The Parliament of Georgia commits to prioritize children in 2014
KUTAISI, Georgia, 5 March 2014 - The Year of the Protection of the Rights of the Child is being officially launched at a press-conference by the Speaker of the Parliament Mr David Usupashvili and UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Ms Marie-Pierre Poirier.
UNICEF Regional Director for the CEECIS, Ms Marie-Pierre Poirier (left) and the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr David Usupashvili, at the launch of the Year of the Protection of the Child - UNICEF/Geo-2014/Khizanishvili
2014 was declared as the Year of the Protection of the Rights of the Child by the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee and the concept of the year was approved by the Parliament in December 2013. The initiative aims to develop specific laws and influence policies to ensure children’s rights are fully respected, protected and fulfilled.
“Congratulations to the Parliament of Georgia and in particular, the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee on this important development. We will continue partnership with the Parliament in effecting real changes for children,” says Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in her welcoming address. “The role of the Parliament is immense in protecting the rights of the child. It is necessary to develop and adopt new laws but it is also crucial to monitor that the laws are implemented and make a real difference in children’s lives.”
Earlier the month UNICEF Executive Director Antony Lake mentioned Georgia’s initiative in his opening speech to the UNICEF Executive Board and highly praised the efforts of the Parliament in undertaking substantive legislative changes for children in Georgia.
The initiative includes legislative package to be passed during the year as well as a series of events, such as committee hearings and public debates on important child rights’ issues with participation of civil society and academia as well as children and young people.
There are plans to adopt such important legislative initiatives during the year, as the juvenile justice code, the law on adoption and foster care, the prohibition of corporal punishment and other amendments to protect children against violence, the pre-school law, introduction of mandatory flour fortification into the law, changes to the law on social assistance and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure.
UNICEF’s cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia has been effective in bringing the national legislation in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards. A number of draft laws were initiated and adopted and an extensive review of the national legislation vis-à-vis the Convention on the Rights of the Child was conducted in previous years. The Parliament Committees and Ministries were supported in several legislative initiatives focusing on children’s rights, including the development of the draft law bringing national legislation into compliance with the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption; legislative initiative aiming at strengthening legal mechanisms for the protection of children from violence as well as the legislation criminalizing domestic violence.
For more information, please, contact:
UNICEF Georgia Tel: (995 32) 2 23 23 88, 2 25 11 30
Cell: (995 599) 53 30 71