A/HRC/44/43/Add.1: Visit to Georgia - Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
24 April 2020
The Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises conducted a visit to Georgia from 3 to 12 April 2019.
In the early 2000s, the Government initiated extensive deregulatory programmes that eliminated entire sets of rules protecting workers and the environment, aimed at attracting foreign investments and improving the country’s score in the ease of doing business. This included, in 2006, a dramatic reduction of worker protections in the Labour Code and the abolishment of the Labour Inspectorate, leaving workers, especially those performing hazardous work, without adequate protection for almost a decade.
The Working Group was encouraged by the ongoing efforts to address remaining gaps in the labour rights and occupational health and safety regimes, including strengthening the Labour Inspectorate mandate. However, numerous challenges remain in addressing the systematic human rights abuses against workers, particularly in the mining and infrastructure sectors.
The Working Group welcomed the adoption of a business and human rights chapter in the 2018–2020 National Action Plan on Human Rights. However, it expressed concern at the level of implementation of the chapter and suggested that measures be taken to strengthen its content and institutional framework for implementation.
The Working Group notes the efforts of the Government to find a balanced approach towards attracting foreign investments, gaining energy independence, and discharging State duties to protect against business-related human rights abuses. However, it remains concerned that the current regulatory and oversight frameworks remain inadequate to address the negative impacts on people and the environment of large-scale projects, including in the energy and mining sectors. Finally, the report notes the development of the next National Human Rights Strategy for Georgia in 2020 as a key opportunity for the Government to consider the adoption of a stand-alone national action plan on business and human rights, with the equal and meaningful participation of key stakeholders.
Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
the Human Rights Council at its 44th session