The Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia has drawn attention to the challenges and threats faced by human rights defenders and civil society in both Europe and Georgia. The Public Defender dedicated a chapter to this topic in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 annual reports it submitted to parliament. The reports underlined an increasing trend of verbal abuse, physical assaults, intimidation, and defamation, including by high-ranking political officials. Specifically, the reports pointed to challenges faced by women and LGBTI+ defenders and voiced concerns about cyber threats against and the bullying of human rights defenders. The reports analysed the rights of peaceful assembly, association and expression, as well as media freedom. The NHRI called on law enforcement agencies to undertake effective, timely investigations into any cases of human rights defenders at risk. It also provided recommendations to the government on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders.
On October 2021, the Ombudsperson Institution of Kosovo*, together with UN Women office in Kosovo*, launched the Informal Advocacy Task Force on Gender-Sensitive Standards for Occupational Safety, Health and Decent Work.
This task force aims to foster cooperation between stakeholders, the Ombudsperson Institution, the Women’s Caucus, UN entities, trade unions, private companies, gender equality activists and CSOs to promote gender-sensitive standards for Occupational Safety, Health and Decent Work.
The Task Force consists of the Ombudsperson (chair), while the co-chair will be the representative of the Women’s Caucus, several CSOs, and the Labor Inspectorate, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, and the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Kosovo.
This task force shall promote occupational safety and health for all and will meet every three months. It will also establish a platform for the regular exchange of information, awareness raising, and advocacy for functional formal mechanisms and social dialogue at the national level.