Public Defender’s Statement on the Code of the Rights of the Child
The Code on the Rights of the Child of Georgia will take effect on September 1, 2020. The Code aims to lay the foundation for the protection of and support for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the child.
The Public Defender welcomes the adoption of the Code and emphasizes the importance of active efforts of state agencies for the enforcement of the Code, especially in the context of systemic challenges in the direction of the protection of the rights of the child in Georgia.
According to the Code, when making a decision or taking measures in relation to children, the supreme consideration of the best interests of the child and his/her opinion shall be mandatory. In addition, the Code sets forth the principles of preperation of children for independent living, development of family support systems, protection from violence, healthcare and social protection, which should become the basis for the implementation of state programmes.
According to the Public Defender, it is important to revise the child care and support system, to plan timely and effective measures in response to the challenges and to ensure effective coordination between the responsible agencies for the practical implementation of the principles declared in the Code.
The Code on the Rights of the Child defines the responsibilities of the Public Defender. An importand novelty is that the mandate of the Public Defender covers legal entities of private law in the part of implementation of the protection and support measures under the Code.
For the effective supervision of the implementation of the Code, the Public Defender’s Office carried out important activities, including:
- Developed child-oriented application forms in a language understood by children
- Made chamges to the internal regulations of the Public Defender’s Office, as well as the rules of case proccedings and consideration of applications/complaint
- Specified the issues of beneficiaries’ informed consent and protection of confidentiality
The Publi Defender of Georgia is actively monitoring the proper implementation of the Code on the Rights of the Child by the responsible agencies and legal entities of private law. The non-fulfillment of legal demands of the Public Defender shall result in the imposition of responsibility under the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia.