State Prepares Bill for Children Living and Working on Streets

Minister of Justice of Georgia, Tea Tsulukiani, told reporters last week that the State will protect the children living and working on the streets who have no shelter. She added that the Justice Ministry has already prepared a bill which has been approved at a governmental sitting.

According to Tsulukiani, the bill incorporates the term “homeless child”, which will be followed by an array of public services. “The children living and working on the streets are painful for both the State and the public. Every child has the right to develop. In cooperation with our partner organizations and relevant ministries, we have created a package for change that aims at improving protection of those children living and working on the streets,” the Justice Minster stated.

The Minister claims that such children are unable to receive documentation and therefore identification of their origins is impossible, including their country, citizenship and birthplace. “That is because the persons responsible for those children do not ask us for assistance and as a result these children remain beyond the process of identification.”

As a result of this reform the government will grant permission to the relevant organizations to take care of these processes and the issue of identification will no longer be dependent on parents or other legitimate persons.

Minister Tsulukiani also declared that after receiving identification documents the children living and working on the streets will have a chance to get education, state allowances and be involved in the common healthcare program.

The rights of civil servants, she said, will also broaden, granting them the right to “immediately separate a child from an aggressor.”

“Of course, the separation might be appealed in court. However, a civil servant will have the right to swiftly address the problem to avoid any regrettable outcomes,” the Justice Minister declared.

The problem has been of a complicated nature in Tbilisi as allegedly thousands of children are abused by their parents in order to illegally utilize them for business purposes. More precisely, some gypsy and native parents, who face no opposition from the State, have been able to force their children to earn money on the streets for years.

Aside from the human prospective, the issue has been creating daily discomfort for citizens of Tbilisi, who frequently donate to the children who are sometimes seen jalf-dressed on the freezing streets.

Many citizens express their concern that instead of doing good by donating, they are automatically encouraging this abuse by helping those children, as their life conditions are not improved and, instead, their parents come to take the act of abuse for granted.

The citizens say they prefer to donate to some official and reliable organizations, who will really assist those needy and reduce the number of children living outside normal circumstances. It is hoped the new state law will improve the existing situation and enable the children to socialize and become part of the society in which they reside.

Zviad Adzinbaia

21 January 2016 22:08