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715 Underage Mothers and 23 Fathers Registered in Georgia in 2018

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 3
In 2018, 715 minor mothers and 23 minor fathers were registered as parents in Georgia.

The statistics are included in the report of the Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria.

The report reads that the practice of early marriages and engagement remains one of the most important challenges in Georgia.

The Ombudsman says that even if there is no registration of marriages before the age of 18, there are cases of factual coexistence.

The report reads that the number of underage parents has reduced compared to the data of 2017 (835 underage parents) but the number of minor parents is still high.

“In early 2018, a total of 115 cases of marriage were studied, but in the age of early marriage, the majority of these people quit school. It is still problematic that general education institutions do not inform proper agencies in case of underage quit studies due to early marriage,” the report reads.

Also, analysis of the cases studied by the Public Defender's Office made it clear that the coordinated cooperation between law enforcement agencies, social service, and general education institutions on the issues of early marriages still remains a problem.

It is confirmed by the information provided by the Social Agency, according to which, there were 115 cases of early marriages in 2018, however much more minors left school due to early marriage.

The cases examined by the Public Defender of Georgia have established that some schools hide the cases of early marriages/engagements.

Besides that, the Public Defender says that the execution of Article 140 of the Criminal Code of Georgia remains a problem. This article provides for criminal responsibility for adults who have sexual relationships with under 16-year-old.

The report reads that along with marriages in early childhood, the engagement of underage girls remains a challenge, especially in the regions, settled by the ethnic minorities.

“Under Article 150 of the Criminal Code, which implies forcing a marriage, the Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation in 16 cases and in 5 cases of criminal prosecution was started,” the Ombudsman’s report reads.