Recommendation concerning Ineffective Response to Cases of Early Marriage and Engagement by General Education Institutions

On 29 March 2019, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia with a recommendations regarding the ineffective response to the cases of early marriage and engagement.

According to the cases studied by the Public Defender, general education institutions often have information about the cases of early marriage and engagement, but they do not report to the responsible state agencies. On the one hand, it is problematic to refer the cases officially registered by the school, and on the other hand, the cases examined by the Public Defender of Georgia show that some schools do not properly record girls’ non-attendance at classes. In most cases, the school administration indicates that they were not informed about the cases of early marriage or engagement and thus try to shun responsibility.

The Public Defender found out that some schools hide the cases of early marriage and engagement as a result of monitoring one of the schools in Kvemo Kartli region. The Public Defender is studying cases of early marriage and engagement involving three students of the mentioned school. During the monitoring period, notwithstanding the non-attendance of the married/engaged girls at classes, no relevant record was made in the register. It is important that each teacher be aware of the importance of recording the students’ attendance at classes and relevantly responding to the non-fulfillment of obligations or any violation.

In the recommendation, the Public Defender of Georgia requests that the violations in the mentioned school’s register of attendance be studied and appropriate measures be taken; control be tightened over the violations of the rules of maintaining the register of attendance and the requirements of the referral document; and teachers’ awareness of their obligations relating to early marriage be raised.

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