The administration of justice on crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children
This document is a special report reflecting the findings of the research and monitoring of administration of justice on crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children conducted by the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia, with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Capacities of the Public Defender’s Department on the Rights of the Child in Monitoring Cases of Sexual Abuse of Children”, covering the period from July 2020 to March 2021.
The Public Defender’s Office has been pointing out for years that timely, effective and coordinated response to crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children by the state agencies is one of the main challenges in the country. The involvement of all necessary, adequately retrained professionals in the justice process is crucial in terms of protecting children from secondary victimization and has a positive impact on the effectiveness of administration of justice. However, the number of staff working on crimes of sexual abuse of children in the country falls far short of the need in this regard. For example, in 2014-2020, a total of 1,092 juveniles were identified as victims of sexual violence and sexual exploitation, 317 of them were identified in 2018-2019, although the State employs only 13 psychologists to work with them across the country.1 Raising the qualifications of the relevant professionals on the specifics of crimes of sexual abuse of children is also problematic. The lack of rehabilitation services oriented to child victims of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation is even more problematic, as the scarce resources cannot provide rehabilitation of child victims of sexual abuse or their families and fail to create an effective supportive environment.