The need for improving child access to justice in Georgia

26 Sep, 2018
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This policy brief is prepared within the framework of the Open Society Georgia Foundation’s in-house project “Monitoring Implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement by the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations”.

As the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states, “For rights to have meaning, effective remedies must be available to redress violations. Children’s special and dependent status creates real difficulties for them in pursuing remedies for breaches of their rights. So States need to give particular attention to ensuring that there are effective, child-sensitive procedures available to children and their representatives.”
In March 2018, the National Anti-Discrimination Mechanism (Public Defender of Georgia) issued a recommendation to the Georgian government and Georgian parliament: “The neutral rule in the Georgian legislation, which gives everyone an equal right to address to the court, excludes children in some cases”. Assessments made by local and international NGOs3 clearly indicate that children in Georgia lack access to justice, particularly in relation to administrative and civil law matters.

This policy paper explores the dimensions of child access to justice in the country. It focuses on the barriers that children face to receive legal aid, court representation and equitable justice in Georgia. The paper underlines the obligations assumed as part of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and proposes a path for progress in this direction