The Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) – Child Protection
© UNICEF/Geo-2010/Giacomo Pirozzi
Social inclusion remains a significant challenge. In its 2008 concluding observations the Committee on the Rights of the Child noted that despite Constitutional and other guarantees, the principle of non-discrimination is not fully respected in practice for certain groups of children. These groups include, among others, children belonging to minorities; children with disabilities; refugee and asylum-seeking children; children who are internally displaced; children of disadvantaged families; children who live or work on the street; children in the juvenile justice system and children living in rural or remote areas. Children with disabilities often study outside mainstream education facilities; most pre-school children with disabilities are kept at home.
UNICEF Action to ensure social inclusion of all children (equity)
Upstream UNICEF support:
• Support to establishment of Child Rights’ Council of the Parliament of Georgia in order to harmonize legislation in line with international standards (Parliament).
• Support to development of national policies and strategies: Assist Government in the development of the National Child Action Plan (CAP) 2008-2011 and the Disability Action Plan 2010-2012.
• Development of National Child Protection Referral Mechanism (Ministry of Social Services).
• Development of National Child Care Standards (Ministry of Justice).
• Development of Social Work profession & curriculum (Ministry of Education).
• Establishment of National Coordination Council on Child Care and Disability.
• A comprehensive national strategy on juvenile justice reform was adopted in 2009 (Ministry of Corrections & legal Assistance).
Downstream UNICEF support:
• Establishing/Support to eight day care centers for children with disability at local level and other vulnerable children, including providing play grounds.
• 84 child friendly spaces for children affected by the 2008 armed conflict.
• Support to anti-child trafficking centre.
• Training of over 300 social workers.
• All staff working with young offenders has been trained in child rights and child sensitivity.
• Decrease in the number of children in institutions from approximately 5,000 in 46 settings in 2005, down to 1,427 in 22 settings, in 2009.
• There were 622 children in foster care in 2009 compared with 490 in 2008.
• Decrease in the number of children in boarding schools from 1,300 in 15 settings in 2008 to 900 in 13 settings in 2009.
• As a result of UNICEF advocacy a growing number of alternative forms of child care funded by the State, including day care centers, foster care families, and small group homes for children deprived of parental care and day care and foster care families for children with disabilities.
• Social work as a profession has developed significantly. In 2000, there were only 18 social workers; today, with UNICEF support there are nearly 200 working in 53 social work teams throughout the country.
• A partnership launched in 2008 between UNICEF, UNHCR and the Civil Registry Agency of Georgia saw birth registration rise from 92 to 98 per cent.
UNICEF Current focus/New initiatives:
• Expansion of quality community based child care services and improving access for children.
• Building capacity of the services, professionals working with children (social workers) in and outside of the day centers and empowering parents of special needs children.
• Further strengthening Government policy, oversight and accountability in provision of care for children, including children with disabilities.
• Support the Public Defenders’ Office on effectively monitor child rights