Support and Development of Roma Communities in Georgia
The project “Support and Development of Roma Communities in Georgia” financed by OSGF is ending in February. During ten months we achieved great
results: 6 Roma men obtained driver’s license, in January we opened a preparatory group in Kobuleti, where 20 Roma children from ages 4 to 6 are
enrolled. Also in three regions, approximately 20 Roma women studied sewing, 20-30 Roma children studied general Georgian language, math and computer.
This is a clear example for all Roma living in Georgia, that after the project the participants have more motivation to integrate in Georgian society.
The 2nd edition of the popular frequency dictionaries Georgian-Azeri-Russian and Georgian-Armenian-Russian is now online
This 2nd edition of the frequency dictionaries has increased the volume of Georgian words with 1128, totaling now 3525.
The purpose of creating frequency dictionaries is their usefulness for the language learners and (copmuter) translations when reading texts.
The dictionaries are intended for minority language speakers who are learning Georgian, as well as Georgian speakers who are in contact with
minority language speakers of Armenian, Azeri and Russian. The electronic version of the 2nd edition allows for easy access to the dictionaries
and can also be updated more frequently. It is assumed that the general volume of the modern Georgian language contains 55-60.000 words. Yet,
the lexical volume of the specific thematic sub-language, even at the highest level, contains only 3% of the general lexical volume.
When compiling the dictionaries, the most common language usage areas were chosen – the press, the legislation and other similar areas of thematic use.
In that aspect the frequency dictionaries attempt to cover 90-95% of the commonly used lexical composition of the texts. The dictionaries are
registered in the Georgian National Library.
Download Frequency Dictionary Georgian-Azeri-Russian
Language Rights, Inclusion and the Prevention of Ethnic Conflicts
Download Frequency Dictionary Georgian-Armenian-Russian
While language rights are topical in many parts of the world, they are still widely misunderstood despite being a
significant factor in many conflicts in Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong),
Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Kosovo, Macedonia, Ukraine), Africa (Cameroon, South Africa, Ethiopia, Morocco,
Libya, Algeria) and the Americas (Canada, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay).
The 13 IALL (International Academy of Language Law), the International Observatory under the auspices of UNESCOCAT,
addressed the langugae rights as a conflict prevention tool.
Most of the world's conflicts since the end of the Second World War have been internal, often involving groups
seeking independence, autonomy, or the defence of their rights. Language demands are frequently at the fore in many
of these conflicts.
While language differences in themselves are not a cause of conflict, this conference proposes to explore whether
the denial of language rights such as discrimination on the ground of language and the exclusion or disadvantage
caused by State authorities through language preferences create rallying causes and lead to violent conflict. It
will further explore how States have addressed these demands in a reasonable and proportionate way to ensure the
successful social inclusion of minorities and indigenous peoples through the recognition of language rights which
tackle the underlying socio-economic disadvantages that can flare around inappropriate language preferences.
Minority governance as part of conflict prevention and resolution
ECMI Caucasus, represented by the Regional Director Ewa Chylinski, participated in the 6th Workshop of Partnership for
Peace Consortium on conflicts in South Caucasus presenting the importance of minority governance aspect in the protracted conflicts.
In the framework of PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes, an association of over 800
institutions in 59 countries, the PfPC has created several regional study groups, one of them being "Regional Stability
in the South Caucasus".
The PfP meetings serve defense academies and similar institutions to exchange views on the security situation situation
in various regions to assess the military-political aspects of conflict resolution and approaches to security policies.
The 6th workshop in Reichenau, Austria, was devoted to the role of EU and NATO in de-conflicting protracted conflicts -
Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
About 35 participants from military and civil sector from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Austria, Canada, France,
Estonia, USA, Turkey and Ireland presented and discussed new avenues for the possible conflict resolution. ECMI Caucasus
put forward the issue of minority governance as one of the problems and part of a solution to the conflicts. That included
observance of the international commitments related to minority rights. This is closely related to another issue of legal
arrangements in secessionst movements and regulation of mutual grievances.
The next workshop is planned for March 2013 in Tbilisi.
Electoral results in minority regions
In the 1st October 2012 elections, the largest minority groups Azeri and Armenian voters remained strong supporters
of the United National Movement (UNM), with the party winning in all ethnic minority dominated districts. In
the predominantly Armenian districts of Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda (Samstkhe-Javakheti) and Tsalka(Kvemo Kartli)
the UNM received an average of 74,7 % of votes. In the Azeri districts of Marneuli, Dmanisi and Bolnisi (Kvemo
Kartli) the UNM received an average of 71,91% votes compared to a national average of 40,34%.
