At a meeting dedicated to child protection, Victor Yushchenko criticized executive institutions for failing to implement child policy. He believes state officials particularly neglect teenage orphans and homeless children, the President's press office reported.
“Unfortunately, executive bodies have done almost nothing to protect children’s rights since we first met in July,” he said.
The Head of State stressed that back then he had commissioned them to reform children’s homes.
“However, only eight family-type children’s homes have been established since then. Only 28 families have adopted children,” he stressed.
The President said several regions of Ukraine did not have any children’s homes and had not formulated short-term development programs. He reprimanded governors of Chernihiv, Khmelnytsky, Kharkiv, Sumy, Ternopil, Poltava, Mykolayiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr, and Donetsk. He also severely reproached deputy governors on social policy of Vinnytsya, Kirovograd, Lviv, Odesa, Rivne, Cherkasy, and Chernihiv.
Commenting on ways to finance teenage orphans and homeless children, the President stressed that local executive institutions had not developed any rational programs.
“State officials are indifferent and keep doing what they have been doing in the past fourteen years,” he said. “All hopes and expectations we had in July proved to be vain and useless.”
Citing statistics, Yushchenko informed those present that 22 108 orphans and homeless children had been registered in the past ten months. Some of them were adopted. He noted that most of the children were sent to ordinary children’s homes.
“I can’t tolerate this policy. It is not humane, it is not ours,” he said.
The Head of State ordered the Education Ministry, the Youth Ministry and the Justice Ministry to considerways to simplify the procedure of adoption. He also commissioned the Finance Ministry to find newmechanisms to finance orphans and homeless children.
“Whichever status they have, next year each child will receive two living wages, and adopters will get UAH 300,” he stressed. “We should make this money ‘follow a child’.”
Yushchenko also said we did not have enough social workers. He ordered governors to employ them in two weeks or even earlier.
The President said legal protection of children was still a topical issue. He stressed that in many regions of Ukraine children living in orphanages did not have any legal status. Then he added that many of them had no documents certifying their property rights. Yushchenko ordered Youth Minister Yuriy Pavlenko to report on the subject in sixty days. He also claimed that there were problems to pay orphan pensions and alimonies.
The Head of State also delegated Humanitarian Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko to reprimand and warn local officials inefficiently developing family-type children’s homes and increasing the number of adopters in their regions. He also ordered the Education Ministry to formulate a program to reform children’s homes and orphanages.The Presidentbelieves they should involve the Economy Ministry in implementing this program, and the Justice Ministry should visa a bill on child institutions and services.
Victor Yushchenko urged his government to formulate clear tasks to successfully implement child policy in all regions of Ukraine in 2006.
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