Main Menu
Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                                                                                       

Republic of Georgia

Georgia's economy sustained GDP growth of close to 10% in 2006 and 12% in 2007, based on strong inflows of foreign investment and robust government spending. However, growth slowed to less than 3% in 2008 and is expected to slow further in 2009. Georgia's main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, aircraft and chemicals.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Georgia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


From the streets to the stage, a young woman plots her path in life

Eter Tsotniashvili, The Messenger, August 24-September 7, 2007, #162 (1429)

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Lika grew up with a mother and six brothers, five of whom left the family home and never looked back. She lived with her mother and youngest brother in a Lotkini district apartment; the family's only income was what they could get begging on Rustaveli Avenue.  The fall from poverty to homeless was sudden. When Lika was seven, her small family lost what little they had in a house fire. With nowhere to go, they slept in the streets.

Within a year, her mother was able to rent a small room for the three of them. But Lika was accustomed to street life, and left their new home when she was eight. She didn't have a bad relationship with her mother, she said, but felt at home on the street-and craved inhalants. She and her friends would beg for money to buy food and glue. They slept nights under balconies and in cars.

Street Children – Our Concern

Tskriala Shermadini and Nana Naskidashvili, 12 May 2004

[accessed 23 September 2011]

Many street children work in markets and in other busy areas. Some are employed in small enterprises. Saying the children are “employed” is perhaps misleading. They do not sign any type of work agreement, so employers can treat them as they see fit. Many of these children are homeless and addicted to drugs. They spend nights in underground stations, which costs them some money, often 5 GEL or more. To whom do they pay? To the police and to the underground administration. The daily income of street children is estimated to be, on average, at 10-15 GEL. Police salaries are also very small, but this does not justify their actions. District inspectors often force street children to share their income. If a child refuses to share their income with the inspector, he is often detained, and must bribe his way out of custody.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 6 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There are reports of significant numbers of children, some as young as 5 years old, engaged in begging or working on the streets.  Children as young as 9 years old are found working in markets, sometimes at night, and involved in carrying or loading wares.  Children also work in cafes, bistros, gas stations, and for street photographers.  According to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, police violence against street children is a problem. In general, there is a lack of social safety services for children living on the street.  Trafficking of children occurs, and thousands of children living in the streets and in orphanages are vulnerable to trafficking.  Some families experiencing economic hardship have separated, which has increased the number of children living on the street.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Difficult economic conditions broke up some families and increased the number of street children. NGOs estimated that there were approximately 1,500 street children between 3 and 15 years old in the country, with 1,200 concentrated in Tbilisi, due to the inability of orphanages and the government to provide support. The private voluntary organization Child and Environment and the MOE each operated a shelter in Tbilisi; however, the two shelters could accommodate only a small number of street children. The government took little other action to assist street children. There were unconfirmed reports of police violence against street children, but the patrol police routinely transferred street children to a 24-hour care center or orphanage.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 October 2003

[accessed 6 February 2011]

[64] The Committee shares the concern expressed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the findings of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography regarding the high number of street children who are often victims of trafficking networks and various other forms of exploitation, indicating that the number of children living on the streets is increasing and that families are allowing children as young as 7 to make a living on the streets.  Furthermore, the Committee is deeply concerned by allegedly widespread police brutality towards street children.

Georgian street children and caregivers trained to deliver life saving aid

Ana Chkhaidze, World Vision, 03/15/2008

[accessed 16 May 2011]

More than 75 street children and 150 social workers and teachers in four regions in Georgia are equipped to deliver life-saving assistance thanks to recent trainings on emergency care conducted by World Vision.  The trainings are provided by the 'Learning the Principles of First Emergency Care' project, which aims to increase the capacity of street and at-risk children aged 10-16 in Tbilisi, Telavi, Kutaisi and Batumi, as well as among social workers of various youth centers and institutions, to avoid risks and dangers to their health and wellbeing.

There are some 1,500 children living on the streets of Georgia and thousands of Georgian youth are at risk of becoming street kids, according to World Vision and other NGO reports. There are no official statistics on the number of street children in Georgia.

Protection of Georgian children promoted in trainings

World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe office (MEERO), 28 Jan 2008

[accessed 17 January 2017]

There are approximately 2,000 street children in Georgia, according to the World Vision Street Kids program and other NGO reports. No official statistics on the number of street children in Georgia exist.  Children aged 10 to16 make up a significant portion of Georgia's street children, and there are thousands of youth at risk of living on the street due to poverty and a lack of community services. These youth come from troubled families who struggle to cope with the difficulties of economic collapse and unemployment that have plagued Georgia for the past decade.

