The FINANCIAL — On 4th September 2020 the EU and Ministry of Justice held a summary conference for the ‘EU4 Justice Penitentiary and Probation Support Project’. The four-year project shared experience and expertise of EU member states and effectively assisted Georgian authorities with the objective to prevent repeated crimes, and maintain a proper balance between ensuring public order and security and guaranteeing human rights protection. The project is a part of wider EU support to the Georgian Government to bring crime prevention, probation and prison management systems closer to the European standards.
The project’s objectives were notably: Adoption by the Ministry of Justice of a modern vision and measures in management of prisons and prisoners with emphasis on social and crime prevention; Strengthened skills of prisons’ regime staff, social workers and psychologists; Improved prison administration including IT management systems; Introduction in prisons of risk and needs assessments as well as sentence planning adapted to individual prisoners; Stepped up resocialization and rehabilitation programmes, incl. out-of-cell activities and incentives, and Enhanced quality of the probation service.
The conference was opened by H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Ms. Thea Tsulukiani, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Mr. Randel Barrows, Team Leader of the EU4Justice Project. A new phase of the project will focus on the management of mid- and high risk inmates to prevent crimes in and outside prisons. Ambassador Hartzell noted that the EU has been a supporter of reforms and modernization of the Georgian penitentiary system for many years now. “We are glad to see that, in close cooperation with our projects, the authorities have made important steps towards a more modern and efficient management of prisons and prisoners, to better ensure prisoners’ rights and over time achieve less repeat offences and crime in Georgia. Against the background of our good partnership and results achieved, I look forward to continue this cooperation in the years to come.” – He added.
It is also interesting to note that, last month, Vazha Siradze – head of Patrol Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) held a meeting. At the meeting, the parties discussed the concept of development for the Patrol Police Unified Service Center. The event was held within the framework of the project – “Support to Strengthen the Organizational Capacities of the Unified Service Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to Provide Better Public Services”. The project aimed to support the organizational capacity of the Unified Service Center of the Patrol Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs through capacity building measures aimed at efficient and inclusive delivery of customer-oriented public services and increased access to these services for people with disabilities.
UN and EU also launched initiative for gender equality in Eastern Partnership including Georgia. With support from the European Union, the two UN sister agencies are working with government bodies and civil society partners in six countries, including Georgia, to challenge deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, increase men’s involvement in domestic work and childcare, and engage with potential perpetrators to prevent gender-based violence. The programme aimed at achieving real behavioural change. It relied on strategies designed to challenge structural gender barriers. UN Women and UNFPA, together with the European Union (EU), have launched a three-year regional programme to tackle gender stereotypes and gender-based violence in six countries of the Eastern partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The programme, entitled “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence,” ultimately seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by challenging perceptions about men’s and women’s roles in the family and in society and working to eliminate gender-based violence.
A new Europol-led project is also noteworthy. It was funded by the European Union and is focused on strengthening the capacity of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to fight organised crime more effectively. The project will contribute to reducing crime and creating a safer living space for citizens in the region. As part of a larger €10 million EU cooperation initiative, the EU has dedicated €2.5 million to support the project that will run for the next four years. Through this four-year initiative, Europol will support cooperation between law enforcement authorities, both on a strategic and operational level. Special funding will enable the Eastern Partner countries to participate in operational activities against some of the ten most significant threats to EU security listed under the EU Policy Cycle. Existing networks for information sharing and operational cooperation may be further extended into joint investigations to improve the effectiveness in fighting transnational organised crime. Read more.