TBILISI, 10 December 2020 - On today’s Human Rights Day, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) joins other organisations in marking the end of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign. This year’s Human Rights Day slogan “Recover Better - Stand up for human rights” acts as a clear call for action: that human rights must be at the core of all COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, EUMM actively supported this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign. During the past 16 days, EUMM has actively distributed information flyers about existing support services for survivors of gender-based violence, ensuring that the documents were available in strategic locations such as pharmacies, community centres and shops near the Administrative Boundary Lines.
Through its Field Office in Gori, EUMM also supported an essay writing competition for school students aged 15-17 in Gori municipality on the theme “We condemn violence against women". EUMM Head of Mission Marek Szczygieł expressed his gratitude to the organisers and teachers, as well as to all students from the 15 schools that participated in the contest.
All of us play a part in countering gender-based violence
"Today, as the world marks Human Rights Day, it is important to remember that violence against women continues to be a serious and prevalent human rights violation. But it can be prevented. All of us play a part in countering violence. We must intervene, speak up, believe survivors, and support those experiencing violence. We need to raise awareness and lead by example," Ambassador Szczygieł said in his address to Gori officials and school students today.
EUMM Field Office in Mtskheta organised an online meeting, on 4 December, to discuss with civil society the concrete implications of gender-based violence for women, especially those affected by the conflict and/or living in vulnerable situations, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Discussing with civil society is an important part of EUMM’s work, and we are happy to continue our dialogue, even if in an online format. This particular meeting offered a space for sharing important information about the situation of gender-based violence and related human rights challenges in the context of COVID-19,” said Cecilia Karlberg, Gender Focal Point in EUMM Field Office Mtskheta.
This year’s global campaign theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” called for action to prevent and respond to the increase of gender-based violence levels during the ongoing pandemic. Self-isolation and other restrictive measures, as well as the stress brought up by the health emergency, have further worsened the situation, particularly with regard to domestic violence, while, at the very same time, healthcare, psychological support and shelters have had less capacity to cope with the increasing demand.
This is why strengthening prevention and response measures to gender-based violence will be more critical than ever in the weeks and months to come. And today, more than ever, as this year’s slogan for Human Rights Day reminds us, we need to stand up for human rights: stand up in the short term to respond to and recover from the current crisis; stand up in the long-term to build a post COVID-19 world that is better for, and more fair to present and future generations.
Monitors from EUMM Field Office Zugdidi leave information flyers on gender-based violence in a shop near the Administrative Boundary Line
EUMM actively marked the campaign through awareness raising and engagement on social media
EUMM supported an essay writing competition for school students in Gori municipality and printed the award-winning essays as a booklet
Human Rights Day on 10 December marks the official closing of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign. This year’s Human Rights Day is marked under the slogan “Recover Better - Stand up for human rights”, stressing that human rights must be at the core of all COVID-19 recovery efforts