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Violence against children and child mortality still remain as problem

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 6
Violence against children and child mortality were named as two of the greatest problems in Georgia according to Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili.

The Ombudsman held a special meeting on July 3, 2015, where he reviewed Parliament’s report about legal status of child 2014 and highlighted the main problems in the field.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of United Nations Children's Fund and the Open Society – Georgia, also the representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Tbilisi Municipality, the General Prosecutor's Office and representatives of non-governmental organizations working on children's issues, the Public Defender's special Preventive Group of Experts.

Nanuashvili informed the attendees the monitoring results in small group homes and pre-school institutions of Georgia.

The results revealed that in the institutions monitored by the Children’s Rights Centre of Public Defender, 70% of children are subjected to psychological violence, while another 40% of them suffer physical abuse.

According to the results of monitoring, the highlighted problems are directly related to the qualification of caregivers, their individual approach to the children, child abuse and psychological / psychiatric care issues of the beneficiaries.

Nanuashvili also stressed that child mortality is still very high in Georgia, especially in the mountainous regions.

He said that although the rate of child mortality in Georgia is the lowest in the Caucasia, it is still high compared to the world data.

The Public Defender’s Office also named the problem of the children living or working in the streets, whose living conditions are alarming and often such children are involved in prostitution.

“Violence is a problem which is very difficult to identify, but the immediate response must be made to each case,” Nanuashvili stated.

The Head of UNICEF in Georgia Sasha Grauman said that violence in pre-school institutions is a major problem and the Ministry of Education should start monitoring this field.

According to him, the introduction of cash assistance for children below the poverty line is a step forward, but it is necessary to develop a special program to overcome child mortality in the country.