Training of Human Rights Academy of Public Defender on Protection of Child's Best Interests

On November 8-10, 2017, the Human Rights Academy of the Public Defender organized training for the employees of the Social Service Agency on the theme: “Protection of the children’s best interests during representing them in the proceedings". 28 employees of the Social Service Agency of Georgia attended the event from Tbilisi and regional offices. The training was led by experts Anton Kelbakiani and Natalia Tsagareli.

During three days, employees of the Social Service Agency got acquainted with the basic principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the General Comments No14 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which define the best interests of the child, the Juvenile Justice Code, international instruments, their meaning and importance, the Committee’s General Comments No10, the procedural rights of children in conflict with the law, protection of children from violence, child’s rights during divorce, etc.

The main focus was put on discussing casus and doing practical exercises, as well as open discussions and simulated trial, during which, participants were able to get involved in the discussion of various topics, listen to arguments and develop their own discussions.

The theme of the training was selected due to its importance, since the introduction of the Juvenile Justice Code in 2015 showed significant shortcomings in practice. The complaints examined by the Public Defender's Office have also revealed a number of cases of infringement of the best interests of the child in the proceedings. In addition to discussing the mentioned problems, the training was important given the fact that social workers have less opportunities to participate in similar trainings and in general, raise their qualifications.

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