Public Defender Issues Recommendation on Measures to be Taken for the Protection of Juvenile from Repeated Violence

On 12 June 2019, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia and the Minister of IDPs, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia with a recommendation to evaluate a juvenile's living environment and the measures to be taken for the protection of the juvenile from repeated violence.

The recommendation is based on the statement released by the Human Rights Center on 22 May 2019 regarding the repeated abuse of a juvenile and alleged forced marriage, as well as the results of the study carried out by the Public Defender's Office, including the monitoring visit.

According to the Public Defender’s recommendation, adequate measures should be planned in order to protect and support the child victim of violence. In particular, existing risks and environmental factors, which could negatively affect the emotional state of the juvenile or formation of his/her will, should be assessed. In addition, the mentioned should be implemented through strengthening the role of the juvenile’s parents, supporting them and ensuring a safe environment for the juvenile.

It is necessary that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and LEPL Social Service Agency timely take measures to protect and support the juvenile. At the same time, control over the performance of the referral procedure should be tightened.

Analysis of the cases studied by the Public Defender shows that early and child marriages (particularly, when the formation of the minor’s will was likely impacted by abuse in the past, and which violates the child's rights to health, education and equality, as well as the child’s right to live in an environment free of violence and exploitation) are often ignored due to the factual family relationships. In most cases, the voluntary nature and/or traditional factor of marriages are emphasized and no measures are taken to ensure the child’s best interests.

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