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Georgia

Children comprise a large part of Georgia’s population. Child mortality is reducing ; pre-school access is increasing and nearly all girls and boys attend primary school and secondary school. However, NGOs report that in rural areas, families are likely to keep daughters away from school for household chores, including child care. Separately, boys’ wage-earning activities in vulnerable families throughout the country lead to their school non-attendance and dropout.

System reform is modernising education: schools are governed by Boards with financial management authority; there are regional resource centres to support schools/teachers; teacher training/development persists; a modern national curriculum exists and a national entity has eliminated university entrance examination corruption; school infrastructure improvement continues.

It is understood that more families now have access to improved water sources than in the past; it is documented that fewer children are in State-run institutions; also, it is known that more children are being registered at birth (all relative to past decades). Civil society is active in advocating and caring for the most vulnerable children. Bilateral and multi-lateral governmental agencies have contributed to advancing the child rights agenda. In 2010 government adopted child protection referral procedures, mandating police, schools and clinics/hospital to refer violence and abuse cases to statutory social workers for action.

Other than the custom of early marriage, particularly in the Azeri minority population, Georgian children are not generally affected by harmful traditional practices, but studies on violence against children showed these types of violence reported by children in different settings.

Conflicts is the reason for internally displaced (IDP) in Georgia. Many children have had IDP status since birth. This status has limited benefits (cash, some health care) and disadvantages (discrimination; poor housing; limited socioeconomic opportunities) so Georgia’s government struggles with issues of IDP equity and opportunity; issues for children/youth are access to quality education, health care and children's right to be heard.

In 2011, violence against children was highlighted when a mother beat her 5-year-old to death. Neighbours knew of the abuse but none reported it to authorities. Domestic violence in Georgia is alarmingly high. There are laws against violence, abuse and neglect of children but no law explicitly prohibits household corporal punishment, and corporal punishment is schools is known to be widespread and accepted.

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