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Current Activities
Conference on Roma in Georgia

ECMI Caucasus organized a conference "Towards Roma Inclusion in Georgia". Different stakeholders,including central and regional governmental representatives, civil society actors and activists have participated in the conference to identify the needs of Roma community of Georgia and present views for possible resolutions.

Furthermore, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia has awarded the winners of media prize competition for reporting on Roma community as well as Roma youngsters who have successfully completed vocational education by support of the ECMI Caucasus.

The event was organized in the framework of the project, financed by the Transition program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.ECMI Caucasus will be implementing a six-month project “Towards Roma Inclusion in Georgia”. /br>

Towards Roma Inclusion in Georgia

ECMI Caucasus will be implementing a six-month project “Towards Roma Inclusion in Georgia”. Overall objective of action is to promote tolerance and non-discrimination and empower Roma community of Georgia.

The project consist of four components: community emancipation, media, fight against discrimination, research and will be concluded by a state-level conference in October 2016.

The project is supported by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi. /br>

CENSUS 2014 - Rapid Analysis

On April 28, 2016 the National Statistics Office of Georgia released data of the Census 2014 with information on ethnic composition of the population in Georgia.

According the data share of ethnic minority population in Georgia has decreased from 16.22% in 2002 to 13.8% in 2014.

There are changes within in share of the two largest ethnic minority groups in Georgia:

Ethnic Azerbaijanis - from 6.5% in 2002 to 6.3% in 2014

Ethnic Armenians - from 5.6% in 2002 to 4.5% in 2014

Only 10 ethnic groups make up 99.6% of total population

ECMI Caucasus will provide more detailed analysis once the full data is available

Round-Table on Roma Community in Georgia

ECMI Caucasus representative, Elene Proshikian, has delivered a presentation at a round-table on Roma Issues in Georgia. The event was held on April 26 in Tbilisi and was organized by the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia.

ECMI representative spoke about basic needs and problems of Roma community of Georgia. In particular educational needs (both at pre-school and general education level), access to healthcare and social welfare of the state, access to information and overall discriminatory environment from the general public towards Roma community.

The round-table was attended by representatives of different state agencies and presented their views regarding existing challenges. Importance of coordinated approach among the relevant governmental agencies was emphasized. It has been reassured that special working group on small ethnic minority groups (including Roma) issues under interagency commission of implementation of state strategy for Civic Equality and Integration (SSCEI) is planned.

Brussels Advocacy Visit

During 9-12 March 2016 ECMI Caucasus has participated in the Brussels Advocacy Visit organized by Minority Rights Group Europe in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network.

A team of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Roma community representatives of Georgia have held meetings with officials from European External Action Service (EEAS), DG for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, DG for International Cooperation and Development as well as Mission of Georgia to the EU.

The aim of the visit was to inform the relevant bodies on situation of ethnic minorities in Georgia in particular what are the current challenges in this regards as well as to present the possible ways how the EU could mainstream and highlight these issues in bilateral and multilateral relations with Georgia and Eastern Partnership region in general.

The advocacy visit was concluded by a public lecture at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Secretariat on March 11. The main issues raised here were recent European Neighborhood Policy review; possible outcomes for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and role of ethnic minorities in this process.

Concluding event of the Pilot Project "Twinning of Teachers" in Borjomi

On December 23, Civic Education for Lawful State (CELS), a sub-grantee of the ECMI Caucasus, held a concluding event of the Pilot Project "Twinning of Teachers" in Borjomi.

The event has brought together top officials from Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda municipalities in order to share information about the project and its achievements.

Further on, the event served as an seminar to the LAs on the recent changes in the Georgian Local Self-governance Code regarding introduction of Civic Advisory Councils (CAC) and its possible establishment in Akhalakalaki municipality in the pilot format from 2016.

The Pilot Project "Twinning of Teachers" had been supported in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network

Local Advocacy Campaign in Lagodekhi

Throughout June-November 2015 local civil society organization “Madli” in Lagodekhi (Kakheti region) had been running Local Advocacy Campaign for ethnic minority communities (namely Azerbaijanis and Ossetians). The project was sub-granted by ECMI Caucasus in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network.

