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09.10.2007

More attention needed for children of labour migrants

   

Experts from the International Women’s Human Rights Centre “La Strada – Ukraine” and the Ministry of Education and Science believe that Ukraine needs an institution providing measures of temporary care for the children of Ukrainian nationals working abroad.

At a press conference on 8 October, Kateryna Levchenko, Director of La Strada – Ukraine and representatives of government bodies spoke of the problems developing with the children of such labour migrants. Children become more aggressive, begin skiving off school and sometimes commit minor offences. The children are more at risk of alcoholism, drug dependency and vagrancy. One in ten of the children surveyed by La Strada – Ukraine had been involved in selling drugs, prostitution or pornography.

Studies carried out in 2006 showed that children reacted in different ways to parents leaving to work abroad. As well as problems at school, and the other effects listed above, some positive changes were noted with children becoming more independent and responsible, and having more respect for their parents.  The positive impact was however noted in a smaller percentage of the children surveyed.

The study also indicated that the level of trust of school students and their social environment to educational workers and the social services was low and that educational workers at present were not sufficiently prepared to work with the children of labour migrants and to provide them with the necessary help.

The Ministry of Education has issued an Order instructing that 5 regional seminars be held by La Strada – Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ukrainian Methodological Centre for Practical Psychology and Social Work.  These pilot seminars are to be run in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kyiv, Ternopil and Chernivtsi regions.

Based on information from www.lastrada.org.ua

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