EU-UNICEF juvenile justice programme in Georgia: over 5,600 children and young people diverted from prosecution
April 14, 2022

EU-UNICEF juvenile justice programme in Georgia: over 5,600 children and young people diverted from prosecution

Over a decade, as many as 5,600 children and young people aged between 14 and 21 have been diverted from prosecution, as a result of eleven years of work by the Diversion and Mediation Programme, reported at a conference organised by the Ministry of Justice and UNICEF, with the support of the European Union.

The conference was held in the framework of the project ‘Strengthening Child Protection Systems and Services in Georgia’, aimed in particular at developing the capacity of professionals at central and municipal levels to support and protect children and families in Georgia.

Diversion is an alternative mechanism to criminal proceedings and a major cornerstone of the juvenile justice system. According to the Juvenile Justice Code, diversion is the priority measure, which means that, if a juvenile commits an offense, the use of diversion should be considered as a first priority.

According to experts, the Diversion and Mediation Programme, introduced in 2010, has made major progress in Georgia, making a significant shift from a zero-tolerance policy to restorative justice and rehabilitation. Since 2014, the programme has included those juveniles who have committed not only minor offences but also serious crimes. 

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