UNICEF Georgia calls on authorities to ensure children’s rights in juvenile justice system

The 15-year-old child jumped from the 9th floor of a residential building on 11th of December, 2019.

Agenda.ge, 17 Dec 2019 - 17:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

UNICEF Georgia (United Nations Children's Emergency Fund) has called on the authorities to ensure children’s rights in the juvenile justice system, responding to the suicide attempt of a 15-year-old minor due to alleged psychological pressure at Didube-Chugureti police station last week.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges the states to ensure that no child be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt and be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, reads the official statement of UNICEF Georgia.

UNICEF says that police are the first contact with the justice system. Therefore, it is essential that the system be composed of highly qualified professionals, having motivation, knowledge and skills to be sensitive towards children’s issues.

In its statement the fund put forward the following recommendations for the juvenile justice system:

  • Create special units or designate specialized professionals who will work only on children’s cases in the police system and in all agencies involved in the administration of juvenile justice
  • Specialized professionals should be selected carefully and monitored regularly
  • Familiarize and sensitize mid-level management on child rights
  • Provide all child witnesses of crime with legal assistance at any stage of contact with the justice system

The official statement of UNICEF Georgia reads that it is essential to regularly monitor proceedings of children’s cases “in order to identify and react to any child rights violation”.

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association announced that the minor has been led to a suicide attempt by the psychological pressure of police.

The accident happened on December 11, 2019.  The 15-year-old child jumped from the 9th floor of a residential building and currently is in critical condition after surgery at M. Iashvili Children's Central Hospital.