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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 22
by Mariam Chanishvili

Majority Initiates Draft Law to Protect Juveniles from Internet-Based Risks

A special draft law will be submitted to the parliament to protect juveniles from internet-based online-risks.

Deputy Chair of the Healthcare Committee, Dimitri Khundadze initiated amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications and the Law on Protection of minors from harmful impacts.

The main goal of the draft law is to facilitate the protection of juveniles from harmful impacts by authorized personnel of electronic communication networks and provide relevant information to Internet users about the existing mechanisms for minors’ protection from online threats.

Electronic communication service provider will be obliged to provide subscriber with free reference services, including information about the means of protection against the negative impact of juveniles.

The Ministries of Health and Education and Science will jointly develop guidelines for schoolteachers and parents in order to raise awareness of Internet risksand to introduce prevention mechanisms to the society.

The investigation is ongoing in order to find connection between the online game Blue Whale and several minor suicide cases in Georgia.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia stated that no connection was established between the Blue Whale Game and the mentioned suicide facts.

“We could not find any connection between the games and suicide cases or attempts. The investigation in ongoing on Blue Whale Game and Charlie, this is a challenge for us,” stated Gakharia.

The Blue Whale Game, also known as Blue Whale Challenge, is a social networking game that consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators. The final challenge requires the player to commit suicide.

The Blue Whale came to prominence in May 2016 through an article in Russian daily, Novaya Gazeta, which linked several teenage suicides to members of a social media group on Russia’s Facebook analog, VKontakte.

1,260 Georgians repatriated from European countries in 2018

The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that 260 citizens of Georgia have been returned to Georgia under the EU-Georgia Readmission Agreement during the four months in 2018.

From January 1 through April 30, a total of 1290 applications have been submitted for readmission, 1260 of them were satisfied and 30 - rejected.

It is worth mentioning that the costs for readmission of the Georgian citizens are covered by the state.

Most citizens of Georgia were readmitted from Germany - 854 citizens, France (105), Netherlands (102), Austria (88), Sweden (29), Greece (21).

The visa-free regime with the EU took effect on March 28, 2017, meaning all Georgians holding biometric passports can now enter the Schengen Area for 90 days within any 180-day period for vacation, business, or any other purpose except work.

If the visa-free rules are violated, or if Georgians ask for asylum in the countries, which have included Georgia in the list of safe countries, such people are expelled from the EU countries.