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27.11.2009

Orphans are easy prey for crooks

   

Lviv law enforcement agencies are to check cases where orphans and children deprived of parental care have become victims of flat swindlers.

In the Lviv region around 400 orphans need accommodation, this being more than 10% of the total number of children without parental care. According to the Head of the Service for Children’s Affairs of the Lviv Regional Administration, Volodymyr Lys, more than half the children who need housing have fallen victim to various forms of flat swindling. Most often it is dishonest guardians who deprive the children of their flats claiming good motives: improvement of living conditions, moving to live with the guardian, and the child as a result has ended up on the street.

Consequences of flawed legislation

There have also been cases where the child was taken to a school-orphanage, and on their return, there was no flat for them. At present these young people are aged 15-17, and when they become legal adults at 18, they will have nowhere to live. “We are reaping the results of flawed legislation and officials who gave permission for the sale of accommodation, while the children were taken to various shacks or incorrect flat exchanges were carried out”, Mr Lys explains.

Strict control over this has only been exercised over the last three years since the creation of an Adoption Department. Just in this year in the Lviv region over 20 illegal sales of children’s flats have been prevented. 5 cases are under examination by the courts. In 12 cases the child’s right to the accommodation has been reinstated. There is one social hostel for orphans in the region, however there aren’t many who want to live in it.

Volodymyr Lys believes that checks by the law enforcement agencies on cases where orphans have lost their accommodation could be advantageous for the child, but stresses that at least as much control is needed in the case of unfavourable families with children where there is a real danger of loss of accommodation.

From a report by Halyna Stadnyk at www.dw-world.de  

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