Georgian street children to find life safety and hope

Ana Chkhaidze, World Vision

[Last access date unavailable]

[accessed 3 December 2016]

Street children in Georgia will find safe shelter and the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential as a result of a recently launched World Vision project. The Laboratories of Learning (LOL) project will improve understanding of the issues surrounding Georgia's street children, resulting in the design of more effective prevention and care models.

New haven for street children in Georgia

Thomas Nybo, United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, Tbilisi, 29 June 2005

[accessed 16 May 2011]

About 2,500 children in Georgia have turned to the street to earn money either by begging or prostituting themselves. They are extremely vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, life on the streets frequently steers children toward alcohol and drug addiction. Often, their parents are prostitutes, alcoholics or drug addicts.

Dishing Out Food And Hope To Georgia's Street Children

Mia Turner, Tblisi, Feb 6 2004

This article had been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly also be accessible there

[accessed 16 May 2011]

"There are 1,500 street children in Georgia, most of them in the capital, who sleep in parks, abandoned cars and the railway station. Some even go home to rundown refrigerated warehouses, earning themselves the nickname 'Fridge Children'  "We could never have imagined this during Soviet times," explains Nana Iashvili, a co-founder of Child and Environment. "The tragedy is that their numbers are growing."

Street Wise Project Reaches Out To Georgia’s Forgotten Youth

Keti Nozadze, Communications Assistant, World Vision, 11 Jul 2005

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Georgian, Russian, Armenian, Kurdish and Roma, these young people, aged 10 to 20 comprise the forgotten youth of this former Soviet-bloc country.  They either live on the streets of its capital, Tbilisi, or are at risk of becoming homeless as they ‘graduate’ from Georgia’s children’s institutions with no welcoming family to turn to and no skills to support themselves.  Their lack of choices and protection mean that they are vulnerable to traffickers, drug abuse and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. They are easy prey for criminal rings.

Georgia - OCHA Situation Report: 10-Nov-04

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Report for October 2004, 10 November 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Starting from September 2004, with financial support from USAID, Save the Children is implementing a new project Rebuilding Lives Street Children (RLSC). The goal of the RLSC project is to strengthen and expand local capacities to promote the physical, cognitive, emotional and psychosocial well being of street children in Georgia. This project will be implemented in partnership with two local partner organizations - Child and Environment and Biliki. The target locations for the project include Tbilisi, Gori, Chiatura, and Zugdidi.

INTERNEWS Georgia Premieres Two Documentary Films

Internews, June 29, 2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

"Children of the Street" is a 56-minute film documenting the lives of Tbilisi's street children, with footage showing these children living in the subway tunnels and parks of the city as well as alternatives to street life that exist for some of these children. The film was directed by Rusiko Tchkunia and was premiered at the Free Theatre at Freedom Square.

Children Of The Silk Road

Women Aid International

[accessed 16 May 2011]

SOUTH CAUCASUS - Conditions in Georgia's state orphanages are so harsh that many youngsters prefer to take their chances on the streets.  Just 40 miles from Tbilisi, the state-run orphanage is a breeding ground for disease and misery. Conditions are medieval - the dormitories are freezing cold and infested with insects while the children survive on bread and water.

Project NGO Beliki

American Friends of Georgia AFG

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

The combination of high unemployment, and the arrival of refugees from the civil war in Abkhazia, led to many children going out into the street to sell things to help feed their families.  They are not getting educated because these same families cannot afford to buy the clothes and notebooks their children need to attend school.

Project Title: Medical Examination And Treatment Of Street Children In Tbilisi

International Foundation for Children's Health Care "Posterity", Tbilisi, March 1999

[accessed 16 May 2011]


[accessed 3 December 2016]

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT - Most of them spend the night in the street, railway stations, abandoned basements, half destroyed houses and lavatories. Under such conditions it is impossible to observe even elementary hygiene. Obviously their health requires immediate attention and improvement. Medical examinations, disease prevention and special treatment should be carried out for each of these children.

Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC) - Consideration of Reports – 1997

UN Committee On The Rights Of The Child CRC, 26 May 1997

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

196. The average age is 13. Eighty-seven per cent of the children completely or partially give their income to their families. Out of these children 54 per cent are of school age but cannot read or write; 22 per cent do not study, but rather work; 42 per cent have health difficulties, 24 per cent smoke, 2 per cent are prone to alcoholism, 2 per cent have inclinations towards narcotics. In general, 234 children are beggars. The average age is 10; 140 are boys and 94 are girls.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Georgia",, [accessed <date>]