A new feature film is being produced on the role of rugby in rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law

14 June 2017
Child in conflict with the law playing rugby

Tbilisi, 14 June 2017. A feature film ‘Negative Numbers’ about the initiative of UNICEF, the Ministry of Corrections and the Georgian Rugby Union on teaching Rugby at the Special Educational Establishment for children in conflict with the law is being produced in Georgia. The film has been financed by the Georgian National Film Centre and by the French and UK producers.

The film is based on true stories of young people in conflict with the law whose lives were transformed by playing Rugby.  The initiative which involved Rugby lessons and the rehabilitation of the sports field of the Special Educational Establishment in Tbilisi was implemented by UNICEF with the financial support by the European Union.

In 2011 Rugby lessons were introduced at the Special Educational Establishment to help convicted young people learn about healthy lifestyles and teamwork. Up to now 60 children were involved into the initiative and many of them continued playing Rugby after they left the establishment.

Rugby and sport in general is the best way to divert young people from delinquent behavior and imbed in them values such as respect, friendship, support to each other, accepting defeat with honor. Rugby lessons made a strong impact on young people at the Special Educational Establishment as they became less aggressive to one another; learned how to admit mistakes and apologies; learned to better cope with failures on and off the pitch and showed respect to the peers who won the game; felt better both physically and mentally.

UNICEF continues support to the Government to reform the justice for children system. The project ‘Enhancing Access to Justice and Development of a Child-friendly Justice System in Georgia’ is being jointly implemented by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the financial support from the European Union. It is planned to revise the national civil, administrative and criminal legislation in line with child rights’ international standards; create a comprehensive data system on children in the justice system;  strengthen ministerial child’s rights monitoring and quality assurance mechanisms; Improve environment for children in the justice system; establish specialization of criminal and civil law systems and strengthen capacity of specialized justice professionals; educate children in conflict with the law, child victims and witnesses of crime, children participating in civil and administrative violations proceedings about their rights.

Media Contacts

Maya Kurtsikidze

Communication Officer

UNICEF Georgia


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