Statement of the Public Defender regarding physical violence against minors in Gurjaani municipality

The Public Defender of Georgia condemns a fact of physical violence against minors that took place in one of the villages of Gurjaani municipality. The fact was reported by media sources.

For protection of best interests of the children in question and ensuring prompt and effective response, the Public Defender launched an examination into the said case at his own initiative. In the framework of this examination, it is planned to apply with relevant addresses to responsible state/local self-government bodies.

According to the article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, states party to the convention should take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures “to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child”. Also, the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child (CRC) in its paragraphs of the Concluding observations on the Rights of the Child adopted on June 23, 2008 indicates to Georgia’s obligation to take every measure to combat violence against minors, especially domestic violence. Unfortunately, effective implementation of the above obligation cannot be conducted and numerous children are still victims of physical and psychological violence in Georgia. The Public Defender of Georgia calls the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to promptly and effectively conduct psycho-social rehabilitation of those three minors and provide them with safe and adequate care-giving conditions, ensure their placement in alternative care and further supervision in case of necessity.

The Public Defender of Georgia also addresses the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to conduct an investigation in a reasonable timeframe and use every legal measure at their disposal to determine objective truth on the case. At the same time, protection of best interests of the minors – victims of violence should be ensured at all stages of the investigation.

The Public Defender of Georgia addresses the Government of Georgia to develop effective preventive measures for elimination of physical violence against minors that will give special attention to unrelenting protection of rights of minors - children with special need for protection.

The Public Defender of Georgia will monitor the investigation under way on the alleged fact of physical violence conducted towards the minors and will provide information additionally to the public on the results of the examination of the above case within his competences.

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