Opinions of candidates for Ombudsman: Femicide and the problem of homelessness

The term of office of the current Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, expires on December 8, 2022, and the Parliament must select a new Public Defender by December 1, through voting.

The list of candidates for public defender consists of 19 people, among which three people – Ana Abashidze, Nazi Janezashvili and Giorgi Burjanadze – were nominated by non-governmental organizations.

Queer addressed the candidates for public defender with the same structured questions and already shared their views and assessments regarding LGBTQI rights. In this article, you will read their opinions about femicide and the problem of homelessness.

Two of the 19 candidates, Ketevan Chachava and Tinatin Erkvania, answered our questions in writing, telephone interviews were held with 16 candidates. One of the candidates, Nikoloz Nikoladze, was contacted by Queer throughout the week, however, after the interview was postponed several times, Nikoladze told us that he could not be interviewed due to his health condition and limited himself to a general assessment, so his answers were not reflected in the article. In addition, during the period of working on the article, another candidate, Jemal Natelashvili, requested the removal of his own candidacy, so his answers were not reflected in the material.

NOTE: THE SEXIST AND STEREOTYPICAL VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THE ARTICLE DO NOT EXPRESS QUEER’S POSITION, HOWEVER, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE OPINION OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER CANDIDATES ON THE MENTIONED ISSUES IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC INTEREST, WE ARE OFFERING THEM UNCHANGED.

What is your vision for responding to cases of femicide, what kind of efforts are needed to reduce violence against women?  

Anna Abashidze: We have been using the wrong method to fight inequality for many years, and the most acute expression of inequality is femicide. Our country is mainly focused on toughening the criminal justice policy, punishment, which is important, but if that is your only solution, you are guaranteed to fail. შენ You can punish a person who has already taken a life, but that can never relax and think that same thing will never repeat. The theories regarding this matter are well explored, there are many levels of prevention, three at least, which differ from one another.  Criminal law practice is the last, third level, which, among other things, is used for prevention, but the first two levels of prevention are far more important. The first is to periodically survey public sentiment to see if progress is being made. What has changed? In what way has it changed? In which areas is more work needed etc. The work of any service should be based on this. The second level, which is crucially important, is early prevention. I mean, when the state knows that there are certain dysfunctional relationships, a person is in a dangerous environment that does not rise to the level of being at risk of physical violence or femicide, but there are signs of violence, and the state knows very well where and how it is.  A citizen should know that even in this case they can get support from the state and leave the environment that is risky for them. The most recourse should go to cases with high risk factors and not the severe ones, so the citizen is supported, no matter who they are. This is the part we have the biggest problems with, as we have no high quality services, I mean financial, psycho-emotional, safety or social services. We have what we have, and only apply it in the most severe cases, when the victim, if they survive, goes to the state for help, but unfortunately, many who did not survive will never be able to use any of this. The solution is to solve the problem with a holistic approach. Also, femicide is not homogeneous, women are not all the same. აIt is possible that they will be subjected to violence because of their identity, because of their orientation, the state should know this too. Domestic violence doesn’t just happen because of gender, it’s a very complex case and a person may have multiple identification markers they can be punished for.  In order to implement the right policies, the state must be aware of this, and the corresponding support services it has, must also be focused on all women, who may represent different groups.

 

Marika Arevadze: Femicide is a huge problem, and in order to solve it, it is necessary to implement the jurisdictional regulations, which exist.  For example, an electronic bracelet can be used on an abuser, which as I know has not been implemented in practice yet. This will be a good prevention that will protect women more. On the other hand, there is work to be done on the legal regulations, in the direction of which the relevant non-governmental organizations are working, but it is not reflected in the legislation, and the law that we already have should be properly enforced. Also, the reaction of the investigative bodies, the police, should be adequate, which is expressed in the observance of all the standards that exist in this direction.

