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Three different rallies held on Labour Day

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 3
Professional unions, NGOs protecting women’s rights and students held separate rallies on May 1 in Tbilisi on international Labour Day.

The rally participants demanded the formation of an effective labour inspection that would regulate relations between businesses and staff and protect employees’ rights.

It was the first time that women separately held a rally to speak out about their demands and appeal to the government to be more effective in defending women’s rights at work, narrowing the wage gaps, and assisting victims of sexual abuse.

Georgia’s Public Defender also hosted a special discussion on the day.

Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili’s deputy Ekaterine Skhiladze spoke about the labour situation in terms of children, people with disabilities and women.

She said 571,000 children between 5-17 live in Georgia and 24,000 are involved in various lines of work.

Skhiladze claimed that 63.9% of the children - 15,600 - were involved in dangerous jobs, and also stressed that the labour rights of the people with disabilities were also violated and the very low number of such people employed at state or private institutions indicated towards this.

“Based on the 2016 data, 52 people with certain disabilities are employed at state bodies and 32 in the private sector,” the deputy ombudsman said.

With regards to women’s labour rights, Skhiladze said there were number of cases when employers raised demands about female employees’ ages and appearance.

She said that women frequently face sexual or gender-based violations at work, as well as dismissals due to pregnancy or family conditions.