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Respect for the child rights in the system of alternative care

A session on the development of a methodology for the observance of children’s rights was held in Kyiv. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the Office of the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, certified trainers, representatives of public organizations and experts.

The event was also attended by Helen Smith, an international expert at Better Care Network, a company that develops a unique tool for monitoring the rights of the child in the system of alternative care, approved by the United Nations, and the effectiveness of the application is recognized by UNICEF.

“The development of these tools began with the guidelines for alternative care approved by the UN General Assembly. The guidelines focus on the separation of family and child. But on providing appropriate conditions for the child in alternative care, “ said Helen Smith.

The toolkit is already used effectively by three countries around the world. His client from each of them was exclusively the government. In Ukraine, the situation is unique, because the initiators of a similar order were non-governmental organizations, members of the “Ukrainian Network for the Rights of the Child”.

The process of using tools in our country began in late summer last year. A special expert group of representatives of non-governmental organizations was established and trained. The tool is built on the principle of a series of questions with considerable detail for each answer, so that the system forms the final report as accurately as possible. It took six months of hard and meticulous work to fill in all the necessary points. In order to objectively reproduce the real picture that exists in the system of alternative care, more than twenty meetings were held. Finally, results were obtained that showed the strengths and weaknesses of the state of observance of children’s rights in the system of alternative care in Ukraine. Relevant conclusions were presented during the session.

“This methodology gives a clear vision of what works for us, what we have at the level of legislation, but in fact does not work, and what needs to be worked on in accordance with the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and guidelines for alternative care,” said the executive director. “Ukrainian Child Rights Network” Svitlana Klochko.

It was extremely important to coordinate the result with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the public, representatives of the Ombudsman and the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Which, in fact, was done during the session. The meeting also discussed steps to address the problems, analyzed the weaknesses and developed proposals for changes in existing legislation that do not comply with the guidelines of alternative care.

It should be noted that all this is happening within the joint project of UCRN, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, with the technical support of UNICEF “Ensuring capacity building and influence of non-governmental actors in the system of alternative care, improvement of policies and strategies for child protection. ” Its ultimate goal is to prepare an alternative state report on compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Ukraine.

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