UNICEF presents the Analysis on Child-Friendly Justice in Georgia to the main partners

23 February 2023
Workshop on Child-friendly Justice
UNICEF/Geo-2023/Valishvili

February 23, 2023, Tbilisi, Georgia - As part of its efforts to support the child-friendly justice reform in Georgia, UNICEF undertook the development of the Analysis on “Child-Friendly Justice in Georgia – Concept for Implementation in Practice” and presented it at a policy workshop. The participatory working meeting was led by the international expert, lead author of the analysis, Professor Ton Liefaard.

The report, produced by UNICEF outlines the steps taken towards the establishment of child-friendly justice and provides practical recommendations to address challenges that stand in the way of fully ensuring child-friendly justice in Georgia. The report was produced as a result of a desk review of the relevant legal documents and consultations with representatives of the Judiciary, Ministerial agencies, Prosecutor`s office, Public Defender, the Legal Aid Service, other state agencies, NGOs, independent experts, and children.  

The recommendations outlined in the report serve to strengthen the capacity of UNICEF, Government of Georgia, as well as civil society and professionals working with children in the justice system, to ensure the whole justice chain in Georgia is child-friendly, child-sensitive, and child-rights-responsive focusing on meaningful participation of children.

„Now it is crucial to build upon the achievements and more proactively proceed with the next phase of the child-friendly justice reform through full-scale implementation of the well-developed legislation and policy. Development of key action points by state and non-state stakeholders through multidisciplinary and participatory approach will strongly contribute to informed policy and further advancement of the reform`s key priorities in the agenda,” said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.

UNICEF has been supporting the establishment of child-friendly justice systems in Georgia since 2008 with a focus on the development of legislation and policy, specialization of professionals, multi-agency cooperation and multidisciplinary work among justice and child welfare systems, introducing and upholding child-friendly environment, procedures, and approaches in all stages of justice proceedings involving children. In 2015 the adoption of the Juvenile Justice Code introduced legal guarantees to reinforce the key principles of child-friendly justice and legal safeguards for children in contact with criminal justice system. In September 2019, the child-friendly justice reform agenda was broadened by adoption of the Code on the Rights of the Child which strengthened legal safeguards, underpinned by international standards, to ensure that rights of children are adequately protected and that children are able to independently exercise their rights through child-friendly justice in all areas of justice proceedings.

At the policy workshop the Key Action Points were developed for further advancement of the reform of child-friendly justice system in Georgia.

Children’s access to justice is essential for children’s rights implementation. It is a vital instrument for making the rights meaningful in real life, especially for children living with severe vulnerabilities and in need of immediate support, access to justice and protection. Making justice systems child-friendly requires collaborative efforts and assumes a joint responsibility of various stakeholders.

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