Public Defender's Statement on Murder of 14-Year-Old Girl

The gravest murder of a 14-year-old girl is shocking and information about the illegal deprivation of her liberty and forced child marriage before this tragic death is alarming.

Despite the high rate of investigations into the cases of alleged early marriage, the detection and referral of the cases of both child marriage and alleged forced marriage remains a problem in the country. The awareness of those responsible for the referral about their obligations, early marriage detection indicators and relevant procedures is critically low.

The steps taken by the State in response to the cases of early marriage and femicide are insufficient and require systemic and coordinated work at both the central and local levels.

Unfortunately, despite the call of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the State has not strengthened its work against gender-based violence in regions where gender norms and stereotypes are particularly strong.

The Public Defender of Georgia examines the killings and attempted killings of women, as well as the cases of child marriage, and considers it important to take immediate steps in response to the existing challenges. In particular, there should be a timely and effective involvement and response by all relevant agencies, including a strict policy relating to non-reporting of crimes. It is also important for the State to study the alleged violations of referral procedures by the responsible persons.

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