With 85 votes in favor and one against, the Parliament of Georgia adopted with its third hearing the Code on the Rights of the Child on September 20. The Code aims to “ensure the welfare of the child” through “support of effective implementation” of the State Constitution, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other related laws.
It recognizes the rights of the child as follows: dignity, life and personal development, equality, expression and participation, personal and family life, education, healthcare, social protection and justice, etc. The Code will fully enter into force on June 1, 2020, however, the Parliament of Georgia has to adopt its action plan by November 1, 2019.
“I am deeply assured that with this Code we will protect our children, empower the families and give children better education,” Sophio Kiladze, chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, who had presented the draft code in early March, said upon its adoption on September 20.
🔹 The Code on the Rights of the Child will guide all state agencies, local governments, other administrative bodies, the common courts, public and private organizations, and individuals, when working with and making decisions about children.
🔸 See what will the code change. pic.twitter.com/Xh7dkf3eMf
— UNICEF Georgia (@unicefgeorgia) September 24, 2019
UNICEF, which provided technical support to the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee to develop the Code, called it “a groundbreaking achievement,” which will have “a long-lasting effect on the lives of children in Georgia.” It a statement of September 20, UNICEF noted that the new Code “reinforces the state system that ensures the welfare and protection of every child.”
“The Code is an umbrella document, a special law which unites all main principles that are crucial for a child’s wellbeing. It will guide all state agencies, local governments, other administrative bodies, the common courts, public and private organizations, and individuals, when working with and making decisions about children,” it stated.
UNICEF also noted that “all the existing laws and policies will have to come into compliance with this document and relevant implementation mechanisms will have to be created and improved.” Moreover, the Code “creates greater guarantees to promote and ensure the participation of children in the decision making on all matters that concern them.”