TBILISI, Georgia, 16 December, 2019. The Juvenile Justice system should protect the dignity of every child who become in contact with the law, with full respect to age and gender appropriate needs. The Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges the States to ensure that no child shall be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt and be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Juvenile Justice Code of Georgia establishes child friendly approach and requires all professionals to deal with children’s cases with special care and act in the best interests of the child.
Police is the first contact with the justice system. Therefore, it is essential that police system is composed of highly qualified professionals, having motivation, knowledge and skills to work with children and sensitivity towards children’s issues.
In order to fully apply child friendly justice approach, it is essential to:
- Create special units or designate specialized professionals who will be working only on children’s cases in the police system and in all agencies involved in the administration of Juvenile Justice. Specialized professionals should be selected carefully, trained, monitored and supervised regularly.
- Familiarize and sensitize mid-level management on child rights to assist professionals in applying child friendly approach.
- Provide all child witnesses of crime with legal assistance at any stage of contact with the justice system.
At the same time, it is essential to regularly monitor proceedings of children’s cases in order to identify and react on any child rights violation in the justice system.
UNICEF stays committed to continue supporting the Government in carrying out Juvenile Justice system reform in Georgia to establish and implement a child-friendly justice system in line with international standards.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/