23. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN UKRAINE 2012
As of January 1, 2012, the number of children in the age of 0-17 in Ukraine is 7, 971,638 persons. In the period of January – August 2012, 346, 929 children have been born, the number of infants that died in the age of less than one year – 2, 957 persons.
The assessments, conclusions and recommendations stated in the report «Human rights in Ukraine – 2011» are still valid in 2012. It is confirmed by the data of the state, non-governmental, and international organizations that are working in the sphere of protection of children’s rights in Ukraine. According to the data of the „La Strada – Ukraine» Center, during 9 months of 2012 the National hotline in the issues of prevention of violence and protection of children’s rights received calls from 3,346 children. Children mostly have complaints about the problems in interpersonal relationships, violence in the family and at school. According to the analysis of appeals and complaints received in the Office of the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine in Children’s Rights for the period August 2011 – April 2012, major violations of children’s rights are: disregard to the child’s opinion; disregard to the child’s interests during conflicts between parents or failure to perform lawful obligations towards the child (willful neglect of maintenance, kidnapping of children, etc.); violence against the child (both in the family and outside); violations of children’s rights for health care and education. The Commissioner in Human Rights also receives complaints about violation of children’s rights – mostly with similar issues.
Most assessments concerning violation of children’s rights in Ukraine are provided by adult specialists. The opinions of children themselves as to violation of their rights are rarely, if ever, taken into account in discussions of this issue. In this report we suggest we start with the children’s opinions as to prevailing of violations of their rights in Ukraine. In particular, here we use the data from the national-scale survey of children in the ages of 10-17 commissioned to Oleksander Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute for Social Studies.
The administrative reform affected this sphere as well, what caused new problems and challenges, as well as led to the need to catalyze the activities of governmental agencies and improve the national policy concerning protection of childhood. At the same time, these activities lack consistency, effective coordination, adequate staffing and methodological support. As a consequence, in the society there are manifestations of failure to understand the notions and principles of children’s rights, what results in numerous facts of violations, corporal punishments, violence, antagonism against development of mechanisms for protection of children’s rights, in particular, of juvenile justice, etc.
It is difficult yet to estimate how the reform in the sphere of health care will affect observance of children’s rights in the sphere of health care. But abundance of citizens’ complaints about the reform leaves little for hopeful projections.
Thanks to creation of the national mechanism for prevention of torture, monitoring visits have been conducted to boarding institutions for children, which brought to light numerous violations of dwelling conditions of children, facts of cruel treatment of children and so on. In Ukraine there are only two special penitentiary facilities left, where women prisoners can stay with their children (Chernihiv and Odesa oblasts). In the fall of 2012, the society was agitated by the case of mutilation in Odesa penal facility – this case is a symptom of deep-rooted problems in these facilities, which go on unnoticed by the public.
The year 2012 brought new challenges connected with the initiatives to abolish the secret of adoption, with engaging of children in the electoral process and in the course of parliamentary elections, with churches’ growing interference with the educational process, with politicization of the issues related to observance of children’s rights, etc. The state fails to respond to this and to articulate a clear stance in this regard, so the society keeps misunderstanding these phenomena and «anti-juvenile justice movements» keep proliferating. There are more and more programs and materials about children’s rights in the informational space, but not always these issues and ways of addressing them are covered comprehensively and meaningfully.
International context. On February 28, 2012, during the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a complaints mechanism was opened was signing. As of October 29, 2012, it has been signed by 35 UN member states and Thailand and Gabon have ratified it. Ukraine did not sign this Protocol in 2012, despite appeals from non-governmental organizations, which in February 2012 petitioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine in Children’s Rights concerning this issue.
On October 24, 2012, Ukraine went through the second circle of the Universal Periodic Review. For this review, the state report was prepared with a section on protection of children’s rights as well as the report of the Coalition of non-governmental organizations and ECPAT «On the state of observance of children’s rights in Ukraine», written using the materials on this topic of the „La Strada – Ukraine» Center and the All-Ukrainian Network Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. The issues raised by the Universal Periodic Review working group included the policy of protection of children’s rights. The final recommendations contain provisions as to necessity for Ukraine to harmonize its legislation with the provisions of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and realization of the National Action Plan on implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for the period till 2016, as well as to ratify the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
On June 20, 2012, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. But the draft law concerning harmonization of the Ukrainian legislation with the provisions of this Convention has not been adopted even in the first reading due to its shortcomings. The draft law «On Making Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine concerning Counteraction to Child Prostitution» as of December 6, 2011, No. 9540, (which was developed to harmonize the legislation with the provisions of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Council of Europe Convention No.201) in July 2012 was postponed from consideration.
