Committee considered the initial report of Georgia on the implementation
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(E/1990/5/Add.37) at its 3rd, 4th and 5th meetings, held on 26 and
27 April 2000, and adopted, at its 21st meeting, held on 9 May 2000,
the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the initial report by
the State party, as well as its written replies to the list of issues,
presented by a delegation that included high-level officials of
various ministries. The Committee welcomes in particular the constructive
dialogue with the delegation, its readiness to reply to additional
questions and to furnish additional information whenever available,
and the candour of its replies. The State party's report was submitted
in general conformity with the guidelines established by the Committee.
B. Positive aspects
Committee notes the intention of the State party to advance human
rights and to comply with international human rights norms by ratifying
most of the international human rights instruments, as well as various
International Labour Conventions, after independence.
the Committee acknowledges the efforts made by the Government of
Georgia with a view to implementing the rights set forth in the
Covenant. The Committee takes note in particular of the statement
by the delegation that the Government of Georgia intends to ratify
the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102)
and the Equality of Treatment (Social Security) Convention, 1962
(No. 118) of the International Labour Organization, which deal with
the issues of social protection of workers.
Committee notes with satisfaction that the Government of Georgia
is willing to cooperate with various international organizations,
such as the United National Development Programme, ILO, World Health
Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund,
as well as with regional organizations such as the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in order to realize the
rights set forth in the Covenant, and in particular to address the
problem of poverty.
Committee also welcomes the fact that the State party has created
governmental bodies which are concerned with the issue of human
rights, such as the National Ombudsman and the Committee on Human
Rights of the Parliament of Georgia.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
Committee is aware that the Government of Georgia is currently faced
with the difficulties commonly encountered by countries in transition.
The changes required to reform the social welfare and benefit, labour
and employment, health and educational systems are considerable
in economic, as well as political terms. In this respect, the Committee
also recognizes the problems encountered by the State party in addressing
the internal conflicts existing in certain regions of the country
which have seriously hampered the State party's efforts to improve
the situation of human rights for all its citizens.
D. Principal subjects of concern
Committee is concerned about the grave problem of poverty with which
the Government of Georgia is confronted. Despite the efforts made
by the State party, the average minimum wage is still insufficient
to ensure an adequate standard of living for large parts of the
8. In addition,
the Committee is concerned about the inadequacy of certain measures
being taken to combat poverty. With regard to activities aimed at
poverty reduction, there seems to be a lack of effective management
in the policy-making and implementation phases, particularly with
regard to the reform of the pension and taxation systems. A lack
of clearly established guidelines and indicators hinders the transition
the Committee notes that the statistical data provided by the State
party are insufficiently reliable to allow a clear analysis and
evaluation of the various problems it is addressing, such as the
level of poverty in the country, and the determination of the actual
minimum subsistence level and the real poverty line.
Committee considered that the lack of statistics on budget transfers
from central to local government for education and health makes
it impossible to have a clear view of the progress or otherwise
in these fields.
Committee also notes with concern the fact that workers in various
sectors of the Georgian economy have not been paid on time.
Committee also expresses its concern about the fact that there are
no legislative provisions ensuring disabled persons access to the
Committee notes with concern that women suffer more than men from
unemployment and that they are under-represented in the labour force,
especially in public service, including Parliament.
addition, the Committee is concerned that the National Plan of Action,
which aims to eliminate the inequalities faced by women in the economic
and social spheres, has not yet been implemented by the State party.
Committee notes with concern that the laws addressing violence against
women and sexual harassment in the workplace are inadequate and
Committee also notes with concern that the number of children begging
in the streets is on the increase and that many of them are drawn
by adults into various types of criminal activity.
Committee regrets that, given that the data provided by the State
party on the housing situation, including on the occurrence of forced
evictions, were insufficient, it was impossible to form a clear
and comprehensive picture of the matter. In addition, the Committee
deplores the failure to find a satisfactory solution to the problems
concerning internally displaced persons.
Committee notes with concern that there is limited knowledge among
the general public with regard to reproductive health issues in
general, and in particular with regard to the availability and use
regard to education, the Committee notes with concern that in the
new secondary school curriculum there appears to be an imbalance
between the amount of time devoted to military training (3 units)
and to "fundamentals of justice" (1 unit).
E. Suggestions and recommendations
Committee notes the statement by the State party that poverty reduction
is its principal priority. With regard to the policies adopted and
the measures taken, the Committee suggests that the State party
take into account the obligations ensuing from the Covenant, as
well as the recommendations contained in the present concluding
Committee recommends that the State party continue to seek international
technical assistance, as provided for in article 23 of the Covenant,
in its efforts to improve the implementation of economic, social
and cultural rights in the country.
addition, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that
its international human rights obligations are taken fully into
account when it enters into technical cooperation and other arrangements
with international organizations. Also, the Committee urges the
State party to take into account the different approaches taken
by various international organizations, such as the human development
approach of UNDP.
Committee supports the suggestion in the UNDP Human Development
Report Georgia 1999 that the poverty threshold level not be
changed in accordance with proposals which the State party has received,
as such a change would incorrectly reflect the poverty situation
in the country. In this respect, the Committee urges the State party
to take adequate measures to ensure that the minimum wage is sufficient
to meet the basic needs of the wage earner and his or her family.
Committee recommends that the State party take remedial action to
ensure that workers in various sectors of the economy are paid on
Committee also recommends that the State party undertake to adopt
relevant legislation to ensure that disabled persons have greater
access to the labour market.
that the resources available to the State party are limited, the
Committee suggests that measures be taken to concentrate their use
on major priorities, such as measures to address the existing inequality
between men and women in public service and the formulation of a
National Plan of Action on Human Rights. In this respect, the Committee
points out that international technical assistance may be requested
with regard to such activities from the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNDP.
Committee urges the State party to start implementing gradually
the National Plan of Action with regard to women. In addition, the
Committee strongly recommends that the State party take effective
measures to combat violence against women, including by adopting
State party is urged to treat with more concern the growing number
of children begging on the street and to take the appropriate measures
to solve the problem.
Committee recommends that the State party take measures to create
conditions that would allow internally displaced persons to return
to their places of origin.
Committee recommends that the State party take steps to improve
the awareness and knowledge of the public about reproductive health
issues. In this regard, the Government might seek the advice and
assistance of international organizations such as WHO, UNAIDS and
the United Nations Population Fund.
regard to the secondary school curriculum, the Committee recommends
that the State party strike an appropriate balance between the school
time devoted to military training and the time devoted to civic
education, including the "fundamentals of justice".
Committee requests that the State party include in its second periodic
report on the implementation of the Covenant all available information
on any measures taken and progress made, particularly with regard
to the suggestions and recommendations made by the Committee in
the present concluding observations.