Who are involved:
Ministry of Internal Affairs – Migration Department, Division of the International Protection Issues, RSD Unit, COI Unit, Quality Control and Monitoring Service |The Republic of North Macedonia -Ministry of Interior – Civil Affairs, Sector for Asylum, RSD Unit, Registration Unit, Section for International Cooperation and, the Republic of Tajikistan – Parliament of the Tajikistan, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Executive Office of the President, and Ministry of Justice and NGO “Inson va Adolat”.
Georgia's GRF Asylum Offer:
Summary of Support
At the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the Government of Georgia committed to share its experience and knowledge with interested countries within the scope of Asylum Capacity Support Group (ACSG) notably on issues of establishing refugee status determination (RSD) procedures, country of origin (COI) research capacity and quality assurance mechanism.
To fulfil aspects of its pledge, in July and October of 2022, the Government of Georgia through the Migration Department, Ministry of Internal Affairs hosted the Governments of North Macedonia – Sector for Asylum of the Ministry of Interior – and Republic of Tajikistan – Parliament of Tajikistan and relevant state agencies involved in asylum procedures – as part of two four-day study visits to observe the developments of the asylum system in Georgia.
The main goal of both study visits was to acquaint participants with the legal and procedural framework of asylum procedures in Georgia, which is conducted by the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. High-level meetings with the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia and Director of the Migration Department took place during the study visits.
Participants got acquainted with the asylum-seekers reception conditions upon visiting the Asylum Seekers’ Reception Centre. The legal and procedural framework of functioning asylum system was addressed through presentations and comprehensive discussions with the Heads of relevant Divisions/Units at Migration Department: Division of International Protection Issues, including Status Determination Unit and COI Unit, and Quality Assurance and Monitoring Service.
Both delegations received comprehensive overviews of the asylum system in Georgia including on history of cooperation between UNHCR and Government of Georgia, the development of international protection legislation, reception conditions, registration of asylum-seekers, RSD procedures together with structure and organization of units and responsibilities in relation to processing of asylum claims, use of COI and Quality Assurance Mechanism. The discussion also focused on the benefits of inter-sectoral approaches in providing international protection, through the role of the judiciary and availability of free state legal assistance and representation.
Important roles of independent human rights mechanisms such as the Ombudsman and relevant civil society organizations providing services to asylum-seekers, were also discussed during the visits. Both participant countries were provided with detailed information about the cooperation on asylum and reception related matters within the Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus (QIEE). This was particularly relevant for North Macedonian delegation, as they are currently benefiting from a similar initiative. The Georgian authorities shared the impact of Quality Assurance Initiativein strengthening the quality of its asylum procedure notably in relation to the registration of asylum claims, processing of asylum claims, decision-making, and use of COI as well as inter and intra governmental cooperation and communication with donors.
The visits created potential for further cooperation and dialogue in the field of asylum between Georgian and visiting countries’ authorities. Georgian authorities also expressed readiness to continue sharing their experience through return visits in case of such requests and availability of resources. Potential future cooperation should serve the refinement of asylum procedures and the protection of rights of refugees both in the Republic North Macedonia and in the Republic of Tajikistan.