Download PDF Document
Parliamentary elections 2012
On 1 October Georgian citizens cast their votes in the parliamentary elections 2012. Prior to, during, and after elections ECMI Caucasus has established so-called election observatory to follow minority enhancement through the parties’ attitudes towards the country’s minorities, the minority representation in the party lists and how minority languages are included in the electoral process. The observatory will cover the pre-election period and a period up to 14 days after elections.
The observatory will identify the Georgian political parties’ attitudes towards national minority participation in public life, integration issues, and how political parties intend to build the diversity management policy, are targets of observation.
The analysis and the findings will be presented in three issues before the elections, all based on the information publicly available. The analysis of the general election environment of Georgia will be presented from a minority participation angle and in relation to the new election code. This code was adopted nine months ago. After the elections another round of analyses will be provided.
Download - Minority Issues in Party Programmes
Download - Minority Representation in Party Lists
Download - Minority Languages in Elections
Providing schoolbooks for Meskhetian children
Towards the end of the implementation of the EU-funded project “Supporting the repatriation of persons deported from Georgia in the 1940s and their descendants”, ECMI Caucasus in collaboration with one of its partners “Toleranti” provided six Meskhetian children with a full set of schoolbooks for the school year 2012-2013.
Among those children are pupils of the first, second, fourth and six grades of the Public School Nr 45, in Gldani, one of the outskirts of Tbilisi, where many vulnerable families live, among them fourteen Meskhetian families.
School materials in Georgia include a complete listing of textbooks and other instructional materials recommended by the Ministry of Science and Education. These are supposed to be purchased individually by the parents, considering a budget of around approx 100$ per school learner. Very often, larger and at the same time socially vulnerable families cannot afford to equip their children with necessary sets of the school books that are so vital for their education and development. Furthermore, many Meskhetian families with several children are facing obstacles in overcoming economic constraints. The issue of school books, which have been changed every year, was raised by many parents, as the books cannot be passed from one sibling to another.
Meskhetian Cultural Festival
The European Centre for Minority Issues is pleased to invite You to the Meskhetian Cultural Festival. It will be held on Sunday 26th of August 2012 from 14:00 to 20:00 hrs at Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi (see attached map).
The festival will feature culture and traditions of Meskhetians living in different regions Georgia – traditional crafts, agricultural products, and selection of the Meskhetian traditional cuisine. In addition, presentations by famous Meskhetian performers from Uzbekistan - Salomat Mahsudova and Mavlud Shamuratov, dance groups from Kyrgyzstan and Georgia will be included. A photo exhibition depicting life of the Meskhetians in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey will be at display.
The festival is organized within the framework of the EU-funded programme, “Supporting the repatriation of persons deported from Georgia in the 1940s and their descendants,” and is implemented by the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in partnership with the Action Against Hunger (ACF).
Minorities from all the regions at Art-Gene Festival 2012 in Tbilisi
On 23 July 2012, the Multicultural Event will be held in the Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi as part of Art Gene Festival 2012.
The main goal of the Art Gene Festival is to promote and popularize Georgia's traditional folklore, research and gather new and existing
materials in this field and introduce them to the general public. The Festival also seeks to archive and preserve these materials for future
generations. The Art-Gene festival will dedicate one day specifically to the popularization of the folklore and culture of Georgia’s ethnic
minorities. Around thirty national minorities’ musical and/or dance performances will be presented in the course of a full-day concert.
The Multicultural Event is being organized by the European Centre for Minority Issues in Caucasus and Art Gene’s organizers. Each year
the Art Gene Festival is one of the most successful and highly attended events in Georgia, attracting people of all ages and ethnicities
to learn more about Georgia’s rich cultural treasures—past and present.
The event is supported by the European Center for Minority Issues under its two programmes: “Denmark’s Georgia’s Programme 2010-2013”
and “Support and Development of Roma communities in Georgia” with the financial support of the Open Society Foundation in Georgia.
Central Election Commission of Georgia launches the initiative to address the issues of minorities’
concern on the forthcoming Parliamentary, Presidential and Local Self Governance Elections 2012-2014
On June 29, 2012 the Working Group on ethnic and national minority issues has conducted the informational meeting in Akhalkalaki,
Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Working group members, along with the representatives of the election administration met with the
representatives of local NGOs, political parties and mass media. Around 50 participants were provided with the information related
to the planned activities to be implemented in order to support ethnic minorities’ participation during the Parliamentary Elections 2012.
The above mentioned Working Group on the ethnic and national minority issues has been established on May 14, 2012 with the initiative
of the Central Election Commission to ensure the effective participation of the ethnic and national minorities into the processes related
to the elections. The Working Group for coordination of the election related issues comprises of the number of non-governmental organizations,
including European Centre for Minority Issues in Caucasus. The mandate of the working group is to enhance the awareness among the national and
ethnic minorities on the electoral processes as well as to outreach the remote regions of the country densely populated by minorities. The
working group meetings are facilitated both on the central as well as the regional level and are divided into four thematic areas: gender;
youth; persons with disabilities and the media. One of the major outputs expected to be achieved by the Working Group is to develop the longer
term Action Plan for 2012-2014 to mainstream minority aspects and accumulate best practices on the effective programmes involving minorities’
participation during the upcoming Parliamentary, Presidential, Local Self governance elections.
