Although presently a secondary route for transiting narcotics, Georgia’s geographic location as part of the emerging Eurasian transit corridor creates the potential for increased trafficking. Counternarcotics is a low priority for Georgia’s corrupt and inefficient law enforcement agencies which focus their efforts on threats to political stability. The U.S. is currently providing training and equipment for Georgian Border Guards and Customs Service. Georgia became a signatory to the 1988 UN convention in August 1998 and works with the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP).
As Georgia’s human rights record has come under increasing scrutiny by the international community-notably by the United Nations and the Council of Europe-the government took steps in 1997 to indicate that it is making human rights a priority. However, Georgia’s rapidly improving image as a reforming post-Soviet country far outpaced its actual performance in human rights. In its most progressive move, the government instituted a de facto ban on capital punishment. However, most chronic problems persisted, principally torture and police abuse, refusal to prosecute war crimes committed during its civil wars in South Ossetia in 1991 and Abkhazia in 1992-94, and violations of the rights of refugees and the internally displaced. Most alarming, the government continued to obfuscate and discount many of these problems.