 

Giorgi Burjanadze: The main role of the public defender is to constantly provide evidence-based facts to the public, show the situation, what are the challenges, what are the gaps, study the verdicts, present the problems. It is very important for society to see that violence against women is a subject of separate study, special treatment, and approach. Many people have the feeling, I mean men, that they have the right to abuse a woman because she “shamed” them, they have the right to oppress the “weak”, and this is so ingrained in the mentality that it is necessary to raise awareness that both men and women are weak or strong, and the strong should not oppress weak. The main thing is social and educational programs, if we teach the right values to children, we will have less problems in 10 years. Also, as soon as a case of violence is detected, the issue should be actively studied, I mean that, for example, a woman has detected that she is a victim of violence, the mechanisms should be well activated, for example, the electronic bracelet is used in very few cases with us, although it is a very good mechanism, but last year we used it in only 20 cases. The Ministry of Internal Affairs says that women sometimes do not express their consent. I think there is a problem of proper explanation here, preventive measures are necessary. Also, holding a person to strict responsibility in such cases – it should be clearly seen that this will be followed by a strict response and zero tolerance.

 

Lela Gaprindashvili: In my opinion, it is very important to have accurate data throughout Georgia, this, of course, does not mean that even if one woman dies because of her gender, the public defender should not react to it. Fortunately, human life cannot be calculated in numbers, and the public defender should not rely only on numbers when talking about femicide, but numbers are important for us to indicate the depth of the problem, the seriousness of the problem in the political agenda. I mean, even legislative changes in this direction.If the domestic violence law does not work and we still have a terrible situation of femicide in the country, then it should be tightened or some additional articles should be implemented or a special law should be created. Therefore, it is very important to show the general picture. I draw attention to this picture because there are cases that do not fall into any statistics at all. When I talk about research, I don’t mean only quantitative research, I’m talking about qualitative research, and the public defender must personally discover, be personally interested in cases that are particularly hidden, raise the alarm and take care of bringing these topics to the political agenda.

Sofia Demetrashvili: The public defender has a 6-year term, and the first thing I will do is to create public councils, unions, because it is most important that people understand that their participation will be necessary. It should be possible to obtain information immediately and then, when the community is involved in management and solving certain problems, of course, these problems will be eliminated very quickly, operationally. People should make decisions on all important issues. Specialists from different fields should be involved in these unions. These councils should be established in all directions.

Teona Arkvania: This is an extremely difficult and serious problem, which is most likely caused by disregarding women’s rights and their oppression… The reason for this is the lack of education… First of all, the current legislation should be improved, and later and/or simultaneously the mentality has to be changed as well. In general, work in this direction is already underway at the legislative level, and the current legislation changes from year to year. Nevertheless, there are issues that require revision and additional regulation. This direction will also be one of the main priorities in the event that I am chosen and become a public defender.

Evgenia Tavadze: Solving the problem still depends on the person who is oppressed, persecuted, harassed, deprived of rights. The result depends, first of all, on human efforts, then on the coordinated intervention of power structures. If this does not bring results, then the ombudsman and the parliament create councils where people explain themselves in more detail. The court cannot always answer this, that is, a person must go through these stages in order to fight femicide. Of course, it is also necessary to consider what the European Commission sent, those points, it is easy to implement, they started working on it, but it depends on the effort of the person themselves, how they thinks, how they formulates the complaint, how they get involved in it in a coordinated way, that’s it. Of course, there is also the media here, the relations in the lower link and the relations with the law enforcement officers, so that the right messages are sent, it is important to establish what happened.

