Training for prosecutors on juvenile justice in Georgia
TBILISI, Georgia, 5 October 2011 - A series of trainings for prosecutors on juvenile justice issues have started in Tbilisi. The trainings are organized by the Training Centre of Justice of Georgia and UNICEF with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“Juvenile justice reform is one of the priority directions of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia”, said Tina Burjaliani, First Deputy Minister of Justice at the opening of the trainings. “Juvenile crime is a serious concern for us. It is important to protect psychics of an adolescent who might be an accused, a victim or a witness, to consider psychological characteristics of children and to ensure that criminal proceedings are less stressful for them. To this end, it is essential to learn how to carry out criminal proceedings in relation to juveniles, how to conduct an interrogation, how to talk with children”, Burjaliani added.
Fifty prosecutors from all over the country are attending the trainings. Each training lasts for four days after completion of which they receive special certificates. The trainings have been carried out in different stages and will be completed on 9 October.
“Georgia has accomplished a lot in reforming the juvenile justice system and efforts of the Government of Georgia in this regard are commendable.” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “The main focus is on the child. A juvenile entering the justice system has better opportunities to receive proper support and rehabilitation than he or she had five years ago. In this process it is of utmost importance to build the capacity of those professionals who work with children. UNICEF is actively collaborating with the Government in this regard and we plan to organize similar trainings for judges and lawyers by the end of the year”, Monasch added.
Training participants are being familiarized with specificities of working with juveniles, in particular, how to interrogate a child being a victim, a witness or an accused. The participants acquire practical skills to help them to protect interests of juveniles during the investigation process. During the trainings the prosecutors also learn about child rights, international standards and effective communication skills. Psychological aspects of working with juveniles are at the core of the trainings. The trainings are interactive and the participants are involved in role plays and group discussions.
The initiative is part of the National Strategy and Action Plan on Juvenile Justice (2009-2013) and further enhances continued efforts of the Government of Georgia to reform a juvenile justice system so that it is focused on rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict of the law into society. UNICEF, the European Union and the Dutch Government continue to provide essential financial and technical assistance in support of the reform.