On August 11, 2020, Levan Vasadze posted a video-address to Bidzina Ivanishvili on Facebook. Together with other issues, he reviews the case of separating a three-year-old baby from a single mother by a social worker. Based on this specific incident, Vasadze discusses the negative consequences Child Rights’ Code in general and claims that the Code goes against the family institute and the nation.
In the beginning of August, three months after the incident, ultra-conservative and anti-liberal groups activated the issue. They held a protest in front of Vake-Saburtalo Service Center of Social Service Agency on August 6, demanding that the three-year-old be returned to the mother. They also actively started to speculate on the issue on social media and revived a Russian message-box about the family institute in the pre-election discourse. The given message-box identifies the juvenile legislation with fascism, proposes a thesis according to which the West is destroying the family institute, and specifically targets social workers institute.
Four messages have been disseminated by anti-liberal groups and media outlets:
- International organizations take children from mothers;
- Juvenile legislation / antidiscrimination law causes a destruction of the family institute.
- Institute of social workers targets the family institute
- Government sells the children taken from mothers or gives them away to LGBTQ couples.
1.International organizations take children from mothers
Alexandre Palavandishvili: “A child has been taken away from the mother – this is the ‘Child Rights' Code’ imposed by the United Nations and legalized by the Parliament.’”Nino Ratishvili, TV Obiektivi: “What is it called when you take a child away from mother? I know this law. It is connected to this Association Agreement. I want to say that this is connected to its requirements.”
2. Juvenile legislation / antidiscrimination law causes a destruction of the family institute.
Levan Vasadze, World Congress of Families: “Just like that you adopted the Juvenile Justice Law, now the Child Rights’ Code and together with other destructive initiatives, such as the Antidiscrimination Law and your drug policy, they will destroy our nation step by step.”
Alexandre Vashakmadze, anti-LGBT activist: “Through the newly adopted LGBT, Child Rights’ Code, the state took a child away from the mother. Through this LGBT law, right after the law was adopted, the child was taken away from the mother.”
Dito Bidzinashvili, News Front: “The Juvenile [Justice] Law, never mind how much you cover it in diamonds and gold, will always be garbage to me. I precisely know what and who are we dealing with. The European Union is an abode of pedophiles and mentally ill people and it does not have much in common with Europe. I precisely see the threats emanating from this law and it does not have to do anything with child protection.”Giorgi Kardava, Alt-Info: “This Child Rights’ Code was also [imposed] by the USAID and UNICEF. This has practically been their order.”
3. Institute of social workers targets the family institute
Levan Chachua, Georgian Idea: “The first social worker that visited the family and saw how the baby was hugging the mother and not letting her go, said that he could not take the child from the family. Subsequently, he was fired the next day and a cold-blooded ‘sonder’ was hired who, despite the cries for help, took the child away from the mother with the help of patrol police. The government is busy scouting and training 200 such ‘sonders’ nowadays.”Levan Vasadze, World Congress of Families: “Events are unfolding in Georgia just like in Europe. Career progress, bonuses, and employment of these social workers is based on how well they complete the task – or to say in a simpler language, whether they are taking children away from parents.”
4. Government sells the children taken from mothers or gives them away to LGBTQ couples.
Guram Palavandishvili, Georgian Idea: “I think they have even named an amount for which the child should be auctioned. Nobody knows, but the fact that the child has been taken from mother remains.”
Levan Chachua, Georgian Idea: “Taking children away from their families is in the interests of certain individuals. Probably, in the interests of those who trade these children…”
Alexandre Vashakmadze, anti-LGBT activist: “They will take our children away from us and give them to gay couples. Our [government] will profit financially, they will get the children, and our children will be raised by some [sic] pederasts.”Levan Vasadze, World Congress of Families: “[In the West], some of these children are given to other people who want children and would pay for it – whether officially or unofficially. Meanwhile, an increasing share of the children [who were taken away from their parents] is given to gays and lesbian couples, to their so-called families.”
