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Ombudsman recommends MIA over children living and working in streets

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 31
The Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili, has addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs with regards to the necessary protection measures for children living and working on the streets.

The Public Defender’s Office reads that the monitoring of Tbilisi and Rustavi transit centres, day centres and crisis intervention shelters, carried out by the Centre of Child’s Rights of the Public Defender's Office in 2014, revealed that the rights of children living and working on the street are not properly protected.

“The situation is particularly problematic in terms of protection of juveniles from violence, since in many cases the relevant authorities do not carry out adequate efforts or preventive measures,” Nanuashvili said.

Nanuashvili stresses that despite the fact that the state program on social rehabilitation and child care, adopted in 2014, defines the services oriented to the basic needs of children living and working on the street, the majority of children continue begging on the street in parallel with living in the shelter.

“There are many cases when parents force children to leave shelters and get engaged in anti-public activities again,” Nanuashvili said.

He has emphasized that the monitoring carried out within the subprogram on Providing Shelters to Homeless Children and the proceedings ongoing in the Public Defender’s Office revealed that in most cases the Ministry of Internal Affairs cannot provide timely protection of children living and working on the street from abuse and neglect.

“In some cases the Ministry does not cooperate with mobile groups working on provision of children with shelters.

“The referral procedure is also problematic, which makes it difficult to work with children living and working on the street as well as to provide them with necessary services,” Nanuashvili said.