Alexander Kobaidze: Femicide is a big tragedy in our country, perhaps this is due to the fact that the state does not properly care for citizens. If the state cared, there would be no more gender-based crimes, even within the family, because more propaganda that men and women have the same rights and more law enforcement involvement with vulnerable groups would produce results. The state only punishes and that is tragic, because in this case the victim themselves is often punished, and do you know why – hardly a day goes by that I do not receive a case related to domestic violence, which is related to gender, as a result of the investigation, the man goes to prison, and the woman, you know what she does? She tries her best to get her husband out of prison, such are the extreme situations that exist in our reality. Therefore, in my opinion, the state should play a decisive role in the direction of prevention, with vulnerable groups, families with a relatively low social status, because often cases of violence are more frequent in such families, and therefore, they should work harder here, so as not to face the problem such as a victim and the so-called abuser. For prevention, the state should intervene more actively, it should be through various propaganda, visits and conversations and a thousand mechanisms that the state does not use, even though it is our direct obligation under the association agreement. This is the approach of the prosecutor’s office: everyone in prison, as soon as the woman says that it was so, the standard in the Criminal Procedure Code disappears immediately and everyone is arrested. This process is taking place effectively, but we cannot see the results, because the state does nothing more than punish, it does not work with either women or men. There are cases when a man comes out of prison and kills a woman. The state should work harder, even by activating social workers, psychologists, and other levers.

Levan Kokorashvili: This is one of the main issues nowadays, and I think the problem is caused by the lack of education. Society, I mean men, are not developed enough to understand that women should enjoy the same rights as men in society and family, among others. In shorts, raising awareness is very important in this regard. 

Nugzar Kokhreidze: I have drawn up a plan and I believe that the legislation regarding femicide should be tightened, and although we have taken steps forward in this direction, because the society still does not understand, so to speak, it is apathetic, we must raise awareness of what femicide means, what differences exist. Work should be intensified in both directions – criminal law and education.

Giorgi Mariamidze: Legally speaking, the term femicide as it is used in our country is wrong. Can you name me a case when a stranger walking down the street ran into a woman he did not know, and beat her, injured her or took her life? Such cases generally do not exist in Georgian reality. If we add the word “-cide” to something, for example, genocide, it is an organized, deliberate campaign of violence against a group, such as the genocide of the Jews, as for femicide, we must mean the deliberate, organized killing of women by men. We don’t have that. These are the consequences of domestic violence, we have a problem within the family, between people with a certain relationship, so it cannot be femicide, the approach is fundamentally wrong. If we follow this logic, then all men are abusers. It is established that men are dangerous and women are weak. I don’t know where such an approach will lead us. Then we should divide the city in the middle, put a big barricade and say that since femicide is raging in Georgia, like it was a pandemic, let’s build this wall, we don’t even need to build a wall, here, Mtkvari, a natural border, we can put men on one side and women on the other.  We can put female police on women’s side and male police on the other and put guard dogs in the middle. Is this how we should live? We hear screams from the neighbors, wife chasing her husband, husband chasing his wife, and so on, but no one reacts, why? Either they are afraid of one side or the other side or the police, that everyone will be arrested or have to be detained for hours. People are so tired that they don’t want this extra burden anymore. Not just citizens, in my practice I have had a case where the policeman does not write an explanation just because “Oh, then they’ll take me to court”. We should not fight against the institution of the family, as it seems, from the people who talk about femicide, about women’s rights, from various organizations, such an impression is created in society that these people are fighting against marriage, the institution of the family and want it to be destroyed, there is no other way to explain it. Here is such an organization, they are shouting that my pussy should belong to me, my body is my property, what is such a radical approach that calls on the society not to marry, not to become slaves to their husbands, is this how you plan to protect yourselves?! On the contrary, it’s more of a provocation, you provoke people. Not everyone is, for example, Giorgi Mariamidze, who will think about all this and say no, people, despite all this, so to speak, let’s think about it, shall we? Not everyone follows the principle of the Good Samaritan that you should love your enemy and no matter who the enemy is, of a different religion and so on, if you see someone in need, you should still help them.. If it were so, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about, so we should live in society in such a way that we don’t irritate each other, so to speak, protect each other. […] I also suggest to the society, maybe we should think about regulating some norms from the beginning, we should find out what causes conflict in the family and then we will group such reasons and it will be written in the marriage contract that if you want to have a doctor as a wife, then you have to come to terms with the fact that she will have to work night shifts. Being on operations. Second thing, if you marry a working lady who runs some establishment, for example, an aesthetic center, it requires her to look attractive in order to attract the clientele, that lady has to wear a little short clothes, a little more beautiful and so on, it’s part of her job, a man who doesn’t like this shouldn’t  marry a woman like this, but someone from a more traditional background, who wears a headscarf and spends 24 hours a day thinking about what to cook for her husband. So the contract should state these aspirations, these weak and strong points. Here, they marry a girl like an angel and then they don’t care that she wants to dress, walk, if you marry a model or a girl with a very good appearance or, so to speak, a person with certain ambitions, she wants to dress differently, and if you can’t give it to her, then she has to work. We should make the contract mandatory.

