2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Georgia

Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of Georgia is an associated country of ILO-IPEC.[1794] With technical assistance from ILO-IPEC's SIMPOC, the Government of Georgia has conducted a child labor survey and is in the final stages of releasing national estimates on child labor.[1795] The UNDP is also working to strengthen the capacity of the State Department of Statistics so that it can collect reliable statistical data that can support the development of effective interventions to address child labor.[1796] In 2003, the President of Georgia issued a National Action Plan that envisions a number of activities aimed at preventing trafficking. The Ombudsperson's Office has also created a working group on trafficking in persons that involves NGOs.[1797]

As part of Georgia's State Program of Reforms, the Ministry of Education is working to improve the country's educational institutions during the transition to a market economy, including support for teacher training, and development of new curricula.[1798] In support of these objectives, the World Bank is funding a 12-year, USD 25.9 million program that will develop a national curriculum for primary and secondary education, train teachers and principals, and provide basic learning materials.[1799] UNICEF is assisting the Government of Georgia to address children's rights issues through a national plan of action for children based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF is also supporting the use of child-oriented teaching and learning, life skills education, and inclusive education practices.[1800]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 1999, UNICEF estimated that 30 percent of children ages 5 to 14 years in Georgia were working.[1801] There are reports of significant numbers of children, some as young as 5 years old, engaged in begging or working on the streets. Children as young as 9 years old are found working in markets, sometimes at night, and involved in carrying or loading wares. Children also work in cafes, bistros, gas stations, and for street photographers.[1802] Incidents of the commercial sexual exploitation of children, particularly for prostitution and pornography, are reported to be increasing, especially among girls.[1803]

Primary education is mandatory and free[1804] from the age of 6 or 7 until 16 years.[1805] According to Georgia's Constitution, secondary education is also free at state institutions within the framework and rules established by the country's laws.[1806] In 2000, the net attendance rate for children ages 6 to 15 in Georgia was 96 percent.[1807] Although the Constitution mandates that primary education is free,[1808] many parents have difficulty affording the costs of related expenses such as books and school supplies. Moreover, many parents are forced to pay some form of tuition or teacher's salaries, all of which prevent some children from attending school.[1809]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment in Georgia is 16 years. However, children who are 15 years old, may work in jobs that are not dangerous to their health or development, in some jobs in the performing arts, or with special permission from the local trade union.[1810] In general, children under 18 years of age may not be hired for unhealthy or underground work, and children ages 16 to 18 years have reduced working hours.[1811]

The Criminal Code includes penalties for encouraging minors to engage in prostitution and prohibits sexual abuse of a person under 16.[1812] The Criminal Code also provides for penalties for trafficking of minors, particularly for the purpose of prostitution.[1813] Prostitution of children and involving children in pornography are offenses punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3 years.[1814] Within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a division is charged with handling crimes against minors, including sexual exploitation of children.[1815]

The Government of Georgia ratified ILO Convention 138 on September 23, 1996, and ratified ILO Convention 182 on July 24, 2002.[1816]

[1794] ILO-IPEC, All About IPEC: Programme Countries, [online] [cited June 3, 2003]; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/about/countries/t_coun….

[1795] ILO-IPEC official, electronic communication to USDOL official, August 23, 2003. See also ILO-IPEC official, electronic communication to USDOL official, March 6, 2002.

[1796] UNDP, Child Labor Survey Module in Georgia, project summary, 1999; available from http://www.undp.org.ge/Projects/childlabor.html.

[1797] U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report – 2003: Georgia, Washington, D.C., June 2003; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2003/.

[1798] UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Georgia, prepared by Ministry of Education, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 52/84, 1999, [cited September 5, 2002]; available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/georgia/contents.html.

[1799] World Bank, Georgia: Education System Realignment and Strengthening Program, 2001 [cited August 7, 2003]; available from http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,, contentMDK:20027079~menuPK:34470~pagePK:40651~ piPK:40653~theSitePK:4607,00.html. See also World Bank, Project Appraisal Document on the First Phase of the Proposed Adaptable Program Credit in the Amount of SDR 19.9 Million (US $25.9 Million Equivalent) to Georgia for an Education System Realignment and Strengthening Program, World Bank, Washington, February 22, 2001.

[1800] UNICEF, UNICEF in Action: Georgia, 2003 [cited July 18, 2003]; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/georgia.html.

[1801] Children who are working in some capacity include children who have performed any paid or unpaid work for someone who is not a member of the household, who have performed more than four hours of housekeeping chores in the household, or who have performed other family work. See Government of Georgia, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2 (MICS2): Georgia, UNICEF, 1999; available from http://www.ucw-project.org/. See also State Department of Statistics – National Center for Disease Control, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 1999: Republic of Georgia, UNICEF, Tbilisi, 2000; available from http://www.childinfo.org/MICS2/newreports/georgia/georgia.pdf.

[1802] According to government estimates, there were more than 2,000 street children in the capital city, Tbilisi, in 1998. See Georgia NGO Convention on the Rights of the Child Coordinative Council, Implementation of the Convention on Children's Rights in Georgia: A Report of Non-Governmental Organizations, Tbilisi, 1999; available from http://www.assistancegeorgia.org.ge/common/reports/crc/altngocrce.pdf. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Georgia, June 28, 2000, para 60-62.

[1803] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Reports – Georgia. , para 66.

[1804] Constitution of Georgia, Article 35, [cited November 5, 2002]; available from http://www.parliament.ge/LEGAL_ACTS/CONSTITUTION/consen.html.

[1805] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties due in 1996, Addendum: Georgia, CRC/C/41/Add.4, prepared by Government of Georgia, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, May 26, 1997.

[1806] Constitution of Georgia, Article 35, [cited November 5, 2002].

[1807] Government of Georgia, MICS2: Georgia.

[1808] Constitution of Georgia, Article 35.

[1809] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2002: Georgia, Washington, D.C., March 31, 2003, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18366.htm.

[1810] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties, Addendum: Georgia, paras. 13, 219-20.

[1811] Ibid., para. 220.

[1812] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Second Periodic Reports of States Parties due in 2001, Addendum: Georgia, paras. 286-87.

[1813] Ibid., para. 287.

[1814] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Georgia, Section 5.

[1815] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Second Periodic Reports of States Parties due in 2001, Addendum: Georgia, para. 289.

[1816] ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited August 20, 2003]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.


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