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23.11.2009

The Rights of the Child in Ukraine

   

In 2008 Ukraine presented its periodic report on implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, containing generalized official information on the subject. At the same time, Ukrainian civic organizations initiated a campaign to gather and generalize impartial information on observance of the rights of the child in Ukraine.

The resulting Alternative Report, presented to mark the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, was prepared by 14 civic organizations. As always it differs strongly from the official report. It highlights the following problems:

- There is still no single body overseeing the formation of State policy on children and coordinating work on all issues pertaining to children’s development and protection of their rights;

- Checks on conditions for children in State institutions remain superficial and unsatisfactory since they are not carried out by independent experts, but by inspectors of those same departments to which they are subordinate;

- There is effectively no mechanism for ensuring children’s right to express their own view on all issues which directly affect them which in its turn negatively impacts children’s real participation in decision-making;

- There is no effective mechanism for coordination and monitoring which would make it possible to carry out systematic and comprehensive gathering of information on Ukraine’s observance of all provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with respect to all groups of children;

- There is a poor level of public awareness of protecting the rights of the child;

- The media does not give sufficient attention to coverage of issues related to children and childhood;

- In general journalists do not have the proper professional training for full coverage of children’s issues;

- There are only isolated studies regarding protection of children’s rights and these are not complete.

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