Ensuring child-friendly justice in Georgia: preventing and protecting children from violence, including in the digital environment
The project aims to strengthen the quality of response to violence against children, including online child sexual exploitation and abuse, in Georgia.
The Project will focus on protection and promotion of children’s rights in the digital environment and will also address the protection of children against violence, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as prevention of peer-to peer violence. It builds on the experience and findings revealed within previous Council of Europe project: Responding to child sexual exploitation and abuse in Georgia (2017-2019).
The project will be implemented by the Council of Europe Children's Rights Division and in close cooperation with the Council of Europe Office in Tbilisi during 2022-2023.
Georgia ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, also known as the “Lanzarote Convention” in 2014. The Lanzarote Convention is the most ambitious and comprehensive international legal instrument aimed at preventing and protecting children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and prosecuting perpetrators. It requires the state parties to criminalize all kinds of sexual offences against children and adopt specific legislation and policy measures to prevent sexual violence, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.
The activities of the Project will promote and be further guided by recommendations and guidelines of the Council of Europe on Integrated National Strategies for the Protection of Children from Violence (CM/Rec (2009)), Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185), Child-friendly justice (CM/Rec (2010)), Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment (CM/Rec(2018)).
The project itself promotes the implementation of these international standards and builds on the progress and work already carried out at national level. In particular, some of the key national standards and policies include the Code on the rights of the child, Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023, Human rights Action Plan of Georgia.
Legal and Policy Reform
The current legal and policy framework will be analyzed and assessed with focus on legislation and policies relevant to child sexual exploitation and abuse, including in digital environment. Throughout the project implementation, recommendations, policy and legal amendments will be developed to support harmonization with the the Council of Europe standards and best practices.
Training and Capacity Building
The project intends to support capacity building of judges, prosecutors, investigators, and other professionals on issues of child sexual exploitation and abuse, including in digital space. Trainings will be provided to enhance child-friendly practises during investigation, as well as protect and prevent children from violence.
The project will raise awareness on the phenomenon of child sexual abuse, including online, and the rights of the child in the digital environment in Georgia. These goals will be implemented through a series of activities including a public information and awareness raising campaigns and targeted sensitization of decision makers, authorities and professionals working for and with children.
The main partners of the project are the Ministry of Internal affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, the Human Rights committee of the Parliament of Georgia, etc. Collaboration and partnerships will be sought with other relevant government institutions, international organisations, as well as civil society organisations active in this field.
Children in Georgia will benefit from an improved protection from violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, including in the digital environment.