Identity

Do Child Rights’ Code and UNICEF Encourage Drug and Alcohol Use among Teens?

4 February, 2020

On January 29, an online edition Georgia and World released an article headlined “Levan Chachua: As soon as this law enters into force, total control will be imposed over each parent and even minor signs of strictness towards children will lead to parents’ punishment in the strictest possible way.” As noted in Geworld’s editorial note, as well as in the interview with Levan Chachua, chairman of the Georgian Idea party, according to UNICEF’s conclusion, reflected by the Georgian Parliament in the Code on the Rights of the Child, a parent should not prohibit a child from using drugs and alcohol.

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Geworld: “[Adoption of the code] was preceded by UNICEF’s voluminous research and strict directive to the Georgian government on implementing root changes to improve the child rights situation in the country. The research emphasized that parents should adequately meet children’s behaviors or pleasures in their teenage years, including unusual changes in their appearance, love relations, use of tobacco, alcohol, so called soft drugs, etc.”

Levan Chachua, Georgian Party: “As soon as this “law” enters into force (and it will enter into force quite soon), we, the parents, will appear under pressure and will be strictly punished by law if we demonstrate even minor strictness towards children, for example, if we do not allow them to go somewhere or scold them for their clothing, or prohibit them from using alcohol or so called soft drugs.”

This information is not true. 1. The Child Rights’ Code prohibits the use of drugs or other harmful substances. Levan Chachua claims the opposite of what is written in the Code. 2. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on the states parties to protect children from the use of narcotic drugs.

  1. The Code on the Rights of the Child prohibits the use of drugs and other harmful substances.

Article 63 of the Code on the Rights of the Child strictly prohibits the sale of alcohol, drugs, psychoactive, toxic and other harmful substances to children.

Article 63. Protection of children from the use of alcohol, drugs, psychoactive, toxic and other harmful substances 

  1. It shall be prohibited to provide a child with free or paid alcoholic, narcotic, psychoactive, toxic and other means of intoxication, alcoholic drinks, tobacco and nicotine-containing products or capsules, except for the cases when narcotic and psychoactive substances are prescribed by a doctor.  
  2. It shall be prohibited to employ a child at a facility that manufactures, stores, transports or sells alcoholic drinks, erotic products, toxic substances, narcotic and psychoactive drugs for medical purposes and/or tobacco products, or that operates as a gambling or night entertainment facility. 

Thus, any claims that prohibiting the children from using alcohol and drugs will lead to parents’ punishment are nothing but a groundless manipulation.

      2.  The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on the states parties to protect children from the use of narcotic drugs.

Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child reads that the states parties shall take all appropriate measures to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs.

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Maya Kurtsikidze, Communication Officer at UNICEF Georgia, told the Myth Detector that UNICEF’s research contains no directive that calls on the Georgian government not to allow parents to forbid their children from using tobacco, alcohol and narcotic drugs.

Maya Kurtsikidze also noted that in 2018, UNICEF Georgia conducted a study on parenting adolescents. The study aimed to build baseline knowledge of how parenting is understood, perceived and practiced by parents/caregivers of adolescent boys and girls, as well as to develop parenting policies and programmes to meet the needs of parents of adolescents and improve positive parenting in Georgia. 

At different times, pro-Russian and antiliberal groups have spread disinformation about the Child Rights’ Code.

The myths about the Child Rights’ Code were actively spread in 2018-2019 and they covered various topics, including alcohol and drug use. The Myth Detector has verified a number of disinformation articles covering this issue.

Identical narratives were voiced by Georgian tabloid Asaval-Dasavali in its February 18-24, 2019 issue, as well as Geworld.ge in its February 13, 2019 editorial note and Levan Chachua in the interview with Georgia and World, according to which parents will allegedly have no right to forbid their children from using harmful substances or having “risky pleasures;” otherwise, they will be held accountable.


Asaval-Dasavali: “If you forbid your child from lascivious behavior or “new risky pleasures” – using drugs or transgender masquerades, he/she will apply the law and file a lawsuit in court against you for violation of rights! And Georgian parents will appear in the worse situation than the teachers at schools who were deprived of their rights and have actually turned into puppets!”

Georgia and World: “Due to the new, UNICEF-dictated regulations, a parent has the only way - to keep silent and show patience towards a child’s pleasures, which, as it turns out, are normal at their age, including use of alcohol, drugs, nicotine and other harmful substances. Otherwise, they [parents] will be held accountable on charges of violence and will be punished in the strictest possible way.”

Levan Chachua, Georgian Idea: “It means that the norms operating in Europe will be introduced and accepted here too. Will you oppose it? Then social workers will come and you will appear in the dock on charges of violence. The main emphasis is now laid on how to deprive a parent from the natural right and privilege to bring up a child.” 

“Asaval-Dasavali” 18-24 February, 2019

“Georgia and World”, 13 February, 2019

“Georgia and World”, 13 February, 2019


Prepared by Ilia Sadgobelashvili
Winner of Media Literacy Competition

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