შეამოწმეთ თქვენი ცოდნა

შეამოწმეთ თქვენი ცოდნა

საქართველოს იუსტიციის უმაღლესი საბჭო

საქართველოს იუსტიციის უმაღლესი საბჭო

იუსტიციის უმაღლესი სკოლა

იუსტიციის უმაღლესი სკოლა

საქართველოს ადვოკატთა ასოციაცია

საქართველოს ადვოკატთა ასოციაცია

საქართველოს საერთო სასამართლოების მოსამართლეთა სადისციპლინო კოლეგია

საქართველოს საერთო სასამართლოების მოსამართლეთა სადისციპლინო კოლეგია

კოალიცია დამოუკიდებელი და გამჭვირვალე მართლმსაჯულებისათვის

კოალიცია დამოუკიდებელი და გამჭვირვალე მართლმსაჯულებისათვის

ბიზნეს სამართლის ეროვნული ცენტრი

ბიზნეს სამართლის ეროვნული ცენტრი

დავის ალტერნატიული გადაწყვეტის ეროვნული ცენტრი

დავის ალტერნატიული გადაწყვეტის ეროვნული ცენტრი

საარბიტრაჟო ინიციატივა საქართველო

საარბიტრაჟო ინიციატივა საქართველო

Call for Grant Competition to increase access to justice for women and vulnerable groups

Background

On April 2, 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a five-year Cooperative Agreement to the East-West Management Institute (EWMI), a New York-based not-for-profit organization, to implement a human rights and justice support program entitled Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity. The purpose of PROLoG is to strengthen the justice system to ensure due process, judicial independence, and the protection of human rights. The activity is designed to address key challenges in the rule of law sector and capitalize on opportunities for accelerated rule of law and justice sector reforms where there is political will or interest from civil society. While PROLoG’s other three sub-purposes are structured to strengthen the legal framework relating to human rights, improve management of justice system institutions and enhance the capacity of legal professionals, sub-purpose IV aims to improve access to justice for marginalized citizens, in particular women and ethnic, religious and sexual minorities throughout Georgia.

In 2016 and 2017, under Sub-purpose IV, PROLoG awarded legal aid grants to non-governmental organizations to implement projects providing free legal consultations and representation through strategic litigation before the courts of common jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court, and the European Court for Human Rights. The targets for the grants were minority groups and women living in Tbilisi, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli, and Adjara. Some of these projects are finished; the rest are ending in March 2019.

This third round of Legal Aid Grant Competition aims to increase access to justice for women and marginalized groups by supporting local NGOs. The aim is to provide assistance in strategic litigation cases that promote the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, women, children, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups— including the LGBTQ community— before courts of common jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court and the European Court for Human Rights.

Problem Statement

Despite progressive legislative amendments introduced recently, such as the establishment of a legal mechanism regulating sexual harassment, there are still steps to be taken to improve gender equality and ensure protection of women’s rights. Besides the need to further develop the legislative framework, in practice, police officers and legal professionals sometimes fail to adequately protect women. Judges are often not aware that societal norms on gender are influencing their decisions, and there are cases when judicial decisions indirectly strengthen the subordination of women in situations that, at first sight, have nothing to do with gender equality. Moreover, women’s access to justice is often more problematic due to lack of awareness, cultural restrictions to act independently from men, and limited financial resources. An additional problem is a lack of trust in the law enforcement institutions charged with protecting them, resulting in an unwillingness to seek legal assistance. In such an environment, it is important, in addition to bringing strategic litigation cases, to identify and pursue a large number of cases in the Common Courts, in order to raise the sensitivity of society, increase the likelihood that responsible bodies will properly respond to these cases, and develop victims’ trust in the system.

In order to safeguard children’s rights, the state should, within the scope of its positive obligations, undertake necessary measures for their protection. Due to scarcity of resources, social workers often fail to visit families, to conduct a comprehensive and regular evaluation, and to talk with minors at risk; thereby issues such as prevention, timely detection and adequate response to violence remain a pressing concern. According to data provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 392 domestic violence restraining orders were issued in 2018, where minors were victims. Along with Tbilisi, the highest shares of these orders were issued in Imereti, Kvemo Kartli, Adjara and Kakheti.[1]

Another serious issue is identification and prevention of discrimination and violence against people with disabilities (PWD). Though the state has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Coordinating Council on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was established, as a body responsible for overseeing implementation of the provisions of the Convention, the Council is generally considered to be neither an efficient nor effective mechanism[2]. . Ensuring accessibility is an essential precondition for the realization of the rights and freedoms of PWDs. There are frequent cases of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence in families, institutions and communities. Identification of acts of violence and rehabilitation of victims and effective response remain a challenge. The problem of coordination among social services, the education system and law-enforcement agencies are particularly noteworthy in this regard.

