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Georgia held in breach of international obligations to domestic violence victims


Two victims of domestic violence have successfully argued that Georgia was in breach of its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW’), after the UN CEDAW Committee published its decision in the case of X and Y v Georgia CEDAW/C/61/D/24/2009.

The claimants, a mother and a daughter, raised in their communication the physical, sexual and psychological abuse they suffered at the hands of the perpetrator (their former husband and father respectively).  They successfully contended that Georgia had failed in multiple respects in its duty to them under the CEDAW Convention.  Included in the wide range of breaches were findings that Georgia had failed in its duties to protect women from violence; ensure equality of legal protection of women’s and rights with men; and refrain from discriminating against women and ensure that public authorities do the same.  Specific recommendations, including for compensation, were made in relation to the claimants themselves. 

The decision is the first international decision on domestic violence in Georgia and highlights some serious shortcomings in the State response.  It also develops the law on state accountability for acts of violence committed by individuals. 

The judgment is here, and further information can be found in EHRAC’s press release here

Jennifer MacLeod was instructed for the claimants by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (Middlesex University) and Article 42 (Tblisi).