Ekaterine Tikaradze – Our Citizens will Have all Benefits that European Citizens Have
The Council of Europe launches a new project – Strengthening Protection of Social and Economic Rights in Georgia. The project is aimed at promoting social rights, enhanced delivery of social services, improved Georgian Legislation (specifically in the area of labour rights).
An online presentation of the project was held today.
Cristophe Poirel, Human Rights Director, Council of Europe, opened the event and thanked representatives of the Government of Georgia for effective cooperation.
Ekaterine Tikaradze, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia addressed the audience.
“Our State has made number of significant steps and performed reforms during recent years, especially in terms of protection of labour rights. Though, it was vivid from the very beginning that additional legislative changes and ensuring their practical implementation were required.
So called the first wave of 2013 were followed by legislative changes of February 19, 2019, which envisaged obligation of employers to observe the principle of equity, definitions of harassment and sexual harassment were further specified in the legislation, etc.
This was the first stage in fulfilling obligations of the Association Agreement from the side of State. This endeavor has been continued and on September 29, 2020 the changes in Labor Law covered all directives in the field of labour legislation. Recent changes significantly improved labour rights, providing not only guarantees for protection on legislative level, but furthermore, guarantees for proper execution, by means of establishment of independent executive body – Labour Inspection.
Besides, Georgia as a member country of European Social Charter takes responsibility to strive for improvement of economic and social conditions.
Georgia ratified the European Social Charter, accepting 63 paragraphs of 19 Articles. Thus State took a number of the obligations, related to labour protection, health care, social protection, higher and vocational education, capacity building and other rights.
All directions envisaged by a new project of the Council of Europe are important for our country and wellbeing of our citizens. Enhancing capacities of corresponding authorities and alignment of Georgia to the European standards are necessary and important components of this process.
In conclusion, it may be said that Georgia applied systematic approach in terms of protection of human rights and active steps are made on a daily basis towards strengthening of standards of labour rights, labour safety. It is natural, that all mentioned does not mean that we can diminish the efforts and become satisfied with the progress already made. We realize, that it is a lengthy process and further support is required, to ensure proper and dignified labour rights, create safe and healthy occupational environment, which from its side represent the basis for increased labour productivity and acceleration of the process of integration with Europe. Increased labour productivity, as well as proper environment indeed represent a steady guarantee for wellbeing of employees and of business.
It also should be noted, that a very ambitious initiative is ongoing in parallel with this process. The initiative envisages development of Social Code. Intensive work is ongoing with involvement of the countries of European Union and international partners. We strongly believe, that these two directions will be in alignment with each other, and that finally will bring us to full protection of our citizens and the highest level of welfare system.
I would like to extend deep gratitude for active involvement and support and one more time reaffirm readiness from our side for maximal alignment with European Legislation and vision of European family. I strongly believe, that our country will manage to perform in the way that will make possible for our citizens to have all benefits that European citizens have”, - stated Ekaterine Tikaradze.