I have witnessed many family disputes and I try my best to resolve the dispute without court, without noise. Men are more reluctant to take the conflict situation to court, women tend to be more prone to it, they think that when they hold the court’s decision in their hands, they can control their husbands, and that is not true, opposite, he might just kill you, no law can hold him back. 

Sergo Makharadze: I consider raising awareness on these and related issues to be one of the ways to reduce femicide. Relations with people and elimination of social problems need to be taken care of, because these are such interconnected existential topics that, in my opinion, it is not appropriate to separate them and discuss only one issue. Therefore, it should be done comprehensively and on the basis of proper studies.

Maka Mindiashvili: This is killing women, isn’t it? All problems should be prevented, that is, they should be thoroughly studied. Femicide is based on what? When people are in love, femicide won’t happen, right? In other words, it happens on the basis of hatred, it happens on the basis of alcoholism, after the influence of drugs and any other external factor, it is that femicide happens, isn’t that right? Even jealousy, especially jealousy, in today’s society, unfortunately, women think that they have more rights than men, sometimes they do such things, married women, that it should not be discussed, but it is a problem of weak will or lack of self-control, I don’t understand, when a woman or When a man decides to start a family, they have certain responsibilities, don’t they? With yourself first and then with society and your children. Therefore, if we assume that a femicide occurred on the grounds of jealousy, in this case guilt must be determined. Now if your spouse cheated on you, what would you do? You may not kill them, but you will be very angry. And you might even think about it [laughs] right? It is a very painful topic, I understand all those people, whether they are women or men. No, betrayal is not allowed for me. We have so many problems. There is work to be done in every family, it is not only a global problem.

Ketevan Chachava: Femicide is such a complex problem that one agency cannot really deal with it on its own.For this, a unified, constructive state policy is needed, which will be actively focused on achieving essential gender equality. Multifaceted and simultaneous work is needed here on the establishment of a gender-sensitive justice system, on effective investigation of existing crimes and providing the correct qualification, as well as on the determination of a proportional punishment at the stage of sentencing. At the same time, efforts should be made in the direction of breaking gender stereotypes in society and economic and political empowerment of women.

Giorgi Tsobekhia: To solve the problem of femicide, first of all, school education is important, that is where we should start. Media coverage is important for prevention, but it can also have an encouraging effect, so the media has a huge responsibility, it is very hard to draw the line in such cases. This is not an easy issue and requires an in-depth analysis. What I mean is, that the state policy should be changed, it should be redone completely. 

Iago Khvichia: In general, any type of crime, be it violence or organized robbery, needs to be thought through, regardless of the type. What you are asking about femicide, in general people kill each other for many different reasons, not only women are killed, men are also killed, old people are also killed, mostly men kill each other, as a rule. There is a science that studies the causes of this, what it can be, how it can be reduced, there is criminology, criminology, which studies all this, but rightly separates it, that in the case of the murder of women, we have to do something else, in the case of men, something else, and in the case of children or the elderly, something else, according to different professions, let’s say, in the case of the murder of a policeman or in the case of an engineer, I think it will take us somewhere else. In my opinion, we need to create a society where violence is not encouraged and inevitably punished. Such an order is needed so that less femicide occurs, less conflict between men, between the old and the young. If we start caring for one group in particular, then what has the rest done wrong, this is against the logic of the law. In my opinion, we should take care of people equally and we should try not to allow killing of any human being. ცOf course, this is an idealistic goal, and murders will always happen in society, but our system should be designed in such a way that murders happen less often.

