Ukraine has no integrated system of social protection of children – “Restoring of Donbas”
10:22 / 02 Dec. 2016 / 604
Child protection system needs to be immediate reformed due to the continuing for more than two years of the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine and its consequences – children affected by armed conflict. This topic was under the discussion during the public hearings “Children who need special protection from the state: the key aspects of the reform of state policy,” said Svetlana Klochko, volunteer of the public initiative “Restoring of Donbas”, founded by politician and public figure Alexander Klimenko. The discussion was organized in Kiev by the international charity organization “Hope and Homes for Children.”
As noted by Svetlana Klochko there is a new category of children in Ukraine – children affected by armed conflict. This status applies not only to those who live in Donbas, but also those who have moved from the zone of ATO, those who illegally took part in the fighting, those whose parents were killed. Besides, the elimination of Ukrainian Institute of social officers, attempts of reassignment Services for Children to Departments of Social Protection has led to imbalance of social protection of children.”
To confirm her words, the volunteer of “Restoring of Donbas” brought the following facts:
– Ukraine failed to comply with the recommendations of UN Human Rights of the Child, namely, today Ukrainian legislation does not contain a ban on the participation of children in hostilities and armed conflict, including the recruitment, financing, material support, and training of children for use in military units. On January 29, 2016 President of Ukraine acknowledged the death of 21 children who took part in the hostilities. We must identify children unlawfully involved in the military confrontation in Donbas, and develop appropriate programs for their psychological rehabilitation and adaptation.
– The lack of systematic data on the number of dead children. According to various databases, from 68 to 199 children died, from 176 to 500 were wounded. There are lists of names of the dead children on the uncontrolled territories, we have none in Ukraine.
– More than 9 months a draft of decree “On approval of the procedure for granting the status of a child affected by war and armed conflicts” is lost in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
– On the eve of war, children from the families living in hard circumstances and covered by social services, estimated 1.3 million, and at the end of 2015 is 675 thousand of children This result is associated with the virtual elimination of Ukrainian Institute of social work professionals. Reporting under this category of children is misleading, because it is formed not on the needs of children, but on the possibilities of social workers to provide children with the assistance.
– There is no reliable statistics regarding orphans and children deprived of parental care living on uncontrolled territories.
– 35 foster families and family-type homes left Donetsk and Luhansk regions after 2014. Fleeing from the war, they have taken the children to the neighbouring states. So far, Ukraine has not developed an algorithm of cooperation with such families. There is no defined guardianship authorities, which would have the authority to take decisions on this category of families and children and would ensure their return to Ukraine.
Thus, the expert stressed not only the facts of inaction on the part of the state, but also emphasized the unreliability of statistics. “To solve these problems the very system of social protection of children needs to be reformed, the state needs to increase the number of social workers, who work directly with families. This will ensure systemic protection of minors, including those who have suffered and continue to suffer from the consequences of armed conflict. In addition, the lack of reliable statistics in the short term may lead to the impossibility of implementation in Ukraine balanced policy in the social protection of children, summarized Svetlana Klochko, volunteer of ” Restoring of Donbas”.
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