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13:58 04.06.2021(updated 14:24 06/04/2021) Get a short link

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The Agency for Assistance to Victims, Victims of Trafficking and State Guardianship does not exclude that there will be many more people who want to leave the walls of the boarding house in Ninotsminda

TBILISI, June 4 – Sputnik. Six inmates of a boarding house for children in Ninotsminda (Samtskhe-Javakheti region), around which a serious scandal has recently erupted, expressed a desire to leave the institution, the Agency for Assistance to Victims, Trafficking and State Guardianship reports.

The agency says that the minors expressed a desire to leave the institution after the child welfare service was given the opportunity to enter and get acquainted with the situation in the children’s boarding house.

“Taking into account their interests, the agency has responded accordingly and has already ensured their transfer to another form of care. At the moment, intensive work continues, up to ten more children have been identified who are being transferred from this boarding house,” the statement said.

At the moment, social workers and representatives of the Agency for the Regulation of Medical and Pharmaceutical Activities work in the boarding house for children in Ninotsminda. In the interests of the investigation, psychologists will also be involved in the case.

A number of media outlets reported blatant facts of psychological and physical pressure on children – for example, that inmates are forced to crawl on their knees and are left without food as punishment.

The boarding house for orphans and children left without parental care is under the authority of the Patriarchate of Georgia.

The Public Defender of Georgia took control of the situation, but Nino Lomjaria and her staff failed to obtain permission to conduct monitoring in the institution.

The Ombudsman said that she is aware of at least four investigations in recent years in this institution. One of them, according to Lomjaria, is associated with the possible rape of a minor, and the other three – with possible cases of violence against children.

According to various sources, there are between 60 and 150 children in the boarding house. A number of media outlets claim that they tried to check information about the violation of children’s rights on the spot, but were not allowed into the territory.

In recent days, a series of actions has taken place in Georgia demanding that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office conduct a qualified investigation of the situation in the Ninotsminda boarding house.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, from 2016 to the present day, four criminal cases are being investigated in connection with this boarding house.

In two cases, the basis for the initiation of the investigation was a letter from the Office of the Public Defender, and in other cases – an appeal from the Agency for State Assistance to Trafficking Victims.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs provided and carried out all the necessary investigative and procedural actions necessary to clarify the circumstances in each criminal case. Witnesses were questioned, examinations and other actions were carried out.

The Office notes that at this stage in the case there is no sufficient standard of evidence to establish the fact of a possible crime.

Despite this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs continues to carry out the necessary investigative and procedural actions in each criminal case in order to thoroughly and objectively investigate all possible crimes.

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