Public Defender Echoes Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

On January 25, 2017, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed the 4th periodic report of Georgia at its 74th session, while on February 3, 2017, the Committee adopted the Concluding Observations for the Government of Georgia.

The Public Defender welcomes and fully shares the Committee’s very significant findings. It should be noted that the recommendations are in line with the results of the study carried out by the Public Defender and reflects the challenges facing Georgia.

The Concluding Observations mention the positive steps taken by Georgia, in particular, the ratification of the 3rd additional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the adoption of the Juvenile Justice Code, the improvement of the social assistance system and the determination of minimum age of marriage on the basis of the Public Defender’s proposal.

The Committee considers that the implementation of the Convention on the whole territory of Georgia is impeded by the fact that the country's jurisdiction is not effective on the occupied territories, which are out of the state control. The Committee welcomes the efforts of the Georgian state aimed at strengthening child's health care and education systems on the occupied territories.

The recommendations of the Committee are focused on child abuse and corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, protection of the best interest of children with disabilities, improvement of children's medical services and provision of relevant domestic environment.

The most important recommendation concerns the development of legislative regulations against corporal punishment and promotion of effective implementation of the referral procedure. In addition, the Committee focuses on the importance of continuation of the de-institutionalization process, assessment of participation of children with disabilities in the health care and education systems, and strengthening of the role and resources of social workers.

The Committee emphasizes the importance of independent monitoring mechanism and welcomes the efforts of the Public Defender’s Center for Child’s Rights. In addition, it notes that the Member States, given the importance of independent human rights institutions in the field of protection of child's rights, should allocate necessary human, technical and financial resources to strengthen the capacities of the Public Defender’s Center for Child’s Rights.

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