16 July 2024,   06:22
The Ombudsman releases statement in connection Baghdati tragedy

Public Defender of Georgia expresses her sorrow over the tragedy in Baghdati and offers sympathy to the family embers and relatives of the deceased. The Ombudsman released a statement in connection with the above.

“Unfortunately, child poverty and inadequate living standards have remained unresolved problems for years, which in some cases endanger the health and life of children. The child protection and social system fails to protect children from extreme poverty. The programmes offered by the State to families living in poverty are not oriented to outcome, individual needs or timely prevention; therefore, the socio-economic situation of such families basically remain the same over the years. Under the current social policy, it is problematic to satisfy even the basic needs of children living in poor families.

Providing adequate housing is also a particular challenge. There are no effective, result-oriented support programmes at the municipal level that would provide safe, stable housing for the families living in extremely difficult and dangerous infrastructural conditions together with their children.

The problem of child poverty was highlighted in the UNICEF report as well, according to which, the number of children living under subsistence minimum has significantly increased. Every fifth child lives in a household, the minimum needs of which are not satisfied.

The Public Defender calls on the state agencies to timely reform the social and child care system in order to ensure the all challenges, risks and needs are taken into account and effective, stable and result-oriented protection is provided for the families living in poverty. To this end, it is important to assess the basic needs of such families, review effectiveness of social programmes and their relevance to the existing needs. If necessary, human and financial resources should be increased both at the level of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and self-governments. In addition, the involvement and experience of both the state agencies and the civil sector should be actively considered in the given process.

The Ombudsman has been referring to the above-mentioned problem in parliamentary and special reports for many years. Today, Nino Lomjaria once again calls on the Parliament to strengthen oversight of the implementation of the Public Defender"s recommendations”, - reads the statement.