Yuri Pavlenko: Ukraine on the brink of mass child homelessness, authorities inactive

18 September 2014 13:39

"In over more than 20 years in Ukraine, an effective system of child rights protection was built by the efforts of many people, especially politicians, government officials and public figures.  A network of city, district and regional offices of Children's Services were created; the single database of orphaned children and children deprived of parental care was formed;  the priority of care form for orphaned children and children deprived of parental care was specified, and conditions for the development of various forms of family child-rearing was created.  Child homelessness and neglect was almost overcome as a phenomenon," said Yuri Pavlenko about last year’s achievements, as one of the leaders of the opposition bloc, a member of the Political Council of the Ukraine Development Party.

As a part of the "Children of the undeclared war" project, I always visit the front-line territories.  The first thing that you see again on the streets and railway stations is that there are homeless and neglected children.   Children scrounge and wander; no one pays any attention to them; no one works with them," says the politician. 

"There are shelters and centers of social and psychological rehabilitation for these children in all regions of Ukraine.  They should provide medical, social, psychological, legal assistance and rehabilitation for children. Why does the system of homelessness, which was adjusted for years and neglects preventative measures, now not work?  Child problems were brought into insignificance probably because of the background of the war," said Yuri Pavlenko. 

"Ukraine is on the brink of mass child homelessness, while authorities are inactive. The Ministry of Social Policy, which is the central body of executive authorities in the sphere of children's rights protection, doesn't do anything about social benefits. We should focus our attention on preventative measures for social orphanhood, working with children who find themselves in difficult circumstances, with children of offenders, with children of crime victims. If The Ministry of Social Policy will not respond to the first show of child neglect in these times, this phenomenon will bring us back to the sad 1990s of the last century," concluded Yuri Pavlenko.

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