Main objective of the project was to raise awareness of the target population on the European Union, the Eastern Partnership, Georgia’s EU integration process and role of minorities. The project included following activities: seminars for school and kindergarten teachers, round-tables for Local Authorities and minority representatives; trainings for the local farmers on DCFTA measures and EuroCampaigns in the target villages and community gathering places.

Furthermore, European Corner has been established at the public school of village Uzuntala, settled by ethnic Azerbaijani population.

Eastern Partnership Minorities Network's Final Best Practice Seminar

On 7th of December, the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network has hosted its final Best Practice Seminar to share experiences and methodologies applied while delivering and facilitating local advocacy as well as the EaP information campaigns by minority activists and CSOs in the countries of EaP. The seminar has been opened with the key note speech made by Dr Stephen Stork, representing the donor agency- EU Delegation to Georgia.

Dr Stork has emphasized the importance of the inclusion of minority rights in the EaP policy processes, including the consideration of minorities in the objective setting of the various policy documents, such as ENP Action Plans, Visa Liberalization Action Plans and further inclusion of minorities in the EU financial instruments available in EaP countries. Sub-grants have been distributed to the most competitive project authors and were shortlisted among hundreds of the applications received.

Implementing minority CSOs working individually and in coalitions were choosing various target audiences, methods and tools while running advocacy campaigns. The EC funded programme has also enabled to support implementation of pilot projects in Georgia, aiming to create space for future development of the network and creating examples of best practices for network members.

All in all, the seminar enabled to exchange the practices of over 11 implementing minority CSOs between each other, as well as to demonstrate results and achievements of the programme entirely to the broader audience. The last conference of such a scale, which brought together minority activities helped to summarize and present overall impact of the EaPMN programme to the donors, international organizations, embassies and national decision makers which demonstrated interest to attend and participate during the seminar.

Overall there have been 50 participants during the seminar including project implementing partners’ highlighting the main achievements of the programme.

A success story of an ethnic Azerbaijani student of Georgia

Fazair Musaev, 21, from village Kesalo, Gardabani Municipality, Georgia is a Tbilisi State University undergraduate student of Business and Economics, where he has been enrolled through so called “4+1 program” for ethnic minority youth in Georgia.

Fazair, being dedicated and enthusiastic student, has been awarded with the Erasmus Mundus mobility scholarship by the European Commission and for one year is studying in Sofia, Bulgaria as an exchange student during the 2015/2016 academic year.

Fazair has heard about availability of Erasmus Mundus program special preferential quota under the 3rd target groups (for vulnerable groups) from one of the ECMI Caucasus’ seminars under the project “Raising Awareness of ethnic Minorities on EU Integration" in 2014 (supported by UN Association of Georgia - UNAG). Being motivated to apply ECMI Caucasus staff has consulted him throughout the application procedure and as a result of selection he is one of the few ethnic minority students in Georgia who could get chance to study abroad and with full scholarship from the European Union scheme.

ECMI Caucasus team wishes Fazair successful exchange period abroad and hopes that his experience will be motivating factor for ethnic minority youth from remote regions in Georgia.

2nd Cycle of Human Rights Universal Periodic Review of Georgia

On November 10, during the 23rd UPR session in Geneva, Georgian government presented its national report on the general human rights situation in the country.

On the other hand representatives of delegations of the UN member state raised those problems and issue which they consider Georgia faces with regard to human rights. Specific emphasis has been put on rights of the minorities such as: freedom of religion and belief, access to education, linguistic rights, non-discrimination approach, preservation of small ethnic minority groups. The situation of two specific groups have been mentioned separately: Roma community of Georgia and deported Meskhetians.

State parties such as United States of America, Great Britain, Austria, Portugal, Albania, Colombia, Armenia, Turkey, Sierra Leone have made specific recommendations to the government of Georgia on the rights of minorities and problems of each specific communities.

Prior to the session, ECMI Caucasus on behalf of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network in cooperation with Minority Rights Group representative in UN, Glenn Payot, has successfully conducted an advocacy visit which aimed at mainstreaming minority rights in the agenda of parties topics to be raised during the session. Minority representatives for this purpose prepared an advocacy document and disseminated among the delegations of the state. Lela Khonelidze, representative of religious minority from Pentecostal church of Georgia, has also participated in the advocacy visit. It important to mention that most of the recommendations suggested in the advocacy document have been raised during session.

