Poverty and Russia Georgians' greatest fears, according to survey
Survey on Georgians’ fears
The Center for Social Justice and partner organizations the Association of Young Lawyers of Georgia and the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC Georgia) have prepared a study on the attitude of Georgian citizens to personal and state security. The survey was conducted from May 27 to July 3, 2022. 2544 people were interviewed by face-to-face interviews.
Here are the main findings of the study:
● The population views the security situation in the country differently. For example, 38% of respondents believe that the country is moving in the right direction, while almost the same number believe that the country is on the wrong path, and one fifth says that the situation is not changing at all
● 69% say they generally feel safe in the country. However, 69% agree that there are significant gaps in Georgia’s security system and that it needs to be reformed.
● Men, public sector employees, villagers, viewers of pro-government channels and supporters of the ruling party feel more secure in Georgia.
● Approximately half of the population identified poverty and the possibility of Russian military aggression as the highest security risks.
● More than a fifth of the population sees the Russian-Ukrainian war, crime and natural disasters as threats.
● The study showed that the population’s awareness of the situation in the villages adjacent to the dividing line with South Ossetia and the Abkhaz region is rather low. Most believe that the security measures taken by the Georgian government are insufficient, and the government should tighten control around the dividing line on the administrative border and strengthen the work of the police to ensure the safety of the population in these regions.
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● With regard to national minorities, 73% believe that the security of their ethnic group in Georgia is protected. Only 13% feel less secure.
● Ethnic minorities believe that the main threat to Georgia comes from Russia and Azerbaijan.
● Specifically for their ethnic group/community, minorities see the following three main threats: the threat of loss of language; threat from the police, excessive control and punishment by the authorities; the threat of cancellation of social assistance.
● The respondents’ attitude towards ethnic/religious minorities is positive. The vast majority of the population agrees with the opinion that ethnic/religious minorities are not aliens in Georgia (88%), and the state should fully protect their rights (90%) and make more efforts to include them in public and political life (70%). About 40% of the population believes that ethnic/religious minorities are adequately represented in parliament, executive or local authorities, political parties and the media.
Most respondents feel they are not being followed
● The population considers the ministries of internal affairs and defense, as well as the State Security Service, as state bodies responsible for security.
● More than half of the population believe that security services do not listen in on their telephone conversations, check their social media, or control them through whistleblowers or surveillance.
● A third of the respondents say that if the special services violate their rights, they will first turn to human rights organizations. A tenth of the population says that in such cases they will tolerate and will not resent, because it is impossible for ordinary people to fight injustice.
● The majority partially or completely trust the Ministries of Defense, Internal Affairs and the State Security Service. More than half of the population – and in the case of the State Security Service more than 40% – view the work of these bodies as effective. However, at the same time, 40% of the population do not consider these agencies free from political/party influence.