Public Defender’s Recommendation on Child’s Right to Communicate with Both Parents

On October 5, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and the Social Service Agency of Georgia with a recommendation to take measures for the execution of the court judgment on the determination of the living place of the child and the child’s right to communicate with both parents.

According to the Public Defender, in many cases, child’s best interests are insufficiently considered and child's right to communicate with both parents is restricted; in addition, cases of physical and psychological violence committed by family members against children are not properly detected.

Thereare problems before appealing to the court, during court hearings and at the stage of the execution of the court decision. Providing appropriate psychological services to minors in case of need is also problematic. It is necessary to systematically raise the qualifications of social workers in order to enable them to properly respond to cases. In addition, juveniles' opinions are not sufficiently taken into consideration.

According to the Public Defender’s recommendation, in the process of determining the living place of the child, the Social Service Agency should study in detail the rights situation of the child, take into account the child’s position in relation to both parents and engage him/her in the decision-making process. In addition, human resources should be increased and proper attention should be paid to the professional development of psychologists and other specialists working with children.

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