New Vision for better Justice for Juveniles
03 April, 2014
New Vision for better Justice for Juveniles
On 31 March, in Tbilisi at the Holiday Inn Hotel, NGO CiDA organized a conference “New Vision - New Challenge in Juvenile Justice Issue.” The event was organized in the framework of the project “Support for Juvenile Justice Reform in National Minority Communities of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti.” The project is implemented by CiDA and funded by the EU.
The conference highlighted changes taking place in the field of juvenile justice and the concept of Justice for Kids. This concept is
prepared by international organizations including UNICEF and the EU, as well as Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
The conference was attended by Deputy Minister of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance - Grigol Giorgadze, Head of National Agency of Probation - George Arsoshvili, Head of Criminal Prevention Center - John Kvinikadze, international organizations – UNICEF and the EU, as well as representatives from local NGOs.
Natalia Baratashvili, Representative of the Ministry of Justice, commented: “In 2013, UNICEF Georgia elaborated the policy option paper - Justice for Children in Georgia - which proposes options for policy and legislative reform in order to ensure a better realization of children’s rights in all areas of the legal system. This concept was widely welcomed by the MOJ and discussed within the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Working Group. As a result, the decision to translate this policy paper into the JJ Strategy and to broaden the existing concept of juvenile justice to the level of justice for children was made. The revised strategy was adopted by the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Council on 11 March 2014. The next step is to revise the Action Plan within the framework of the Juvenile Justice Working Group and submit it for the approval to the Council.”
Georgian Journal talked with Nino Demetrashvili, Project Manager from CiDA, to clarify what “the new vision” stands for: “This conference was dedicated to the novelties of the concept of UNICEF’s Justice for Kids and to the innovative strategy of Ministry of Justice based on the former. This time, it does not only concern those children who were directly involved in the crime but all those who witnessed it or suffered from it. This new vision implies that these children should be of concern of not only Ministry of Justice but rather a wider circle, including public schools (mandatory officers), as well as Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health and Social Care.”
Teona Kuchava, Juvenile Justice Programme Officer with UNICEF in Georgia, told us: “The justice system plays an important role in realizing children’s rights and protecting their best interests, in particular the most vulnerable ones. All children have the right of access to justice which is appropriate to their age, respects their dignity and promotes their ability to assume a constructive role in society. Justice for children goes beyond juvenile justice (children in conflict with the law) and includes all children going through any type of justice system - criminal, civil, administrative, international - as victims, witnesses, offenders or for other reasons such as care, custody or protection (children in contact with the law).”
In recent years, the Georgian Government has taken significant steps to initiate reforms in the area of children’s rights and juvenile justice. Although substantial work has already been done, the main efforts only focused on the criminal justice sphere. “Children in the justice system are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all procedures in the justice system are conducted in a child-friendly manner, that the legislation contains child friendly provisions, that justice professionals are specialized and have the necessary skills to work with children,” Teona Kuchava added.

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