Public Defender Demands Review of Statements Made by MP Vakhtang Megrelishvili on Children’s Rights and Violence

On May 28, 2021, the Public Defender of Georgia called on the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia to review the statements made by MP Vakhtang Megrelishvili in the trailer of a Formula TV programme relating to the rights of the child and violence against minors in the context of the Code of Ethics.

According to the trailer,[1] MP Vakhtang Megrelishvili explains to the minors that the Code on the Rights of the Child is wrong, in general, children do not have rights and it will be good if children are not informed about the Code at all. Vakhtang Megrelishvili also talks about violence against children, terms it as a cultural characteristic of the community and says that no one should interfere with it. According to the MP, it is the right of the parent to beat his/her child. Vakhtang Megrelishvili cites his own experience of domestic violence as a child, trying to normalize it.

It should be emphasized that it is the direct obligation of the Parliament of Georgia to ensure the protection of the rights and freedoms of the child on the territory of the country. Consequently, similar statements made by an MP, who is obliged, within his/her mandate, to promote the creation of a non-violent environment in the best interests of the child, are particularly dangerous, disturbing and reprehensible.

Vakhtang Megrelishvili's actions also contradict the MP's obligation under the Code of Ethics for Members of Parliament, according to which, MPs sould protect international and local law, respect universally recognized human rights and freedoms, and strengthen the rule of law and democracy.

The Public Defender of Georgia emphasizes the importance of cautiously covering the issues relating to children's rights and violence against children, by using a sensitive approach and presenting balanced positions, during the broadcast of the above-mentioned programme by Formula TV. In addition, it is necessary for the broadcaster to protect the rights of minors participating in the programme.

[1] Source: [last accessed: 28/05/2021]

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