Georgia: The Georgian Internal Affairs Ministry has launched an information campaign, “Do not take away childhood”, to prevent child marriage, which aims to eliminate crimes that promote child marriage and raise public awareness on this issue, as well as provide timely notification of law enforcement cases.
One of the priorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to fight against child marriage and timely detection of similar facts. Accordingly, in order to respond effectively, the Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Interior is studying and monitoring all possible cases of child marriage.
Alexander Darakhvelidze, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Lela Bakradze, Head of the UNFPA Georgia Office, and Ulrik Tidestro, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Georgia, addressed the invited guests at the opening ceremony of the campaign.
The event was attended by representatives of the governmental and non-governmental sector, members of parliament, representatives of the Public Defender’s Office and international organizations working on the issue.
At the meeting, the Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs made a presentation through which the guests were informed about the statistics on child marriage and the activities to be carried out within the framework of the campaign.
In addition, a panel discussion was held, in which the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Human Rights – Niko Tatulashvili, the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science – Tamar Makharashvili, the Deputy Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs – Tamar Barkalaia – and the Public Defender Sophie Rusetsky.
In addition, a video was prepared on the topic of child marriage, in which representatives of various fields talk about the disadvantages of child marriage and emphasize the importance of combating such marriage.
The campaign is carried out in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Office in Georgia, under the auspices of the UN Joint Program on Gender Equality, with the financial support of Sweden.
The information campaign will last for a month and will include a number of events, including meetings in Tbilisi and the regions with various target groups. These meetings will be held by staff from the Human Rights Monitoring and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department, along with representatives of police departments and other partner agencies. There will also be a drawing competition.
Within the framework of the campaign, information brochures were published in Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian languages. Campaign symbol bookmarks, T-shirts, brooches, bags and other branded items were made and distributed to school administrations and other stakeholders during the campaign.