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New opportunities for children living and working on the streets in Georgia

The European Union addresses the needs of homeless children and the enforcement of international child rights laws 

TBILISI, 27 February 2013 - The Georgian Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Mr David Sergeenko, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Mr Philip Dimitrov and the UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Mr Sascha Graumann, today launched the project Reaching Vulnerable Children in Georgia.


Homelessness and street life have extremely detrimental effects on children. Because of their unstable lifestyles, lack of medical care, and inadequate living conditions, they are one of the most vulnerable groups of a society. The project will establish services and mechanisms that will help identifying children living and working in the streets, in order to offer them immediate support and protection.

The project is being rolled out in Tbilisi during the first year and the activities will cover Batumi or Kutaisi in the second year. It will target around 700 children.

It will establish:

  • Four mobile teams of social workers, psychologists, teachers and peer educators, that will assess every child's case who is living and working on the streets in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi.
  • Four day-care centres offering specific services, such as life skills, psychological support, medical support, informal education and entertainment-education.
  • Three 24 hour Transition Centers to help children to adapt to life off the street.

For this 2-year grant, the European Union contributes with €750.000, and UNICEF with € 100.000.

The project is led by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs and carried out in partnership with UNICEF.


Child in the streets of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia - Photo: Onnik Krikorian

Ambassador Dimitrov pointed out: more action is necessary in order to assist street children. The European Union is constantly focussing on the rights of the most vulnerable. The European Union is already supporting children's rights in Georgia through other ten projects totalling €1 million.

During the ceremony, UNICEF Representative in Georgia Sascha Graumann said: Children who are on the streets cannot access education, proper health care, are often not registered and can become subject to various forms of violence. This means that they have fewer chances to become active and well-educated citizens that can make a contribution to the development of the country. Addressing this issue requires interventions to restore their human rights.

 

The initiative also involves the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Finance, and the Tbilisi Municipality. The NGOs World Vision, Caritas Georgia and Child and Environment will provide the children with appropriate, individually tailored services. 


Poverty is at the root of most deprivations street children face. In Georgia, 77 000 Children live below the extreme poverty line of GEL 2 per day. Violence in a family, drug abuse or alcoholism and family dis-functionality are among other contributing factors to starting life on the street.

For more information, please contact:



Tamar Bodokia

Press-centre of the Social Service Agency of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs
Mobile: 599972021
Email: tbodokia@moh.gov.ge
Websites: www.moh.gov.ge and www.ssa.gov.ge/


Maya Kurtsikidze
Communication Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 2 23 23 88, 2 25 11 30
Mobile: (995 599) 53 30 71
Email: mkurtsikidze@unicef.org
Website: www.unicef.ge 

 

 

 

 

Booklet

Download the English version of the booklet "Reaching Vulnerable Children in Georgia"


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