Traveling to Tbilisi, Georgia, with my team was my placement's highlight moment. My team – HIV, Health, and Development team at Istanbul Regional Hub – organizes the annual Eastern Europe and Central Asia Judges’ Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law. This year we co-host the forum with UNDP Georgia Country Office and the High School of Justice of Georgia. The event was successful, with the first day devoted to discussions on HIV criminalization and the second day to civil law issues such as HIV and employment, labor disputes, custody and adoption by people living with HIV, etc. It was inspiring to hear from WHO experts about the latest scientific facts about HIV, NGO representatives who have been advocating for the rights of people living with HIV to adopt children, as well as judges who discuss the legal procedure when the victim has limited evidence.
I also had some free time to explore this beautiful, historical city, Tbilisi. I visited a centuries-old fortress, Georgia’s “Stonehenge,” and Freedom Square in the city center. I was so amazed by the sites, the ethnic dancing, and the country’s story – It is almost like a new world to me. I feel so blessed for this opportunity.
Placement Site: HIV, Health and Development Team, Istanbul Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programme