Ukraine’s signing of the Council of Europe Convention No.210 on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence possesses great significance for the policy of observance of children’s rights, as well. For instance, it provides definition of such kinds of violence as bullying, which are widespread in children’s and youth environment but are not defined in the national legislation in any way; it articulates the standards of the governmental policy for combating domestic violence, which affects children as well, etc. In more detail this topic is covered in the section «Violence against women and domestic violence».
The institutional mechanism and legislative initiatives. In 2012, gaps and shortcomings of the administrative reform, which was launched in 2010, are still being felt. The system for protection of children’s rights in Ukraine still lacks coordination. Responsibility for children is distributed between different ministries and departments; cooperation between them is far from effective or even non-existent. The coordinating body on formation and securing of implementation of the governmental policy concerning children is the Ministry of Social Policy, in which the Department of protection of children’s rights and adoption started operating only at the end of 2011. Since October 1, 2012, it was reformed into the Department of Family and Children. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Decree No. 415 «On Making Amendments to Some Decrees of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the Ministry of Social Policy», concerning amendments to regulations on activities of different agencies and institutions for children.
On March 7, 2012, during the extended session of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the President presented the Social initiatives, and announced establishment of a new institute in social protection of the population – the institute of social district inspectors. The system of social district inspectors is a brand new approach to addressing problems of Ukrainian families. Its goal is to prevent problems in the family and protect children’s rights. Social work should aim to prevent problems, not to overcome their consequences. In June 2012, the campaign was launched to create the corps of inspectors, which will consist of 12 thousand persons. In October, 9 thousand specialists were selected, they all received initial training. As of October 15, 2012, neither the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, not the Ministry of Social Policy have developed or adopted any regulations that would specify the authority and sphere of duties of the newly established position.
On October 31, 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made amendments to Appendix 2 to its Decree as of April 18, 2012, No. 606 «On Approval of the recommended lists of structural subdivisions of regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol city, district, rayon in Kyiv and Sevastopol state administrations». In particular, by the decision of the Government, the Service in issues of children was added to this list.
In 2012, the process was initiated to re-organize shelters for children into centers for social and psychological rehabilitation. According to official data, as of January 1, 2012, in Ukraine 67 shelters and 51 centers for social and psychological rehabilitation of children have been in operation.
In 2012, some changes took place in regulation of activities of the Intersectoral Committee in the issues of protection of childhood. On May 31, 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Order No. 483 «On making amendments to the Provision on Intersectoral Committee in the issues of protection of childhood», which changed the status and task of the Intersectoral Committee. In particular, it stipulates that the Committee is a temporary advisory body established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with the purpose of preparing proposals concerning implementation of the governmental policy in the issues of protection of children’s rights and interests. The Committee’s key functions now include:
facilitation to securing of coordination of actions of bodies of executive power in the issues of protection of childhood;
preparation of proposals concerning formation and implementation of the governmental policy in the issues of protection of children’s rights and interests;
identification of ways, mechanisms and means for resolution of the issues that emerge during implementation of the governmental policy in the sphere of protection of childhood.
As of October 15, 2012, the updated list of members of the Intersectoral Committee has not been approved; the Committee has not held a single meeting.
The reforming of the criminal police in cases of children is still underway and there are ideas to use it as a base for establishing the juvenile police within the system of internal affairs of Ukraine. The model of improvement of services in the sphere of criminal justice concerning juveniles is being piloted in Ivano-Frankivsk.
