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Statement of Human Rights Center about the tragedy in Bagdati municipality


Human Rights Center expresses deep condolence to the relatives of the family members, who passed away as a result of tragic accident in Bagdati municipality on February 3. Reportedly, the fire killed five members of the family of Gorgodzes – the young pregnant woman and her four underage kids. The fire also killed the relative of the family, who was together with them in the house. The tragedy once again demonstrated extremely grave forms of social and economic inequality and poverty in our country.  

The poverty is still one of the key challenges of the country and the current social policy is incapable to resolve it. As a result of systemic miscarriages and incorrect policy, although 60% of the population lives with social benefits, the people in extreme poverty are not empowered and supported that makes social vulnerability and current inequality impossible to be mitigated. 

The national strategy of the fight against homelessness, like the declaration of the state to eradicate the homelessness, shall include clearly prescribed goals, purposes and visions in accordance to those directions, which are particularly urgent for the state. 

It is necessary that the strategy covered the following directions: prioritizing the support to the particularly grave and vulnerable groups of homeless people, prevention of eviction, necessity of creation of effective institutional framework, prioritizing the development of preventive measures, elaboration of the analysis-based methodology and importance of updating the statistics, the need of systemic revision of the strategy document and evaluation of its effectiveness, and more.
On the municipal level, it is still necessary to create preventive and response mechanism, which will conduct census of homeless people in each municipality through adequate assessment of their conditions. 

Although the Constitution of Georgia determines the principle of the social state and includes many relevant provisions, although the State of Georgia bears respective obligations under the international agreements and conventions, the State still lacks the will to develop appropriate social defense services. Therefore, with the current tendency, social allowance is perceived as the burden for the country and as a charity, or a kind will of the State, which significantly decrease its systemic effectiveness and due to its sporadic character, it gets impossible to overcome the social injustice and to create appropriate guarantees for social defense. 

- homogenous methodology of the census of homeless citizens shall be elaborated immediately, which, alongside the identification of the challenges, will evaluate them; at the same time, the united data base of the homeless individuals shall be created;
- the state shall create the programs for the support of people living in the asylums, which, together with the preventive role, will have particular importance to systemize the fight against homelessness;
- it is necessary to develop long-term policy of the fight against poverty, which will be oriented on the needs of socially indigent individuals;
- it is necessary to pay particular attention to the rights of the children living in extreme poverty and ensure their access to relevant services. 

Human Rights Center 

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