Non-Entrepreneurial (Non-Commercial) Legal Entity Rights Georgia (formerly “Article 42 of the Constitution”) (www.rights.ge) is a voluntary, non-profit entity of people protecting and promoting human rights and freedom, supporting human rights awareness, contributing harmonization of national legislation with international HR standards and monitoring state activities in that regard.
The mission of the organization is: to assist promotion of rights guaranteed in different international agreements and support their implementation; to support establishment of rule of law; to develop the system of justice; to support the work of human rights defenders; to work on public awareness about human rights and tolerance; to support enhancing professional legal education.
Objectives of the organization are: strategic litigation at national and international level; educational activities; analysis of international experience in the field of human rights, particularly, focusing on IDPs and conflict affected population, prisoners, women and children; analysis of national legislation and making efforts for its improvement; cooperation with local and international human rights organizations, including professional unions of lawyers; delivering information campaigns on human rights’ issues and monitoring the activities of state institutions to ensure whether they are in line with human rights standards.
2020 was a year of significant changes for the “Rights Georgia”. One of the oldest human rights NGOs in Georgia, Article 42 of the Constitution, which has a history of 23 years, continues to operate under this new name. The rebranding of the organization did not involve only a change of name – significant changes were made in the management and strategic directions of the organization; the team and communication platforms were largely renewed.
1. The main success of the organization is the hundreds of thousands of people who, with the help of the organization, have been able to protect their rights. This has been done for 23 years by providing free legal aid to continuously vulnerable groups and representing them in court.
2. Outstanding successes of the organization is the implementation and exercise of international law standards in the Georgian judiciary.
- Rights Georgia is the first organization in Georgia that became the first to present (in 1999) and win cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The European Court of Human Rights has made dozens of judgments on the cases submitted by the organization. Based on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights(ECtHR) Rights Georgia has set a precedent for the reopening of the case and the revision of the court decision.
- The organization has implemented a standard for initiating legal proceedings in UN contracting organs. Rights Georgia is the first organization from Georgia to file a case and win it at the UN CEDAW Committee.
- The organization collected materials directly during the war in 2008 and is currently representing 400 people in the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
3. Dozens of winning constitutional claims, exercise numerous legislative initiatives, the implementation of recommendations based on various studies, and consideration them into legislation and practice, which have significantly improved the standard of human rights protection in Georgia.
4. Recently Rights Georgia is the only organization in Georgia supported by the United Nation Refugee Agency, that is focused on protecting and empowering asylum seekers, refugees, and humanitarian status holders. Legal assistance and legal consultation to the persons of concern on asylum related cases, as well as access to rights and expulsion cases, is the part of Rights Georgia’s daily activities. One of the tremendous accomplishments of Rights Georgia is, inter alia, granting humanitarian status to the Russian citizens that prevented from extradition to the Russian Federation.
Organizational and Governance Structure:
The General Assembly of the members is the highest governing body of the organization. The Assembly approves the organization’s statute, elects board members, and identifies key directions of the organization’s activity.
The Board is comprised of five members, who are elected by the General Assembly for two years. Two members of the Board are the members of the organization and the other three are non-members.
The Board elects Executive Director of the organization through open competition for a term of two years. The Executive Director represents the organization before any third party, signs financial documents, manages activities and projects of the organization. The Executive Director is accountable to the Board and submits report of performance of his/her work twice a year.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- USAID / PROLoG
- Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM) (Through the Norwegian Foreign Ministry funding)
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Netherlands
- Human Rights House Tbilisi (Through the EU funding)
- Human Rights House Foundation (Through the EU funding)
- Protection International
- The Ombudsman of Georgia
- Judiciary Development and Reform Centre (JDRC)
- The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics
- Tbilisi Open University
- GIPA - Georgian Institute of Public Affairs
- USAID Georgia HICD Activity