Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Georgia
The celebration of the CRC@30 will be ongoing until the end of the year
The 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC@30) has seen a number of activities, initiatives and celebrations taking place all across Georgia. These have included a series of lectures on child rights in a number of universities; seminars for religious leaders; public events; a hackathon for young people; school-take overs, a presentation of a large-scale survey results and discussions with policymakers and senior officials.
Major milestone of the celebrations was the adoption of the Code on the Rights of the Child, in late September. The Code is a comprehensive legal document with the power to transform the lives of children in Georgia. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia joined the Global Pledge, a voluntary statement of renewed commitment to the full implementation of the CRC by committing to implement the Code on the Rights of the Child.
As part of the 30th anniversary of the Convention UNICEF has fostered partnerships with religious leaders and the State Agency of Georgia for Religious Issues. UNICEF organized a number of seminars on child rights for the members of the Georgian Orthodox Church and Administration of all Muslims of Georgia, bringing together over ninety religious leaders from across the country. The sessions included discussions on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the role of religious leaders in promoting and protecting child rights, quality of education, stigma vis-à-vis people with disabilities, social norms related to violence against children, the protection of children from violence, the importance of the family structures for children, child poverty and juvenile justice. The religious leaders committed to further raise awareness of child rights in their communities.
Students and professors across the country were also able to learn about the child rights as UNICEF representative Ghassan Khalil visited a number of universities and gave a series of lectures on child rights. Two of the state universities in Kutaisi and Batumi have pledged to incorporate child-rights in their curricula.
UNICEF National Ambassador in Georgia Nikoloz Rachveli and the National Philharmonic Orchestra dedicated the opening concert of their new season to child rights to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention. The concert, held on the 1st of October, also included child piano prodigy Tsotne Zedginidze perform alongside the orchestra; his first-ever performance in front of a substantial audience.
As the events built up to November 20th, children were given increasing opportunities to exercise their talents and develop leadership potential. In two schools, pupils had the chance to run the school themselves, taking on the roles of teachers, administrators and even principal for one day, and also had the responsibility of educating their younger counterparts. Tbilisi’s iconic TV tower which looms over the city was illuminated in UNICEF blue for the 30th Anniversary celebrations.
November 20th, the World Children’s day and the day of the adoption of the CRC was marked by a presentation of the results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, the one of the largest household surveys worldwide that was followed by a series of thematic discussions.
CRC@30 was further celebrated in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, at the event organized by executive authorities of Georgia in cooperation with EU Judiciary Support Project, and UNICEF to review the last year’s achievements and challenges in the implementation process of diversion and mediation program and future plans of expanding restorative justice in Georgia to celebrate international week of Restorative Justice in Europe. Restorative Justice principles are in line with the requirements of the CRC.
The start of the celebrations to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Convention, took place in Ambrolauri in June 2019 at the UN led festival on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). UNICEF set up a special tent on child rights at the festival and various activities were organized for children and their parents to raise awareness of child rights and the 30th anniversary. The activities included quizzes, interactive games and painting sessions on child rights. The President of Georgia visited UNICEF tent and met with the children participating in the activities.
The celebration of the CRC@30 will be ongoing until the end of the year, as child rights hackathon for young people in December aims to bring together over fifty young people from all across the country to work together to develop innovative solutions around child rights issues.