A group of 53 civil society outfits have opposed the nomination of Sopio Kiladze, who chairs Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, by the Government to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, citing her questionable track record and “opaque” selection procedures.
In a statement released on June 22, prominent watchdogs, including GYLA, TI Georgia, EMC, and others, voiced concerns about Kiladze “showing homophobic prejudices,” and disregarding issues raised by minority groups during her tenure.
The group said the Georgian government picked Kiladze as its candidate behind closed doors – through a process that “lacked transparency” and “did not engage civil society groups.”
They also cast doubt on Kiladze’s impartiality and pointed to a potential conflict of interests as Kiladze is an MP from the ruling party and, to date, she sits on Georgian Dream’s political council.
Local watchdogs highlighted that the Human Rights Committee Chair is not qualified to serve in the said position due to her “inexperience in the field of children’s rights.”
They further referred to the Code on the Rights of the Child – a crucial piece of legislation – being adopted on her watch, stressing that Kiladze failed to ensure participation of children’s rights groups while drafting the law.
Concluding the statement, the watchdogs urged the UN Committee on Childs Rights to reject Kiladze’s candidacy.
Reacting to the statement, MP Kiladze dismissed watchdog’s criticism for being based on “lies and fakes news”, saying that “when a group of CSOs confronts you, it means you are on the right track.”
She credited herself for spearheading an initiative to adopt the Code and for implementing a reform on social work services.