Pilot Project: Twinning of Teachers

ECMI Caucasus, in cooperation with “Civil State for Legal State” has started implementation of a pilot project "Twining of Teachers" under the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network.

The aim of the Pilot Project is to advance competences of Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda public school teachers in Georgian language and support their civic integration.

Within the project exchange and twining of teacher has been made possible. 10 Beneficiary teachers (ethnic Armenians from Javakheti) are twinned with receiving teachers in Batumi and Kobuleti. For 4 weeks they will be living in the facilities of receiving teachers, will attend their respective classes in different schools and share methodological experience.

Beneficiary teachers are also attending Georgian language courses in Batumi.

The active phase of the project started on 18/10 and will run until 13/11. Teachers’ Twinning is endorsed by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and financially supported by the European Union.

Publication of a Study on Electoral Behavior of ethnic Armenians in Georgia

On 15/10 ECMI Caucasus in cooperation with the Public Movement “Multinational Georgia” (PMMG) presented its new publication on the “Study of Electoral behavior of Ethnic Armenians in Georgia: Analyzing and Addressing the Factors Hampering Involvement in Electoral Process”.

The study presents a comprehensive research of the electoral participation of ethnic Armenians living in Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Aspindza, Borjomi, Ninotsminda and Tsalka municipalities. It provides an overview on the social and economic factors of their electoral behavior as well as evaluation of effectiveness of implemented measures/activities by the CEC and CSOs in that regard.

The publication also gives recommendation to all relevant stakeholders what needs to be done to improve involvement in the electoral processes of ethnic Armenians living in the regions.

The research has been conducted in the period of July-September 2015 and was supported by the Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings.

Download English Version
Download Georgian Version

EaPMN Advocacy Visit in Geneva

On 6-8 October 2015, ECMI Caucasus on behalf of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network has conducted an Advocacy Visit to the Geneva related to Human Rights Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Georgia, planned in November 2015.

The aim of the visit was to mainstream ethnic and religious minority issues for the upcoming 23rd session and better inform the state parties about current situation in that regard. Previously, ECM Caucasus, in cooperation with other NGOs, has also submitted a shadow report to the OHCHR as well.

ECMI staff, accompanied with representatives of local NGOs representing ethnic (Roma) and religious (Pentecostal church) minorities in Georgia, held meetings with the five state delegations (Canada, USA, Armenia, Austria, Brazil) and HR Officers at the OHCHR with mandates on respective minority issues.

The team has also prepared and disseminated an Advocacy Document, which gives a clear and comprehensive analysis of the situation as well as recommendations which state party delegations have been encouraged to raise during the Georgia’s UPR sessions.

UWC Dilijan Students at ECMI Caucasus office

on 19/10 ECMI Caucasus office hosted international students from UWC Dilijan within the framework of their project week in Georgia.

Giorgi Bobghiashvili, ECMI Project Coordinator, has delivered a lecture on ethnic minorities in Georgia - historical perspectives and current developments. Special emphasis have been put on ethnic Azerbaijani community of Georgia as much as the students will be visiting Kvemo-Kartli villages within the project.

The lecture was followed by active Q&A part.

Monitoring of local advocacy campaign project

Throughout of August ECMI Caucasus has been monitoring implementation of Local Advocacy Campaigns supported under Eastern Partnership Minorities Network: Union Udi is working towards advocacy of Udi language in local public school Center for Civic Development has completed its advocacy of ethnic Armenian community in Akhalkalaki.

Education and Labour Association runs a campaign on Raising Awareness of EU integration of ethnic Azerbaijani youth in Marneuli and Bolnisi and Union of Madli works towards capacity development of ethnic Azerbaijani in Lagodekhi as well as supporting their rights at local self-government level. All running projects are due to finish by mid

ECMI Caucasus conducted 2 day focus group meetings in Bakuriani

On 29-30 August, in Bakuriani ECMI Caucasus organized a 2-days focus group. 16 ethnic Armenians have been brought together from Akhalkalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Ninotsminda and Tsalka municipalities in in order to make a comprehensive research on electoral behavior of ethnic Armenians as well as assessment of the needs in that regard.

