In 2020-2021, the practice of unjustified refusal on the grounds of state security in the process of obtaining a residence permit remained a problem for migrants in Georgia. The issue is also problematic for asylum seekers when granting them refugee or humanitarian status. The existing state-imposed bureaucratic obstacles applicable to obtaining a residence permit were further enhanced by additional legal regulations, which further complicated the conditions for foreign nationals to arrive and live in Georgia legally. The issue of timely and effective response by the prosecutor’s office and investigative bodies to hate crimes motivated by racial, national, or ethnic intolerance and negative public attitudes towards the nationals of specific countries continue to be a significant problem in Georgia.
The public health crisis caused by COVID-19 has had different effects on different groups of society. Commonly more vulnerable individuals are at a greater risk. Among them are migrants who, due to various legal regulations and policies, stigma and discrimination, linguistic and cultural differences, socio-economic status, lack of information, and many other circumstances have less access to public services.
A number of systemic problems were identified throughout the pandemic. These include access to information for foreigners in Georgia, barriers to access to public services, access to health and social programs, barriers to crossing the Georgian state border, new challenges caused by the Pandemic affecting the international students in Georgia, etc.
To increase the effectiveness of dealing with a problem during a public health crisis, it is vital that public and health services and forms of communication are as inclusive as possible and tailored to the needs of all groups in society.
Authors: Anzor KhatiAshvili, Mariam Jikia, Mariam Gavtadze
Project Director: Mariam Gavtadze
Translator: Mariam Gergauli
Design: Besik Danelia, IBDesign