Tbilisi, sometimes still known as Tiflis, is the capital of Georgia and the country’s largest city. Home to around a third of the Georgian population, the city has over 1 million inhabitants and a very high population density.
Around one in five of the potential working population in Georgia are out of work, with Tbilisi having the highest unemployment rate in the country. Children and young people growing up here need extra support.
Since 1996, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tbilisi.
Of Georgia’s 300,000 internally displaced people, mostly women and children, more than 100,000, settled in Tbilisi.
The unemployment rate in Tbilisi is twice the national average, at around 21%, however the unemployment rate for internally displaced persons in cities is around 40%.
As a result, children in displaced families are more likely to experience poverty as well as social and economic exclusion. They are also at greater risk of sexual and physical violence and exploitation.
Homelessness is a growing problem in Tbilisi. Although more than 1,500 people are registered as homeless, more than 6,500 have applied.
However, despite a lack of government data, around 10,000 families without a home live in 400 squat buildings in Tbilisi, many of whom are refugees and displaced persons.
Homelessness means exclusion and marginalization, for adults as well as children. Shelters are often moved away from urban centres, which limits access to employment and services, including health care and education for children.