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Research points to ‘urgent need’ for better labour protection laws in Georgia

20 January 2017
A worker of Georgian Manganese in Chiatura (OCMedia)

Existing legislation on labour inspection in Georgia does not address the challenges the country faces and doesn’t comply with international labour standards, according to newly published research conducted by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre.

The Department of Labour Conditions was created by the Georgian Dream government during their 2013–2015 reforms. Labour Inspection was abolished ten years previously during the rule of the United National Movement. During the interim period, there was no mechanism for supervising the protection of labour rights in the country.

The study reveals that the newly created department’s activities are limited to voluntary monitoring, which limits the department to playing merely a recommendatory agency, responsible for raising awareness among employees and employers and issuing recommendations.

Current legislation does little to prevent violation of labour rights and contains no relevant sanctions for doing so, which according to the report, ‘makes the idea of state supervision meaningless’.

The authors recommend, among other things, to broaden the supervision mandate of the labour inspection department as well as equip it with sufficient mechanisms for responding to violations.

The authors highlighted the often fatal nature of unsafe working conditions in the country, citing 724 injuries and 252 deaths due to industrial accidents from 2011 to June 2016.