TBILISI, GEORGIA – A new manual, aimed at improving access to justice for victims of sexual violence in the Georgian criminal justice system, has been released today. The manual, Effectively Investigating, Prosecuting and Adjudicating Sexual Violence Cases: A Manual for Practitioners in Georgia, provides practical guidance to investigators, prosecutors and judges working on cases of sexual violence, to achieve better results on criminal cases and to create a safe and supporting environment for victims of sexual violence.
The manual was developed as a result of the collaboration between the UN Women, the Council of Europe and the international women’s rights organization “Equality Now,” as well as the Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecutor’s Office and the international and local experts, including from the judiciary. Its online presentation took place on September 22 2021. Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia Natia Merabishvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Alexander Darakhvelidze, the Head of the Council of Europe office in Georgia Natalia Voutova, EVAWG Portfolio Analyst from UN Women Georgia Tinatin Avaliani, Head of London Office of Equality Now Jacqui Hunt and other stakeholders participated in the event.
Training modules have been developed based on the manual, as a result of which specialization is granted to investigators and prosecutors on the topic of sexual violence. By the end of 2021 this training will be delivered to over 370 criminal police officers and prosecutors, building their capacities on handling sexual violence cases.
“In Georgia, there had been no effective training tool and guidance for improving access to justice for sexual violence at all levels of criminal proceedings. Therefore, this manual, tailored to the Georgian context, was like a beacon. It provides valuable guidance on how to investigate sexual violence in accordance with international human rights standards, victim-centered and gender-based approaches. We train investigators using this manual and we can say we see improvement in knowledge and attitudes after each training and in practice as well.” Has noted the Inspector at the Human Rights Division of the Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Iza Kasrelishvili.
The manual has been developed in the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality in Georgia (UNJP), supported by the Swedish Government and within the framework of the Council of Europe Project “Promoting an Integrated Approach to End Violence against Women and Enhancing Gender Equality in Georgia” and the international women’s rights organization “Equality Now”.