Nazi Janezashvili: The problem of violence against women has many layers. The role of the public defender in this case is also related to justice, and it is the same for the realization of any right. A great role and importance is assigned to the judiciary and justice in general, and it may seem superficial, but close cooperation with relevant organizations is necessary. The ways, the steps that have been taken so far should be evaluated, whether they are effective or not, whether more work is needed. The public defender should make the state more sensitive to these issues. The risk of femicide can be faced by any woman, whether she is a housewife or has a career, a high-ranking person or not, because today in Georgia there is a serious situation in this regard. We should all work together to solve this problem, the involvement of the state should be ensured, provoked by the public defender. Here, too, one of the most important things in relation to cases of domestic violence is the proper readiness of the judicial authorities, so that the current processes do not become a basis for encouragement. Work is needed both at the level of response and prevention, in short, in all directions. With systematic work, joint efforts can achieve something.

How should the state take care of solving the problem of homelessness, how do you see the participation of the public defender in this process?

Anna Abashidze: I always say that social issues and people’s daily challenges should be the agenda with which the public defender should work and one of the most acute is the violation of the right to decent housing in our country. This happens mainly because our social policy in general is not focused on people, and it does not fully guarantee that any citizen lives more or less decently. There are many people who are hungry, who are in pain and cannot receive basic services. Among them are people who lose their jobs due to various challenges and remain homeless and on the streets. Decent housing is a basic part of the human right, without which it is impossible to talk about other topics, therefore one of the most important emphasis should be on the basic rights that a person needs to survive, such as housing, education, health care, etc. The public defender should work on criticizing social policies, should offer his experience, should work with the state to improve this process, and should also work on individual cases that concern people, whether they have asylum or asylum seekers. Here, I will say once again that there should be an intersectional approach, because asylum seekers are not similar, they have diverse experiences, needs, and the public defender should look at it from this point of view.

Marika Arevadze: It is necessary to develop a unified state policy and, within this framework, homelessness and other economic problems that cause significant damage, including women and LGBTQ people, should be overcome step by step, although at a fast pace. Policy should be developed and implemented.

Giorgi Burjanadze: I may not be familiar with the situation with any particular group, but in general with homelessness I will say that it is one of the biggest problems and we have seen over the years that the definition is problematic. In Georgia, we have a law that contains an incomprehensible definition. Municipalities have an obligation to care for homeless persons, and every municipality has its own standards, and what is the standard defined by international law for a person to be considered homeless, is not in line with the current approach in Georgia. Real needs of homeless people are not met by legislation, and you may actually have a need for housing, but the law cannot cover this direction. That’s why we started a dispute in the Constitutional Court and challenged many municipal by-laws and laws passed by the Parliament and we are arguing about their dignity. We argue that a person’s dignity is violated when they are homeless, and the state discriminates when it gives status to one category and not to another. The case has yet to go to trial, even though it has been on appeal for years.

Lela Gaprindashvili: The right to housing is fundamental. The public defender has many mechanisms, in any case, they can make a very important contribution to making this issue relevant, and I will repeat again and again, the general picture is very important, unfortunately, we have to show politicians in terms of changing their views and making political decisions that yes, it is an important problem, because this is the picture and the state should improve it.

