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Tbilisi homeless hold rally for their rights

11 February 2017
(Tatia Giorgashvili/ OC Media)

On 10 February, up to 50 homeless activists held a demonstration in front of the Tbilisi City Assembly building, to speak up for their rights.

In 2015, the Tbilisi City Assembly passed a resolution to record and provide assistance to the city’s homeless people. About 5,000 people living in Tbilisi are recognised as homeless. Seven months ago they were notified by the city assembly that a special commission had been created to help them; however, people are still waiting for the commission to take action.

The main reason for today’s demonstration was to remind the public and the city assembly that there are people who need their help.

Seventy-one-year-old Tamar Chabashvili has been homeless since 2003. She is currently staying with her relatives, and doesn’t receive social aid. Several of the protesters, including Chabashvili, expressed scepticism that these demonstrations will bring any results; their lives are the same as in 2003. ‘However, we’ll keep fighting anyways, it’s better than doing nothing’, she says.

The leader of the demonstration, David Khvadagiani, announced that he’s not sure if the commission even exists. He says, ‘last Monday we were protesting, today we are protesting again, and we’re not going to stop until we reach our goal’.

Tbilisi City Assembly refused to comment on either the demonstration or the commission.