Georgia recently saw a number of videos depicting violent treatment of animals spread through social networks and the media. These videos have left the public wondering about whether perpetrators have been held responsible.
On April 22, 2017, the Constitutional Commission voted on and approved the draft text of constitutional amendments. The draft constitution includes some positive changes, but also a number of significant shortcomings.
Georgian legislation provides for the obligation for public officials to submit their asset declarations annually. Declarations are available on the webpage of the Civil Service Bureau. The system is largely functional. However, there are several shortcomings associated to it. Namely, there is no mechanism in place to verify declared data and identify the cases when inconsistent or deliberately false information is indicated. Which will then result in the liability of public officials.
The US Department of State published the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016. The reports are based on data provided by US Embassies, as well as International Missions and reviews the human rights situation in 200 countries, including Georgia.
Georgia has gained 10 positions in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, taking the 13th place in the ranking of 180 countries worldwide and going ahead of all of its neighbors and most European and Post-Soviet countries. In Europe, Georgia took the 5th place and is behind only Switzerland, Estonia, Ireland and Great Britain.
As of January 2017, 37,000 IDP households in Georgia are expecting state assistance. According to the Ministry of Refugees, GEL 1.5 billion is needed to provide these families with permanent housing.
Georgia is the member of GRECO from September, 1999. During its 17 years of membership Georgia underwent four evaluation rounds. The last evaluation round was launched in 2012. The GRECO Evaluation Team (GET), within the scope of fourth round of evaluation, conducted on-site visit to Georgia in June 2016. The evaluation report was adopted in December, 2016 and was published in January, 2017.
On January 25, 2017 the Supreme Court of Georgia published complete information about motions on telephone surveillance in 2016. Prior to this, available statistics covered the period up to October 2016. According to the published information, in 2016 there was a total of 401 motions on telephone surveillance, 315 of which were granted fully, and 30 were granted partially. Therefore, the percentage of granted motions has slightly increased as compared to 2015 and was 86%.
The number of trees being cut down in Tbilisi in 2016 for being damaged has increased 5 fold compared to previous years, raising questions about the procedure for checking trees.
The incompleteness and inconsistency with which the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been publishing crime data raises questions that the Ministry is purposefully trying to keep the public in the dark about the actual levels of crime in the country. In addition, the data that is published has often been contradictory, which damages public trust towards official statistics on crime.