Sofia Demetrashvili: I faced these problems for 10 years and more when I worked in the public service and every day, not only in the direction of homelessness, but also in the direction of people who are beyond the poverty line, who are left on the street or sheltered by each other, or are illegally hanging on to properties belonging weather to the Ministry of Economy or property on the of local municipalities. We have a similar problem with internally displaced citizens, the problem was caused by the absence of relevant policies while the Shevardnadze administration. The state, in fact, was not ready for the influx of so many people, the hardship has followed us since the 90s. The persons who have occupied the property and have owned the property for years must have the property proved in ownership. The law tells us that if the building stood on the land before 2007, only in this case it is subject to registration. It is incorrect, it is 2022 and this date should be changed. The territory developed, the city expanded. People who do not own property and are sheltered in other people’s property, do not even have basic living conditions, such as natural gas, electricity, water, communications, they do not have anything. How can this problem exist in the state in the 21st century? All this is vital. The situation in the regions is dire and even more severe. The state should have a policy, a strategy, there were attempts, but they were insufficient.

Tinatin Erkvania: The social status and rights of the homeless and especially the elderly is a subject of scientific research for me. In general, the subject of my research is the principle of the social state (recognized by the Constitution of Georgia since 2017) and its implementation standards in Georgia. In general, it is difficult to define how social the state should be. Is the system of social assistance expressed by the state only a good will or the implementation of the positive obligation that the principle of the social state includes? etc. There are many more legal nuances that would take us too far to talk about. In general, shelters for the elderly should exist, and in general, the issue of providing shelter for the elderly is the competence of the municipalities in Georgia, which can be problematic. My immediate priority will be to address the issue of providing shelter for the elderly in this regard.

Evgenia Tavadze:  Of course, it is necessary to collect the statistics of individual cases, which we see in the territory of Studkalaki and other similar settlements, as the duplication of cases can occur and certain structures engage in corruption through schemes. This needs to be controlled, so that the person who is homeless gets the worth of one house. There should be a relationship with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of IDPs, the Ministry of Culture, i.e. it is the coordinated work of the ombudsman — collecting statistics, verifying and participating in ensuring the restoration of their rights to housing and labor rights. This is the state, the state stands on this. Active work is necessary, but those who do not have housing also need to make an effort.

Alexander Kobaidze: The tragedy of our country is that everyone, young and old, is fleeing the country. If we look at society, this problem is everywhere. The reason for this is that, first of all, they feel worthless and insecure. In an unworthy job, for example, because they don’t get a proper salary, they can’t realize themselves, because the law is selective, and  there are problems with the banks. There are a thousand other social problems, so the public defender has a decisive role in all of them. It is necessary to develop such legislative acts that, for example, evictions do not take place when one has one residential house, and also there should be appropriate rehabilitation centers. No one cares about that, no one cares about drug addicts, women who are victims of violence. There should be appropriate programs, people should be rehabilitated, this is not a utopia, it happens in normal countries, but not with us.

Levan Kokorashvili:  I was the head of one of the charity organizations where the mentioned issue was at the forefront. We were asked by many people from Tbilisi about the housing problem, but there were many from the districts who wanted a residential area in Tbilisi, but we did not touch anything without research and determined that some of them had real estate. There were cases when they really had a problem and we turned to the state. The state should develop a strategy to accommodate homeless people, but proper study is necessary.

Nugzar Kokhreidze: Regarding the problem of homelessness, the current public defender also has some recommendations. First, she noted that a task force should be created to develop policies because, according to the report, state policies are inconsistent, including with regard to LGBTQI community. The lack of a unified political vision should be eliminated by the working group, which will give us a framework for action. At the same time, we need to penetrate all agencies so that they make objective decisions so that subjective attitudes do not hinder the solution of the problem. Community involvement should also be increased.

Giorgi Mariamidze: I don’t know how to answer clearly. One — we have casinos in the city center, these tempting establishments, which can end with the sale of the house. The second is drug addiction, alcohol addiction, which leads to the loss of everything. Also, there’s a group that hasn’t had anything before or now, so we have to look at that a bit more complexly. If we say that gambling, loans cause hardship, there are many problems, legal or existential, that need to be taken care of, we should start from there, that we have a problem of lack of education, experience, information, and then comes responsibility, we have a catastrophic situation.