ECMI Caucasus conducted 2 focus groups in Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki

On August 24, ECMI Caucasus conducted 2 focus groups in Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki, the municipalities with the largest concentration of ethnic Armenians in Georgia. 10-10 participants were invited to discuss problems ethnic Armenians are facing in regard to the elections in General and what factors {de]motivate them to participate as well as their electoral behavior.

The activities were aimed at further analyzing problems which had been found out after the quantitative study on the same issue earlier in August 2015. Particularly, focus groocus group interviews intended to research deeper and qualitative explanations of the patterns identified at the large scale.

Yet another focus group is planned to be conducted in Bakuriani during August 28-30 which will wring bring ethnic Armenians from all 6 target municipalities.

Research on Electoral behavior of ethnic minority Armenians living in Samtskhe-Javakheti

ECMI Caucasus in cooperation with Public Movement "Multinational Georgia" and support of CEC is conducting a research on Electoral behavior of ethnic minority Armenians living in Samtskhe-Javakheti.

The research aims at finding out challenges and needs of more active and conscious involvement of ethnic Armenians in elections as well as assessment of their knowledge related to electoral process and effectiveness of implemented activities of CEC and other stakeholders towards this direction,

The research design consists of quantitative and qualitative methods. In the framework of the research 341 questionnaires have been distributed proportionally in 6 municipalities of compact urban and rural settlements. The collected data is now in the process of computation via SPSS program. This will be followed by 3 focus groups which are to be conducted in the region.

Publication of the research findings and guidebook is planned in October 2015.

ECMI Caucasus hosted a group of students of political science

On July 20 ECMI Caucasus hosted a group of students of political science within a Study Trip program to Georgia organized by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) for 22 motivated students from all over the world in order to learn more about Georgia, its history and its political circumstances.

ECMI Project Coordinator, Giorgi Bobghiashvili, delivered a lecture on general situation of ethnic minorities in Georgia. The students have also been given different materials published by ECMI Caucasus.

Roma issues on Georgian Public Broadcast channel

Elene Proshikian, Project Assistant at ECMI Caucasus, speaking on Roma Community of Georgia on Channel 1 - Georgian Public Broadcasting. 06/07/2015

Round-table in Lagodekhi for ethnic Azerbaijanis

On June 25, ECMI Caucasus participated in monitoring process of the implementation of the Local Advocacy Campaign in Lagodekhi for ethnic Azerbaijani community.

A Round-Table meeting was organized by a local non-governmental organization, which included representatives of local self-government of Lagodekhi municipality, the Azerbaijani community leaders, and teachers of public schools and kindergarten, as well as other non-governmental and international organizations.

The participants have expressed their concerns on the problems of ethnic Azerbaijani community in Lagodekhi. Beside infrastructural and economic problems, many questions have been raised on education, gender equality, domestic violence and knowledge of the state language. Local authorities have answered the questions within their competence and also outlined future plans for addressing the problems.

The Local Advocacy Campaign in Lagodekhi is supported in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network - a project financed by the European Union.

Download Annual Report 2014

ECMI Annual Report 2014

ECMI Annual Report 2014 presents activities of ECMI Headquarters in Flensburg, Georgia and Kosovo in the context of Eastern Partnership Programmes as well as Europeanisation perspective. ECMI Caucaus is featured on pp 20-21.

Download Annual Report 2014

Local Advocacy Campaign Concluding Seminar in Marneuli

ECMI Caucasus participated in a concluding event of rolling seminars on advocacy of minority rights and the EU-Georgian relations for ethnic Azerbaijani population of Kvemo Kartli region.

The seminars aimed at raising awareness of ethnic minority youth on possibilities of advocating their rights within the Eastern Partnership and in the framework of the EU – Georgia association agreement and Visa Liberalization Action Plan.

Furthermore, activities also targeted representatives of local self-governance. The joint meetings facilitated better communication and understanding the problems ethnic minorities are facing in their compact settlements. The rolling seminars are one of the components of the Local Advocacy Campaign in Kvemo Kartli Region implemented by Education and Labor Association, by support of the ECMI Caucasus and the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network - a project financed by the European Union.