTQ+ community's needs in the draft document of the action plan, akin to the strategy, to signify a disregard for addressing the challenges confronted by the community at the core/central policy level. Despite the appeals from civil organizations urging the government to include the LGBTQI+ community in its action plan, the government has continued to neglect one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. This not only goes against safeguarding equality and other fundamental rights but also poses a threat to Georgia's European integration process. Specifically, in the EU enlargement report addressed to  Georgia, the European Commission highlighted that the 2022-2030 National Human Rights Protection Strategy does not encompass or elucidate LGBTQI+ rights. Furthermore, the report reads that the authorities have failed to acknowledge or recognize the systemic nature of discrimination against LGBTQI+ individuals. The European Commission urged the state to adopt an action plan that also ensures the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals.

It's worth noting that civil society organisations received the draft version of the action plan from the government administration approximately one day before the working session scheduled between them. This timeframe proved insufficient for a thorough review and in-depth evaluation of the document. Furthermore, the government has not provided information about the process, timeline, and format for collaborating on the work plan yet.

 The civil platform "No to phobia!" finds it imperative to incorporate the needs of the LGBTQI+ community into the action plan. This is crucial to avoid further deterioration of the protection of equality, exacerbation of the already hostile environment towards the community, and possible impediments to the country's European integration process.

Georgian Democracy Initiative

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association

Equality Movement

Tbilisi Pride

Rights Georgia

Human Rights Center

Media Development Foundation 

Tolerance and Diversity Institute

Institute for Democracy and Safe Development

Georgia’s Reform Associates