When it comes to Georgia’s religious and ethnic minorities, minority community representatives face discrimination[3] and believe that they do not have equal access to the justice system and equality before the law. The ombudsman of Georgia indicates that, in spite of changes, “Religious freedom still can be considered to be systemic discrimination and intolerance.[4]” The third largest number (18%) of discrimination complaints considered by the Public Defender between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 involved discrimination on grounds of religion, representing an increase of 8% over the previous year.  

Lack of understanding and awareness of laws and justice institutions caused by a language barrier is one of the reasons that Georgia’s ethnic minority population is denied equal access. The language barrier also causes isolation of these groups and discourages integration. Women are particularly vulnerable and isolated due to cultural norms that perpetuate early marriage, discourage young women from seeking higher education and professional-level employment, and make it more difficult to own and register property.[5] Hate-motivated crimes[6] are also one of the key challenges in Georgia; targets of these crimes are mostly minority representatives and there is a concern that the State has not done enough to respond to ultra-right extremist and nationalist groups. .

A homophobic environment within the country persists in Georgia. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains one of the challenges. The existing attitudes often lead to violence and discrimination... They even lack the possibility to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, as threats to their safety are very high (especially on IDAHO). The victims report being unwilling to refer incidents to the police or legally fighting discrimination due to the stigma associated with the community and the fear of having to disclose a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity; a lack of trust in the authorities and a fear of phobic behavior and attitudes from police officers or judges; and even the feeling of shame due to internalized phobia[7].

Grant Program Goals

As part of PROLoG Sub-purpose 4, PROLoG is pleased to announce a request for proposals (RFP) that aims to increase access to justice for vulnerable groups such as ethnic and religious minorities, women, children and people with disabilities and LGBT representatives. The program targets are victims of domestic violence or forced marriage, victims of abuse, sexual harassment or discrimination on any other grounds (gender, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, etc.). These objectives are to be achieved through supporting NGOs in providing strategic legal aid and awareness-raising activities for a) women; b) ethnic and religious minority groups; c) children; d) people with disabilities who are or may become at risk of suffering from violence or discrimination; and e) LGBTQ community representatives.

The primary goal of the grant program is to help local organizations identify and pursue strategic litigation cases that promote the rights of the target groups before the Constitutional Court of Georgia; common courts or through international institutions (UN bodies; ECtHR). The litigation could include problematic areas such as: discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, disability, ethnicity or sexual orientation; enforcement of Georgia’s Law on Anti-discrimination; representation of violence victims (including issues related to ineffective investigation, low efficiency of law enforcement agencies, insufficient assistance to victims, etc.); assistance to those under threat of underage or forced marriage; discrimination at the workplace; discrimination based on mental/physical health; assistance to women denied inheritance and property rights; protection of minorities’ property rights; right to assemble, to a fair trial, to practice religion; etc.

The secondary goal of the grant program is to raise awareness of the problems that exist for women and members of marginalized groups to receive equal access and fair treatment from Georgia’s justice institutions and to advocate for non-discrimination and equality. This part of the project shall be limited to results-oriented activities that restore rights that have been infringed. A positive effect of these activities is likely to be that women and children, people with disabilities, minority groups and LGBTQ community representatives gain greater familiarity with justice institutions, leading them to demand a higher degree of responsiveness. Applicants should provide a detailed and results-oriented list of the activities for the advocacy and awareness raising elements of the project. The grant recipients are expected to communicate results and outcomes of strategic litigation to relevant government stakeholders and support establishment of the best practice.

Selection Criteria

Grants will be awarded to projects exhibiting the following:

  • Demonstrated need for strategic litigation on the proposed subject matter;
  • Demonstrated need for strategic litigation for the proposed segment of the population;
  • Qualified cadre of legal professionals, which includes experience before the Constitutional Court or European Court of Human Rights;
  • Qualified cadre of professionals, separate from those providing legal aid, to deliver training and conduct other awareness building activities;
  • Proven record of providing legal services to the predetermined segment of the Georgian population, or a clearly substantiated capacity to provide these services if it will be a new activity for the organization;
  • Innovative, results-oriented, and feasible action plans;
  • For the public awareness  component of the project, a plan explaining how activities will actually increase public awareness of the legal means to protect basic rights, including the services offered by the applicant;
  • Cooperation between two or more regional NGOs will be considered;
  • For Tbilisi-based organizations, partnership with a regional NGO will be considered a plus.

