On the part of the children, there was alienation, false ideas, fears, so our goal was to get to know the pupils, said the Ombudsman

TBILISI, June 28 – Sputnik. Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria met with the children of the Ninotsminda boarding house (Samtskhe-Javakheti region) and began studying the documents of the institution.

The boarding school for children in Ninotsminda, which is under the patronage of the Patriarchate, attracted the attention of the general public and government structures after the Public Defender’s statement about cruelty against children in the boarding house, and that its representatives were not allowed into the institution. On the basis of this statement, the Georgian Interior Ministry launched an investigation. The boarding house has a new head – Vladyka Yakov, his predecessor, the Monk Spiridon, was categorically against the admission of the ombudsman and other officials into the building.

After the end of the meetings at the boarding house, Lomjaria said that her goal was to get to know the children, and also to get acquainted with the documentation that needs to be put in order. The Ombudsman noted that the management of the boarding house is fully prepared to cooperate with the Public Defender’s office and monitoring continues.

“It was an initial and familiarization meeting. On the part of the children there was alienation, false ideas, fears, so our goal was to get to know the pupils. We got acquainted with the documentation on the spot, and we have initial recommendations. “, – said Lomjaria.

According to the Ombudsman, the study of the documentation, the base and the needs of the inmates will continue.

“Naturally, the children have a barrier, they saw us only on TV and heard bad things about us, including from the educators. This was the first meeting, and it’s natural that there was a barrier. We plan to carry out more substantial visits in the future and will continue monitoring “, – said Lomjaria.

As Lomjaria noted, after 2018, this was the first visit of the Public Defender of Georgia to the Ninotsminda boarding house. The Public Defender was at the boarding house with several employees working on children’s rights. A child psychologist was with Lomjaria, so that if they wanted, the children could talk to him.

The Ombusman’s recommendation is to place all children in alternative care. At the moment, there are 15 pupils in the boarding house.

In early June, the Tbilisi City Court satisfied the claims of the Partnership for Human Rights (PHR) NGO, instructing the relevant government departments to immediately begin transferring children from the Ninotsminda boarding house based on possible risks to the life and health of minors.

The new head of the boarding house first of all cleaned up the staff in the institution, leaving at work half of the 40 employees working there. By this time, some of the children were withdrawn from the boarding house.

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