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Head of Primakov Center Spreads Disinformation about UNICEF

5 March, 2020

On March 3, an online media outlet Georgia and World released another article about the Code on the Rights of the Child and the UNICEF reports headlined “Dimitri Lortkipanidze: Terror Named Juvenile Justice.” In the interview with Georgia and World, Dimitri Lortkipanidze, head of the Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center, noted that according to UNICEF’s 2018 report, parents should tolerate harmful habits of their children, among them the use of drugs and alcohol; otherwise, they will be declared as oppressors. Lortkipanidze claims that Child Rights’ Code of Georgia may assess the ban on tobacco use among children as strictness. 

Dimitri Lortkipanidze’s statement as if according to UNICEF’s report, parents should tolerate harmful habits of their children, among them the use of tobacco, alcohol and soft drugs, is disinformation. UNICEF does not provide any instructions on how a parent should act in this particular case, while Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on the states parties to protect children from the use of narcotic drugs.

  • The study conducted by UNICEF Georgia in 2018 aimed to develop parenting policies and programs
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.
 
The study does not indicate in its recommendations that prohibiting a child from using tobacco, drugs and alcohol demonstrates strictness and violence by parents. UNICEF does not provide any instructions on how a parent should act in this particular case. Thus, Dimitri Lortkipanidze offers his subjective interpretation of the issue that runs counter to UNICEF’s study.
 
According to Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the states parties shall take all appropriate to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs.

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  • 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. The code does not note that prohibiting the children from using alcohol and drugs will lead to parents’ punishment. 

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. The myths were mainly spread by pro-Russian and antiliberal groups, including media outlets Asaval-Dasavali, Georgia and World and Dimitri Lortkipanidze’s supporter and leader of Georgian Idea party, Levan Chachua. 

To receive detailed information about the issue, please, read the article prepared by the Myth Detector: Do Child Rights’ Code and UNICEF Encourage Drug and Alcohol Use among Teens?