TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgians are increasingly positive about minorities, including LGBT+ people, according to the new survey commissioned by The Council of Europe Office in Georgia, which covers a period between 2018 and 2021.

The CoE presented key findings of the study Monday, which demonstrates that knowledge and appreciation of diversity in Georgian society increased between 2018 and 2021. Positive attitudes towards diversity in general grew from 56% to 70%, a 14- percentage point increase.

The public has significantly more positive attitudes towards diversity in general, and ethnic and religious diversity, in particular. For ethnic diversity, the data show a 12-point increase in positive attitudes, from 56% to 68%. For religious diversity, the data show an increase of 14 percentage points from 46% in 2018 to 60% in 2021.

The pubic also began to recognize to a greater extent the importance of minority rights and their protection compared to 2018. The number of persons thinking protecting the LGBT+ rights is important rose from 33% in 2018 to 47% in 2021. At the same time, number of persons that thought the protection of LGBT rights was unimportant, decreased from 44% in 2018 to 29% in 2021.

The study results show that while the public’s attitudes have become increasingly positive about diversity, there has been little if any change in terms of awareness of Georgian legislation against discrimination, hate crime, and hate speech. Knowledge and appreciation of existing redress mechanisms and their effectiveness also remain unchanged.

The study, “Hate Speech, Hate Crimes and Discrimination in Georgia: Attitudes and Awareness in 2021”, was carried out as a part of the project “Fight against Discrimination, Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in Georgia” in 2018-2021. It was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, through its Neighbourhood Programme (DANEP). The fieldwork – survey, in-depth interviews and focus groups – was conducted by CRRC Georgia.