United Nations statement on the death of Kobuleti teenage girl

Published in Society
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 13:23

The United Nations family in Georgia expresses dismay at the recent suicide of a teenage girl from Kobuleti, extends its deepest condolences to the family and calls for a thorough investigation of the circumstances that led to her death.

This tragedy points to persistent stigma around rape, sexual violence and exploitation and gender inequality in Georgia,  shortcomings on the part of the child protection system, along with gaps in psycho-social assessment, provision of support services and child-friendly justice for children in contact with the law.

Wherever lapses are documented, we call for a dedicated effort at improvements, whether in legislation on sexual violence, law enforcement practices, social welfare protection, child protection referral procedures or child-friendly judicial processes.

In the justice system, specialized professionals should be assigned to work on child and sexual violence cases. We also recommend creation of an integrated service for child victims of sexual violence that provides a child-friendly justice process and child psycho-social rehabilitation in one space.

Social norms and attitudes that condone sexual violence against women and girls and blame the victims or prevent professionals from reporting on the cases of violence also need to be confronted.

Immediate and energetic measures are necessary to avoid a repetition of this tragedy and to ensure that the fundamental human rights of women and girls are fully respected at all times and in all situations and that women and girls are equipped with the right knowledge and skills and they are empowered to make decisions about their present and future.

The UN in Georgia stands in solidarity and remains committed to work with the Georgian government, civil society groups, and with the human rights activists to address systemic problems that contribute to such tragedies.

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