UNICEF efforts to improve the situation of children in detention facilities in Georgia
UNICEF is distributing education materials , along with recreation, hygiene and sanitation supplies to juveniles in detention centres across Georgia. Responding to a request from the Government of Georgia, UNICEF procured the supplies to improve the living conditions and education opportunities for children in conflict with the law.
Between 7 and 9 June, in collaboration with the State Penitentiary Department, UNICEF will deliver supplies to the five detention centres across Georgia holding children. These facilities are Avchala Juveniles’ Correction and Educational Institution, Prison Number 5 for Women and Juveniles, Batumi Prison Number 5, Kutaisi Prison Number 2 and Zugdidi Prison Number 4.
The children will receive stationary and art supplies; sport materials including basketball and table tennis equipment; basic hygiene supplies, washing machines, water heaters, mattresses, bed linens, pillows and blankets.
“UNICEF is concerned about the situation of children in detention centres,” said UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Giovanna Barberis. “These children have a right to decent living conditions as well as the opportunity to learn and develop. The distribution of educational, recreation and hygiene supplies is just one part of UNICEF’s efforts to improve the situation of children in detention facilities. We are closely working with the Ministry of Justice to reform the whole system of juvenile justice to become child-friendly.”
According to a 2006 UNICEF-supported assessment, the conditions in which children are kept in
detention facilities in Georgia are poor. Neither the conditions, nor procedures comply with Georgian Law on Imprisonment, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners or the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. These legal instruments give children the right to facilities and services that meet all the requirements of a healthy and human dignity.
UNICEF is concerned that the living standards in detention facilities fail to meet the health and education needs of the children or preserve their human dignity. Overall, the design of the facilities and the physical environment is not in line with the rehabilitative aim of juvenile justice. Juveniles are not guaranteed the benefit of meaningful activities or programmes that will assist them to develop their potential as members of society.
“We think that detention should be the last resort for children in conflict with the law. In case of when a child is detained, he or she should enjoy every right to live in dignity and to develop,” added Barberis.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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