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2009.08.07

* UNICEF: Defending the rights of child offenders
* 시간: 03 min 02 secs
* 촬영도시: RUSTAVI
* 촬영국가: Georgia
* 촬영일자: 04 Apr 2009


Video cameras and the art of film-making fascinate Tornike Shubitidze The 15 year old wants to be a cameraman and work in television or in films.


But last year he was not optimistic about his future.


Tornike was charged with stealing a washing machine and faced four to seven years in prison for petty theft.


Georgia has no specialized courts for children.


However, under juvenile justice reforms supported by UNICEF, Tornike was released on 12 months probation.


Now he attends courses at the Rustavi Rehabilitation Center for Children in Conflict with the Law.
It's one of three rehabilitation centers in Georgia helping to protect the rights of children and support them while on probation.


Along with going back to school, a film-making project at the centre has led Tornike to gain work experience as a camera operator at the public broadcaster.


Tornike says he's been given a second chance in life and has a future.


SOUNDBITE: TORNIKE SHUBITIDZE, PROBATIONER (15):
"First of all, I will certainly buy a camera, will spend more time to learn, will work more and try to become a camera-man"


At the center each young probationer is thoroughly assessed.


Social workers consult their family and an individual education and skills training plan is developed to help them re-integrate into society.


SOUNDBITE: MARIKA NATADZE, Team Leader, Rustavi Juvenile Justice Support Center:
"The center is unique as it offers different kinds of services, including educational and vocational trainings, various activities focused on crime prevention, and on helping children to return back and to be better reintegrated into society."


UNICEF is working to reduce the number of young people entering Georgia's criminal justice system. Some 200 legal professionals have received training in the rights and needs of children in conflict with the law - including judges, prosecutors and lawyers.


SOUNDBITE UNICEF Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Georgia Deputy Representative:
"I think it's important in any country that the range, the continuum of services, that deal with children in conflict with the law are in line with international standards and to the extent prevent the incarceration of children, which is a last possible resort, but also to ensure that a cycle of criminality and imprisonment is not started. That as soon as possible rehabilitation and alternative processes for those children are developed."


Under Georgian law, probation is currently the only alternative to prison sen

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