ლVasadze’s video-address, which since then has been published by the Facebook page of the World Congress of Families, had 204,000 views and 4,700 shares as of August 14. The video has been shared in 34 groups and pages, including:
- Anti-liberal pages: „ალფა დომინანტი“ (Alpha dominant), „ალტ კლუბი“ (Alt club), „ალფა“ (Alpha), „საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა“ (Georgia first);
- Anti-liberal/conservative groups: „ანტილიბერალური სივრცე“ (Anti-liberal space), „კონსერვატიული ჯგუფი“ (Conservative group);
- Various groups that frequently share posts by anti-liberal pages: “Beautiful world”, “Fაქტები” (Facts);
- Pro-Stalin groups: „МЕЖДУНАРОДНОЕ СТАЛИНСКОЕ ДВИЖЕНИЕ საერთაშორისო სტალინური მოძრაობა“ (International Stalinist movement).
The leader of the political party Georgian Idea, Levan Chachua, published a post on Facebook on August 6 calling the social workers who decided to separate the three-year-old Nikoloz from his mother “sonder-social-workers”. Levan Chachua writes that Tsitso Gvenetadze, a social worker, refused to separate the three-year-old from his mother which resulted in her being fired and replaced with Nino Iobashvili and Mariam Tskhvediani. Chachua notes that they precisely fulfilled the task – “the baby, who was shouting “Mother! Mother” at that moment, was taken away from the shocked mother’s hands, seated into a patrol police car, and moved to another family!”
The given post has been shared in eleven Facebook groups: „ქართველ ემიგრანტ ქალთა გაერთიანება“ (Union of Georgian emigrant women), „კორონავირუსი/COVID-19 ერთად დავამარცხოთ✌“ (Let us defeat coronavirus/COVID-19 together✌), „’საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა!’ 6504 ძვ წ“ (“Georgia First” 6504 BC), “samsaxurebi saberdznetshi” (Jobs in Greece), “კახა კალაძე თბილისის მერი” (Kakha Kaladze the Mayor of Tbilisi), „ეროვნული ყრილობა“ (National congress), „ძალა-უფლება ხალხს“ (Power to people), „ხალხური მკურნალობა“ (Folk medicine), „საერთო სახალხო მოძრაობა ქართველი ერის გადარჩენისთვის!“ (United popular movement for saving the Georgian nation!), „ომის ვეტერანები“ (War veterans), “STOP 5G GEORGIA”, “Photo-Fact GEORGIA”. The post has also been shared by three different Facebook pages: „წინაპართა ნაკვალევზე“ (After the wake of ancestors), „საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა“ (Georgia first), „შენ ხარ საქართველო“ (You are Georgia).
Often, the shared posts came with comments calling for attending the protest in front of the Vake-Saburtalo Service Center of the Social Service Agency.
A Facebook post by Alexandre Palavandishvili, an anti-LGBT activist, carried the same narrative. He tried to discredit Nino Iobashvili and Mariam Tskhvediani as well. Palavandishvili writes: “Do you understand?! A child has been taken from a mother in Georgia because she was poor!” Palavandishvili sees the blame of the Child Rights’ Code in this and refers to the Code as being “imposed by the UN”.
The given post has been shared with an identical text in three Facebook groups: „პრემიერ-მინისტრი გიორგი გახარია“ (Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia), „საერთო სახალხო მოძრაობა ქართველი ერის გადარჩენისთვის!“ (United popular movement for saving the Georgian nation!), and “Info Rustavi ინფო რუსთავი”.
Russian message-box on juvenile justice and its Georgia sources
The topic of Juvenile justice has been an integral prat of Russian propaganda and has been actualizing from time to time. Together with various Russian sources, the associate of World Congress of Families, Levan Vasadze has been voicing the given message as well.
Numerous webpages involved in a targeted campaign against the juvenile legislation have been created in Russia («Геноцид русов»/Genocide of the Rus’ people, omiliya.ru, Ювенальная юстиция/Juvenile justice, Стоп Ювенальная Юстиция/Stop juvenile justice etc.) and their messages are identical with the Georgian sources.
Read other articles on this topic by Myth Detector:
- რა არის იუვენალური მართლმსაჯულება და როდის გაჰყავს სოც.მუშაკს ბავშვი ოჯახიდან?
By Medea Sulamanidze and Mariam Talakhadze
Myth Detector Lab
The article has been written with the help of Crowdtangle, a Facebook analytical tool