The ombudsman establishes harmful practices in labor discrimination disputes

1 Nov, 2023

The Coalition for Equality echoes the decision of the Public Defender of Georgia taken on the case of Goga Razmadze and considers that this decision establishes an improper practice in cases of labor discrimination, which harms not only the specific applicant but also worsens the conditions of the rights of all employed persons.

Goga Razmadze holds a managerial position in the Department of Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. He spoke publicly about the discrimination, humiliating and insulting treatment he was subject to, and the coercion into giving a formal explanation. Goga Razmadze turned to the Deputy Minister, Aleksandre Darakhvelidze, but he did not react to his plea. Then he turned to the Public Defender with a request to establish discriminatory treatment.

From the analysis of the Young Lawyers Association of Georgian, it can be observed that the Public Defender:

  • Failed to interview any of the persons named and referred to as witnesses by Goga Razmadze;
  • Did not take into account the facts, circumstances, and arguments indicated by Goga Razmadze that made void many explanations provided by the Ministry;
  • Failed to put a considerable part of the questions raised by the applicant;
  • Relied on the position presented by the Ministry without asking clarifying questions;
  • Did not take into account the actual circumstances relating to the coercion that took place in the General Inspection Department;
  • And finally, within a week, the Public Defender fully shared the position of the Ministry, even though the Ministry failed to even present to the Public Defender an answer to additional arguments of the applicant;
  • It is not known whether the last position of the applicant was submitted or not to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Thus, the decision of the Public Defender in the case of Goga Razmadze is not based on a full-scale examination of the circumstances, and it is ungrounded and biased in favor of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Without interviewing witnesses, putting questions to the Ministry, and requesting documents, the Public Defender actually obliged the applicant to obtain evidence himself. Such a resolution of the case constitutes a reversal of the burden of proof, which is completely contrary to the standards established by national and international law and practice in discrimination cases.

When a citizen confronts the system of the Ministry, he is under asymmetric subordination and is unable to himself obtain many evidences. This is why the legislation entitles the Ombudsman to question relevant witnesses, request and examine additional information. Regrettably, in the case of Goga Razmadze, the Ombudsman refused to exercise this authority and considered the case in complete disregard of the norms prescribed by law. Moreover, such an approach damages the legal guarantees of whistleblowers that undermines the possibilities of fighting corruption in the public service.

We call on the Public Defender to follow the applicable legislation, to allocate the burden of proof in a manner that does not put the employee in a disadvantageous position in relation to the employer, and to treat the case of each employee with due care and diligence.



  1. Center of Human Rights
  2. Equality Movement
  3. Partnership for Human Rights
  4. Sapari
  5. Georgian Young Lawyers Association
  6. Georgian Democracy Initiative
  7. Open Society Georgia Foundation
  8. Social Justice Center
  9. Tolerance and Diversity Institute
  10. Rights Georgia
  11. Women`s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG)