Human Rights Center (HRIDC) Georgia

The Human Rights Center, formerly known as the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (HRIDC), is dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and peace in Georgia. It is free of any political and religious affiliation. It was founded on December 10, 1996 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

hridc 2 Image credit: HRIDC

HRIDC employs 20 people in its head office in Tbilisi and its field offices in Gori, Rustavi and Gurjaani. The Human Rights Center believes that everyone is entitled to exercise her/his civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights freely and without any discrimination as guaranteed by national and international law. They recognise that the protection and promotion of these rights and respect for rule of law are key preconditions for building sustainable peace and democracy in Georgia.

The organisation aims to increase respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and facilitate the peacebuilding process in Georgia. To achieve this goal, it is essential to ensure that authorities respect the rule of law and principles of transparency and separation of power, to eliminate discrimination at all levels, and increase awareness and respect for human rights among the people of Georgia.

HRIDC's objectives

Strengthening the rule of law by: Supporting the harmonisation of national legislation with international human rights standards and monitoring their implementation; Raising public awareness about their rights and available legal remedies/mechanisms for their realisation; Providing free legal aid to individuals and groups to defend their rights and freedoms at national and regional/international levels; Monitoring, documenting and reporting on human rights violations.

Supporting freedom of expression and media by: Supporting development of independent media; Promoting creation of an environment conducive to freedom of expression; Capacity building of journalists and media representatives; Promotion and development of new media.

Promoting equality and social inclusion by: Fighting against discrimination; Protecting the rights of minorities and other vulnerable groups; Promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.

Supporting transitional justice by: Documenting and reporting human rights violations committed in relation with armed conflicts; Promoting accountability for human rights violations; Advocating restitution and reparation; Confidence building, reconciliation and peacebuilding.

Reinforcement of democratic processes by: Strengthening development of civil society organisations through capacity building and networking; Encouraging involvement of social groups in public activities; Promoting free and fair elections, good governance and transparency.

Activities

  • Monitoring and documenting human rights violations in Georgia.
  • Reporting on the human rights situation in Georgia to the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN, ICC and other international bodies on a regular basis.
  • Lobbying and advocacy of legislative and policy reforms to national and international institutions.
  • Litigating cases on human rights violations through a Legal Aid Centre, free of charge.
  • Public awareness raising on human rights situation in Georgia through daily updates on a bi-lingual online magazine, HumanRights.ge, and video-portal, www.hridc.tv
  • Networking among human rights organisations on a national and regional level.

Initiatives

The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders unites 30 human rights NGOs in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Network seeks to facilitate the creation of a safer and enabling environment for human rights defenders in the South Caucasus and to strengthen their voices in the region and internationally.The Network offers legal, psychological, medical and financial support to human rights defenders at risk; monitors policy, legal and security environment affecting defenders/NGOs and their work as well as human rights and freedoms in general and provides a regional platform for joint lobbying before national and international institutions.

Sorry campaign: Apology Instead of Bullets

Sorry campaign was initiated in March 2007. The aim of the Sorry Campaign is to change the dynamics and direction of the relationships that have been established between Georgians and Abkhazians during recent years. The Sorry Campaign is not in any way connected with politics; it is a movement that is against war, as the organisation considers that there is no alternative to peaceful dialogue and mutual settlement of the conflict.The Campaign envisages the reestablishment of confidence between Georgian and Abkhazian people and to break through the informational vacuum. They want to encourage people to think about the horrors of war and the mistakes that have been made.

Human Rights House

The Human Rights House Tbilisi was formally accepted by the Human Rights House Network in October 2009 by the international Advisory Board of the Network. By being the member of such a global network, Georgian civil society organizations will be in a position to advocate and lobby with greater degree of impact as well as to exchange knowledge, skills and experience with fellow NGOs from other countries.The House in Tbilisi will serve as a contribution to enhance the respect for human rights in Georgia, support the work of the human rights defenders in the country and be a focal point of human rights organisations in Georgia and the region.

Black Sea Peacebuilding Platform Initiative

The initiative to build a Black Sea Peacebuilding Platform was created in November 2008 during the Black Sea NGO Forum that took place in Bucharest.  Its development since then has been driven by professional civil society organisations specialising in peacebuilding, conflict resolution and violence prevention from the Black Sea Region. Its purpose is to provide an inclusive, transparent, democratically governed and regionally-based civil society platform for improved collaboration, cooperation and sharing of expertise, lessons learned and best practices to strengthen effective capacities for conflict transformation, violence prevention and peacebuilding locally, nationally and regionally in the Black Sea Region.

Coalition for Trust

The project 'South Caucasus Coalition for Rebuilding of Trust' launched in 2013 is implemented by Norwegian Helsinki Committee in partnership with local nongovernmental organizations in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Human Rights Center and Public Movement Multinational Georgia are project partners in Georgia. The project recruited three target groups – journalists, civil activists and students. Norwegian Helsinki Committee implements the project with financial support of the European Commission and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the South Caucasus countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and in non-recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The purpose of the project is to contribute to the development of democracy, promotion of human rights, intercultural understanding and reconciliation in the region. Educational activities- seminars were held in the first year of the project. Public discussions, meetings, web-seminars and TV-debates on peacebuilding issues have been conducted during the second year. These activities are still ongoing.

Human Rights Summer School

Human Rights Summer School is a joint project of Human Rights Center, Public Defender of Georgia and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities was held from July 10 to July 16, 2015 -  20 young people of the age from 15 to 20 participated in the 7-day training course of Human Right Summer School, Georgia.  The participants of the project where selected from the different regions of Georgia, including occupied Gali and Akhalgori. Within the frameworks of the same project, human rights summer school was held in Istanbul on August 3-9, 2015 where workshops and lectures were delivered about international human rights law to Georgian, Ossetian and Abkhazian lawyers, human rights defenders and civil activists.

Last updated: August 2016