In order to solve the problem of homelessness, we must seek as much information as possible and then act to eliminate the causes that lead to homelessness.

Sergo Makharadze: Social issues will be my priority. Unlike other candidates, for me this direction will be the most important, that is, the problem that actually concerns people. Among them, one of my suggestions is regarding unemployment insurance. The most difficult background in this regard and insurance will be important. At the hearing, I touched on bank interest, the problem of housing, it is important to provide housing for vulnerable groups. I will put a special emphasis, among other things, on providing students with housing, because the majority of students are people from the regions who need significant support, and I think that my involvement in this direction will be decisive.

Maka Mindiashvili: It still amazes me how all governments have failed. We have so many empty areas, even if a few buildings were built in the outskirts of Tbilisi to give these apartments to refugees. For me, this is a two-two, very simple matter, it requires the will of the state, nothing more. So much money is wasted from the budget, how could they not manage to build some buildings, where do our paid taxes go, it is wasted in all areas. I will definitely raise the issue that even if a tender is announced and some buildings are built for these homeless people and refugees, if it is done with nepotism, then it makes no sense. It should be objective.

Ketevan Chachava: The right to adequate housing is one of the most important social rights. The role of the public defender in creating a social system adapted to human rights is very important. The problems related to the right to adequate housing became particularly acute in the light of the pandemic, which made the situation even worse. In order to solve the mentioned problem, it is necessary to develop a unified, effective state policy and then to implement it both at the national and local levels. For this, it is necessary that the issue of the homeless be a priority and be more actively on the agenda.

Giorgi Tsobekhi: The development of state policy is not within the competence of the public defender, however, in the process of policy development and implementation, the role of the defender may be included in the response to human rights violations.

Iago Khvichia: The solution is to get rich, we are a poor country. The problem of homelessness exists everywhere, even in wealthy societies. When we are a poor society, we are stuck in one place, we do not move forward. What should the public defender do to solve the problem, apart from having positions on the development of the economy. If you are asking me whether the homeless should have a house or not, the money with which you have to build it should be taken from someone, you are responsible for taking the money and I am the public defender, am I not a money grabber? [The journalist asks what the state tells people who are currently at risk of becoming homeless due to a number of challenges] What to monitor, what to do, for example, what did Mrs. Lomjaria do to give a house to homeless people, how can this be the competence of the public defender or what should I do? Let me answer this [the journalist clarifies that, for example, the state can pay attention to the condition of existing housing] is someone obliged to build a house for me, to buy a house for a man, to buy a house for him? You are asking me nonsense [the journalist clarifies that we are not talking about buying a house, but about temporary housing, a space where a person can grow strong] I think you are not talking to me seriously and I am begging you to leave me alone, the state is not obligated to be a woman, you want a child, you want to build a big house, The state can take care of those people who could not protect them and lost their land and water, and if you tell me that a woman lives in violence, she has nowhere to go, the state is not obliged to buy her a house. Would you pay that money out of your own pocket? [clarification again that we are not talking about buying, maybe this alternative is a temporary residence] The only thing the state owes to someone is a poor person who dies on the street, he has no money for bread, no money for medicine, he can find first aid to save their life , but in order to protect women, it is not written in anything to rent a house to women who have quarreled with their husbands.

Nazi Janezashvili: I don’t have the proper preparation to talk about housing. I thought about the problem, but not about the ways to solve it. In this case, what I can say is that in the case of public defense, I would strengthen the monitoring mechanisms. Also, it is important to review advocacy mechanisms, to assess what works and what doesn’t. Advocacy can take many forms, from presenting statements to more conversation. In this part, financial provision is problematic, however, it is necessary to conduct a dialogue between different agencies, taking into account human rights. It is not an easily solved problem, but it can be solved somehow with systematic work.

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