Today the Council of Europe Office in Georgia presented the results of the 2018-2021 project “Fight against Discrimination, Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in Georgia”, as well as the main findings of the research “Hate Crime, Hate Speech and Discrimination in Georgia: attitudes and awareness”, which also includes the changes in public attitudes towards diversity in the last three years.
The research report presents an assessment of public perception and awareness of issues such as diversity in Georgian society; Rights of minorities and vulnerable groups; The extent of discrimination, hate crime and hate speech in Georgian society and their impact on specific groups; National legislation against discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech; Legal protection mechanisms and their effectiveness; The work of various factors on these issues.
The research shows that the level of awareness about diversity in the Georgian society and the positive attitude towards this issue has increased in the period 2018-2021. Compared to 2018, the public is more aware and has more acceptance towards minority rights. Since 2018, the number of people who consider the protection of the rights of the LGBTQI community important has increased from 33% to 47% in 2021. Additionally, the number of people who think that the protection of LGBTQI rights is insignificant has decreased from 44% in 2018 to 29% in 2021.
The survey also examined attitudes towards specific minority groups. In this regard, the question was asked whether the respondent would like to have a business relationship with a representative of a particular group. Overall, data on this level of acceptance indicate a positive trend. According to the data, with this indicator, tolerance towards LGBTQ people has increased by 10% since 2018. Respondents were also asked who they would not like to be in the neighborhood. The data show that the share of the population that would refuse to live in a neighborhood of the LGBTQI community members has decreased by 7%.
The study also included views on important issues for LGBTQI people. According to the results of the surveys, a relatively small change in attitudes is observed. The exception is the decrease in the share of respondents (by 8%) who believe that LGBTQI people do not have any problems in Georgia. The survey also asked the respondents about whether hate speech is used against certain groups in Georgia. The data indicates that, according to the perception of the population, LGBTQI people are most often the targets of hate speech. According to the respondents, the victims of hate crimes in Georgia most often are the LGBTQI people. The data in this regard has not changed substantially.
“While the public attitude towards diversity is becoming more and more positive, there is little or no change in the awareness of Georgian legislation against discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech. Awareness and views on response mechanisms and their effectiveness also remain unchanged.” – We read in the statement published on the page of the Georgian office of the Council of Europe.
The full report of the study “Hate Speech, Hate Crimes and Discrimination in Georgia: Attitudes and Awareness in 2021” is available here in English and Georgian.
Photo: Tbel Abuseridze