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New Vision- New Challenge in Juvenile Justice Issue

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, April 2
The Civil Development Agency (CiDA) held a conference on New Vision- New Challenge in Juvenile Justice Issues, on March 31, in Tbilisi.

The event was organized in the frames of Support for Juvenile Justice Reform in National Minority Communities of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti, which is financed by the EU.

The conference responded to the ongoing changes taking place in the juvenile justice field and the concept under the title Justice for Kids. The concept was prepared by international organizations including UNICEF and the EU, as well as the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

The goal of the project is to involve juveniles who are in conflict with the law in public benefit activities and their integration through supporting their personal development, and by transferring new knowledge and skills.

Director of CiDA, Zviad Devdariani, Deputy Minister of the Penitentiary, Head of the National Agency of Probation George Arsoshvili, Representative of The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Teona Kuchava, Legal Adviser to the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, Natalia Baratashvili, Head of Re-socialization and Rehabilitation of former prison division, Representative of National Probation Agency, Nino Shatberashvili, Lawyer, Gela Sordia, Executive Director of Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT) Lela Tsiskarishvili and Project manager of CiDa, Nino Demetrashvili attended the conference.

According to the performers, criminal law reform in the judicial attitude towards children in conflict with the law will be changed drastically. However, what specific steps will be taken, and whether or not they will be results-oriented is still in question.

Some changes have already been implemented, but they are still focused on punishment. However, the goal of the project is to change the situation and improve the diversion institute.

“Punishment must be the last thing on the list,” Devdariani stated.

In terms of juvenile justice, the country plans to take the first steps this year, but some basic aspects of the action plan are still not completed.

The project was first initiated in 2009. However, NGOs were working with their own grants.