Annual Report 2018
The number of immigrants increased in Georgia in recent years. According to the studies, part of society has negative attitude towards immigrants. Anti-Western propaganda, contributes by Kremlin, promotes the growth of religious and ethnic hatred towards them. This has led to a rise in racist and xenophobic incidents among local society, particularly among youth. The ultra-nationalist rally "March of Georgians" was arranged at a central avenue in Tbilisi on July 2017. Official demand of march was the deportation of foreign migrants from country. Two citizens were imprisoned for 4 years for racial discrimination in January, 2018. Even the President of Georgia called on the population to remember the historical tradition of tolerance speaking at a strategic discussion "Architecture of national security and sustainability" in February 7, 2018.
Our project “Multicultural Tbilisi Today” (8000 $, Funded by Open Society Georgia Foundation OSGF, 01/2018-11/2018) was addressed against the racist and xenophobic attitudes raising in the local population. Information campaign had aim to demolish the myths and negative stereotypes about immigrants. The project partners were International Organization of Migration IOM-Georgia and Tbilisi State Medical University.
We applied to various state agencies and requested public information about immigrants at first. We received the answers:
- From the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Resettlement and Refugees - Detailed information on the granting of asylum-seekers, refugee status and denying them in 2012-2017;
- From the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia - about labor immigrants in Georgia;
- From the Social Service Agency – about the services and benefits received by immigrants according to the Law of Georgia “On State Pensions”, the Government of Georgia Act N 145 "On Definition of Social Package" (July 27, 2012) and the Government of Georgia Act N 279 “On Social Assistance” (July 28, 2006);
- From the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement - about foreign citizens studying in Universities in last years;
- From the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia – about Direct Foreign Investments in last years;
The State Services Development Agency did not give us statistical information about residence permits and citizenship in recent years. Its supreme body - the Ministry of Justice of Georgia ignored our administrative complaint about it.
Therefore, in the our research about the immigration flows and subsequent awareness raising campaign we used the on statistical data provided by the GeoStat (based on information of MIA Border Guard Department) as well as on the information received from above mentioned state agencies. As a result, we published the analytical report "Public Information on Immigration - 2018" on our website and information about its main findings was widely disseminated by news agencies and televisions in April-May, 2018.
We applied to the Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs with a special announcement regarding the fact of violence towards African students taken place in Tbilisi, April 9, 2018. The announcement was signed by 12 more organizations (Youth Association "Droni", Fund of Women's Rights, Human Rights Center, Association "Save the New Generation", Youth for Peace and Development, Youth Development and Promotion Agency "Compass", Families Against Discrimination - FAD, Association "Peaceful and Business Caucasus", Multinational Georgia, Association "Tolerant", Tbilisi Human Rights House and the Georgian Committee of International Press Institute IPI). We have received an answer from the Ministry of Internal Affairs on May 15.
Within the framework of the project, we made 6 short informational videos and spread them in Facebook. Total views of the videos were reach 154 K, and the total number of unique viewers was 122,841. The most viewed video was "Georgia without racism". (Other videos made in the frame of project are available on our website ).
Observing social networks, we have noticed the attempt of beginning the campaign against Iranian immigrants through fake news. We have responded to this case with special announcement. Additionally, Foreign Policy Council published the article "Xenophobic Excesses - Risks for Economic Development" on possible causes and motivation of Iranophobia.
Final conference "Immigration Processes: Myths and Reality" was held on November 26, 2018. Main findings of analytical study "Public Information on Immigration - 2018" were presented and the videos made in the frame of the project were shown. The main topics of discussion: myths about immigrants; alleged causes and narratives of the Turkophobia; probable reasons for Iranophobia and its possible influence on tourism; benefits to the population and universities by foreign students; racist incidents. Young volunteers were awarded with memorable diplomas for the contribution in the project. Representatives of the Secretariat of the Government Commission of Migration, MIA Migration Department, Tbilisi City Hall, Political Parties, Universities and NGOs attended at the conference.
GC implemented project “Monitoring on Implementation of Kvemo Kartli Regional Development Strategy” in 2018 (5000 EUR, Funded by Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia CSRDG, 06/2018-11/2018). There was not any methodology for monitoring of Regional Development Strategies implementation process.
In the frame of project unique methodology for civic monitoring of state regional development strategies was develop by our experts. We requested public information about various state programs and received it from 35 ministries, state agencies and municipalities. After analyzing, the Report of Kvemo Kartli Regional Development Strategy Monitoring was published.
Next year, the methodology developed in the frame of project is used by our partner NGOs for monitoring of Regional Development Strategies implementation process in 3 other regions of country.