ECMI welcomes the CEC initiative and is planning to continue its active participation in the process and contribute with its expertise in the field
as well to support the broader participation of minorities in the fair and transparent way is guaranteed equally to all minority communities.
Academic Conference "Changing Ethnic Environment in Georgia"
Bazaleti, 22-23 June 2012
Academic conference "Changing Ethnic Environment in Georgia" and student award ceremony were held on 22nd -23rd of June,
2012 at Bazaleti Study Centre. The conference was organized by European Centre for Minority Issues within the framework of
the EU-funded programme “Supporting the repatriation of persons deported from Georgia in the 1940s and their descendants”.
The event brought together around 70 participants working on the problems of minorities, border areas, issues of repatriation
and reintegration of deportees, as well as public figures and leaders of the Diasporas from various regions of Georgia.
Reports on following topics were presented: the post-Soviet identity and ethnic minorities in Georgia, the policy on minorities
in contemporary Europe, the ethnic policy of Georgia and international conventions, the political aspects of Islam in Georgia,
the role of media in the integration of ethnic minorities, the dynamics of cross-border conflicts and security challenges in Georgia etc.
Discussion were held on following topics: “How European Experience is relevant for Georgia”, “Changing ethnic environment in
Georgia – managing diversity”, “Regional cooperation – a new dimension in minority participation”, “Repatriation and integration –
how can Georgia use the best practices?”. The discussions were very active and they demonstrated great interest of the public and
the academic community in the issues presented at the conference.
Conference presentations are planned to be published in a separate conference edition.
4th Steering Committee Meeting of the Denmark’s Caucasus Programme 2010 - 2013 Promotion of Judicial Reform, Human and Minority
Rights in Georgia
On June 20, Council of Europe in partnership with ECMI hosted the 4th Steering Committee Meeting at the premises of the Ministry of Justice in
Tbilisi, Georgia. Steering Committee meetings are the formal mechanism for joint decision-making concerning the programme “Promotion of Judicial
Reforms, Human and Minority Rights in Georgia in Accordance with Council of Europe Standards” between European Center for Minority Issues, Council
of Europe and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
The Steering Committee reviewed the three components add titles. The ECMI Component III “Strengthening the state capacity and enhancing public
consultation on minority issues” review was chaired by Ewa Chylinski, Director of ECMI Caucasus, and included representatives of partner institution
such as Office of the State Minister for Reintegration, Public Defender’s Office and the National Security Council had been attending the meeting.
Planning documents, progress reports, future work plans and decisions regarding major implementation issues such as technical advisers, production
of policy papers had been approved at the meeting. During the progress review the representative of the donor to the programme, the Danish Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, inquired about still outstanding needs of the state institutions.
The next Steering Committee meeting is planned for October 2012.
Revised Constitution of Georgia now available in minority languages
The State Inter-Agency Commission (SIAC) under the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration (SMR), coordinating issues relating to
civic integration, has contributed to the production of the revised Constitution of Georgia in Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani languages.
Several hundred copies have been printed with the support of ECMI Caucasus in the framework of Council of Europe-ECMI “Denmark’s Georgia Programme
2010-2013” project component “Strengthening the state capacity and enhancing public consultation on minority issues” .The Constitution will be
distributed by the SIAC in respective minority regions during monitoring visits as well as by ECMI to dispersed minority groups, partner organisations,
local and national authorities.
Legal Dictionaries Georgian-Armenian and Georgian-Azerbaijani to decrease language barrier in the judiciary
On June 26, 2012 the Union “Public Movement Multinational Georgia” (PMMG) has hosted the presentation of Georgian-Azerbaijani and Georgian-Armenian Legal
Dictionaries developed within the framework of the project “Fostering Equal Access to Justice for Georgia’s Ethnic Minority Population”. the USAID. The
project supported by the USAID is specifically designed to introduce legal terminology used in the Georgian legal system. The purpose of this pioneering
work is two-fold: to make minorities acquainted with legal language and its meaning and thus promote the enhanced trust of minority groups towards the
judiciary; to give the court and legal aid translators a quality tool when assisting minorities in the legal proceedings.
Such initiative is also very much in line with the provisions of Art.10 of the FCNM on the minority language use in the judiciary, ratified by Georgia in 2005.
ECMI participated in the launch of dictionaries as PMMG is one of ECMI closest partners for cooperation in enhancing minority issues. The dictionaries will
be used in ECMI’s own work.