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I still remember how deeply impressed I was while watching the movie "All the invisible children''. The movie reflects the miserable and difficult economical, social conditions that children face in seven different countries; some of them are victims of physical, psychological violence, some of them have to work hard to earn money and their years of childhood are running out in unbearable conditions. The movie was released in 2006 and consists of seven short stories directed by Emir Kusturica, Spike Lee, etc. The directors express their attitude towards significant social problems - unprotected children, hard life conditions at home, relationships among peers, violence against children, deviation, perception of a child as a person, who has his/her own rights. The novels are representing problematic issues from different cultural, sub-cultural perspective that gives the movie multicultural context http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfDbM7XrF4Q.

Unfortunately, the issue of protecting children's rights is quite unpopular theme in Georgian media or political discourse. It should be one of essential concerns for the society to bring up, educate and take care children. But, the ignorance of these issues is quite obvious in Georgian environment. As I have observed, media broadcasts mostly those events, that are organized by politicians or different international and local organizations, e.g. on the international children's day children's houses are gifted with candies, drawing-pads, etc.

The statistics related to children is very disturbing in Georgia. According to Unicef research (2009-2011) every fourth child in Georgia is socially unprotected and lives in miserable conditions. The number of these children is reaching 77 thousand (!) http://ghn.ge/news-71112.html. 
Furthermore, there is also other important problem related to the lack of information about how to raise a child. According to Unicef report (2007) 79,8% of children was physically punished by their parents and 82,3% of children was affected by psychological violence. 21,5% of parents declared that they were beating their children, eight respondents reported, that they have tried to suffocate their children.

While searching some information about children's conditions in Georgia I found one research - "Attitude toward violence and aggression in adolescent age''. (There was no note about who has conducted the research, supposedly some governmental institution). The size of the sample was 1000 respondents. I would like to stress out few questions which were raised in this research.

1. To your mind, who/which social institution is able to solve the problem of violence and aggression in young generation?

  • The majority of respondents think that this problem could be solved by the whole family - 43.3% and by church - 31%. The percentages for other important social institutions vary like this:
  • School - 4,5% 
  • Teachers - 0,3% 
  • Government - 5%
  • Police - 3,2%
  • Media - 0,8%
  • The Ministry of Education and Science - 0,5%

According to these data we can consider, that Georgian society does not fully recognize the importance of social institutions in country's development process. The involvement of social institutions in solving problematic social issues is inevitable for the democratic society. Hence, only family and church are not able to eliminate the problem of violence and aggression in younger age, as this problem is also connected with school, teachers, governmental institutions, etc. Moreover 74,7% of respondents report, that they have scarce financial resources to buy all necessary things for their children... How this kind of families will solve so many problems related to their young family members?

There is a widespread opinion in Georgia, that some facts must stay "at home'' and should not be declared to the society; as a result of this approach human's rights are often sacrificed. My hypothesis that the principle family problems must stay "at home'' was proved with several questions and answers from the mentioned research:

  • Has a child in your family ever become a victim of violence/aggression from other child? - 98.5% - no
  • Has a child ever become a victim of violence/aggression from your family member child? - 98,7%- no
  • Has a child from your family ever become a victim of violence/aggression from an adult? 98,9%- no.
  • Has an adult person become victim of violence/aggression from your family member child? -99.3% - no

The high percentages on these questions could be explained with the social desirability phenomenon. People refuse to answer sincerely to the sensitive questions about their family, private life, and are careful about sharing their problems with the wider society. In addition to this, Georgian society is not fully informed about the forms of violence, children's rights. This hypothesis was confirmed with following data.

From this diagram we can observe how Georgian society lacks the information about forms of violence: pinch, shake, shout, curse (!!!), command (!!!), pulling the hair, swearing (!!!), and etc. are forms of violence, but high percentage of investigated people do not consider them as a violence against a child.

I think it is a complicated to judge the society, where people do not have information about such delicate issues, and furthermore, the majority of the society lives in poverty. Our society is not ready to revise the stereotype that despite their age children are independent individuals, who have their own rights. Also, the opinion that adults have right to punish children, command them and etc. is quite widespread in our society.
It is worth mentioning, that 22% of respondents report that movies involving aggressive, violent scenes negatively affect children's behavior, but at the same time, only 0,8% of respondents consider the role of media important in solving the problem of violence and aggression in children and adolescent. Hence, this proves that people do not fully realize which methods are the most effective to solve the issue. Who must be responsible for informing Georgian society about problematic civic issues? - governmental institutions, civic society, intellectual elite, media, church, or maybe they altogether ... ?