“Children Help Government to Work for Children”- children’s conference discussing cyberbullying and child sexual violence in Georgia was held at the European University in Tbilisi, on 15 November.
The event was organised by the partner organisations PHR and GCRT with the support of the Council of Europe’s project “Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Georgia, Phase I”. The conference was held in connection with the European Day on the protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (November 18, 2019).
The conference was opened by Vahagn Muradyan, the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia and Tamar Kerdzaia, Rector of the European University. Representatives of the respective government bodies delivered presentations on the fields of their activities in terms of child protection against cyberbullying and sexual abuse.
The aim of the conference was to support child empowerment and leadership initiative and help government by providing feedback on the subject. Children in Georgia have very low awareness of the risks and existing threats of online abuse. On the other hand, children are the best source of information to study this issue: they can explain why they trust or distrust responsible persons and what mistakes elders/ the system commit while communicating with them. Children are in the best position to persuade government representatives as to why child protection reforms should respond to their needs. This can help improve the efficiency of state’s work in the field of child protection.
The conference was attended by 60 children, aged 12-18 and the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Healthcare, Public Defender’s Office and Mandatory Office. For two hours children discussed cyberbullying and violence, shared their experiences and concerns regarding the problem, and towards the end of the event elaborated their recommendations for state officials.
“This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the Council of Europe.“