The following general criteria will also be used to assess the projects:

1.   Degree of compliance with the objectives and requirements of the competition (10%);

2.   Scope and relevance of the project’s impact (10%);

3.   Effectiveness of project methodology (20%);

4.   Innovativeness of strategies and approaches, including demonstrated partnerships with other NGOs (10 %);

5.   Cost-effectiveness of the project and proposed co-funding (10%);

6.   Effectiveness of the monitoring and evaluation plan. Applicants are expected to provide information on the quality assurance mechanisms and methods for collecting feedback from beneficiaries (5%);

7.   Sustainability of the project (please note that sustainability can refer to activities, structures, knowledge, and outcomes that result from project implementation) (5%);

8.  Organization’s capacity to implement the project as demonstrated by: (a) the relevant qualifications of proposed personnel; (b) past successful experience in the field; and (c) capacity of project leadership to manage a grant-funded project and its finances effectively (30%).

Selection Process

To ensure an objective selection process, proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the rules and procedures of EWMI-PROLoG. The grant award decision will be made by EWMI-PROLoG, with the approval of USAID.

During the review process, additional information may be requested. The applicant will be asked to present all requested additional information within five working days.

PROLoG anticipates multiple awards under the competition. PROLoG reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. PROLoG reserves the right not to make any awards, and all costs associated with preparing proposals are the sole responsibility of the organization submitting the proposal, and neither EWMI nor USAID will reimburse organizations for costs incurred in preparing proposals. Before the final award, applicants may be required to go through security and risk assessments.

Grant Funds

The maximum budget for grants will be $50,000 with project activities lasting from 12 to 14 months. The applicants are required to provide cost share for the projects equal to 5-10% of the requested funding.

Grant funds may be used for the following:

1.   Expenses related to the collection of data and evidence;

2.   Direct costs for project-related events;

3.   Communication between partner organizations, e.g. phone, fax, e-mail;

4.   Pro-rated portion of salaries for key participants, e.g. director, accountant;

5.   Transportation of project participants;

6.   Purchase of a limited amount of equipment (e.g. fax, computer, software) and stationery;

7.   Other expenses directly related to project implementation, e.g. court fees.

Grant funds may be used only for activities directly related to the implementation of a grant project. Grant funds cannot be used for on-going expenses, construction expenses, the purchase of real estate, or an organization’s debt. A clear justification must be provided for project staff salary levels and hours dedicated to project activities.

It is required to provide a cost share in the amount of 5% of the funds requested from PROLoG. Higher contributions are welcome. 

The following program activities cannot be supported by EWMI-PROLoG:

  • Support for or lobbying on behalf of a particular political party;
  • Religious activities; however, EWMI-PROLoG may support a religious organization for non-religious aims if its proposal corresponds to project objectives;
  • Humanitarian activities;
  • Theoretical research;
  • Individual or group travel grants; or
  • Capital construction projects for commercial purposes.

Eligibility

An NGO legally registered in Georgia may submit an application.

NGOs working with women, LGBTQ, remote regions, and ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply.

Proposal Submission Process

The applicants must present the following documents:

  • Four copies of the proposal in English. to  be written according to the application form;
  • A detailed, itemized budget and budget notes, using the provided forms;
  • Detailed description of budget categories.

A proposal can be conditionally approved, with the applicant being required to submit a more detailed work-plan. Proposals submitted to the competition must be the original and sole work of the applicant. Any plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification from the competition.

EWMI-PROLoG will retain all materials submitted through the competition in our records. EWMI-PROLoG does not use information presented by applicants for purposes other than review and does not provide this information to any outside persons or institutions, except when required by law or requested by the donor.

Proposals must include information about:

  • Recent, current, or expected projects of the applicant related to legal aid delivery
  • Reliable data to measure the impact of the applicant’s project

Application Forms can be obtained at EWMI-PROLoG’s office from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM or downloaded from the job.ge or EWMI-PROLoG website: www.ewmi-prolog.org

Applicants can request additional information electronically by addressing EWMI-PROLoG Grants and Civil Society Advisor at ajobava@ewmi.org.  The questions will be collected and responses will be posted on the EWMI-PROLoG website.

Competition Timeline

Announcement: December 10, 2019

Submission of written questions from potential applicants: December 16, 2019 at 12:00 (Georgia time).

PROLoG response to submitted questions: December 20, 2019

Deadline for submission of applications: January 13, 2020 at 17:00 (Georgia time)

Award announcement: on or about March 2, 2020

 

Forms

Please see all necessary forms HERE

 

Contact Information

EWMI-PROLoG is located at 5 Marjanishvili Str. 0102 Tbilisi, Georgia, Tel (995 32) 2505404.

 


[4] PDO Report - the Situation of the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia, 2018, p. 124

USAID
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