The year 2012 showed that the improvement of the policy on protection of childhood and children’s rights in Ukraine has been driven by the Commissioner of the President in Children’s Rights, although his key function is that of monitoring the situation with observance of children’s rights in Ukraine, not implementation of the policy. Recommendations based on the monitoring results serve as the foundation for decrees of the President, which form the state policy on protection of childhood. On August 31, 2012, the President issued the Instruction concerning improvement of protection of children’s rights and lawful interests. On October 22, 2012, – the Decree No. 609/2012 «On the National Strategy on Prevention of Social Orphanhood for the Period till 2020» which aims to secure realization of each child’s right for being raised in the family, growing in a safe family environment, to improve effectiveness of operation of governmental agencies and bodies of local self-government on prevention of social orphancy, and to enhance the system of provision of social services to children and families with children.
During the period of operation of the office of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in human rights under the supervision of the newly elected Commissioner, it received 221 appeals, of which more than 60% concern the issues of protection of children’s rights. The major response forms are requests to the authorized authorities and provision of explanations to citizens. The Commissioner’s activities concerning protection of children’s rights are at the initial stage and are conducted not in full scope.
On April 13, 2012, the new Criminal Code of Process of Ukraine was adopted (it came into effect on November 19, 2012). The Code presupposes inclusion of the principles of juvenile justice in criminal proceedings concerning children: criminal proceedings concerning a juvenile are conducted by an investigator that is directly authorized by the head of the body of prejudicial inquiry to perform prejudicial inquiries concerning juveniles. In court, a juvenile’s case is to be heard by a judge that is authorized in compliance with the Law of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges» to conduct legal proceedings concerning juveniles. It is planned to introduce a similar specialization for prosecutors that participate in criminal proceedings concerning children. The state is gradually advancing towards juvenile justice by introducing the system of corresponding governmental agencies.
The major violations of children’s rights in Ukraine. The children’s right to express their own opinions and taking these opinions into account in Ukraine.
48% children surveyed believe that the children’s right to express their opinion is violated, one in every three pointed out that this right is violated by parents, one in every four – by a school or university teacher. 44% believe that the children’s right for free conversation with friends, relatives, parents and obtaining of useful information is violated.
The results of surveys and monitoring concerning observance of children’s rights show that the children’s interests and opinions are not being analyzed and not taken into account. In 2012, this problem attracted some attention from governmental agencies – it was caused by appeals from children to the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine in Children’s Rights in this issue. Disregard for children’s opinion is especially obvious in court proceedings. Courts give no heed to children’s opinions and don’t take these opinions into account when resolving disputes and cases concerning children (deprivation of parental rights, place of the child’s residence, abuse and cruel treatment of children, etc.). On June 1, 2012, for the first time in the years of independence the President had a meeting with children and listened to their opinions on different issues. The majority of proposals made by young people referred to the necessity to learn to listen to children’s needs.
The children’s right for protection from cruel and inhumane treatment and abuse
56% children believe that in Ukraine the right for protection from cruel, inhumane treatment and abuse is violated.
54% mentioned violations of the right for wholesome nutrition. The children believe their parents to be major offenders.
48% stated violations of the children’s right for love and care from parents. The children of the age group of 10–13 (52.6%) feel it most acutely.
Cruelty and abuse against children happen both in the family and outside of it. According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Social Policy, during 9 months of 2012 the subdivisions of this Ministry received appeals from 560 children concerning violence in the family, and 1,478 children were registered with them in this regard. During 9 months of 2012, the National hotline in the issues of prevention of violence and protection of children’s rights received 400 calls concerning cases of cruel treatment of children; mostly these were cases of violence in the family.
Children that experience violence in the family are also facing disregard for their rights and interests from the bodies authorized to protect their rights. The analysis of calls received by the National hotline run by «La Strada – Ukraine», as well as of court proceedings shows that law-enforcement agencies pay no regard to rights and interests of children that witness violence in the family. A child that witnesses violence in the family against other family members in fact becomes a victim of psychological violence. Such situations are not addressed or resolved, and law-enforcement agencies react only when violence is taking severe forms and its consequences for the child become more visible.
There exist consistent problems concerning resolution of cases related to children in courts. For instance, cases on determination of the place of the child’s residence or deprivation of parental rights can last for years. Before the issue with whom of the parents the child will reside is finally settled, this child, by the court decision, can be taken away from one of the parents and given to the other. By doing this, courts give no consideration to the fact that such events can be traumatic for the child and affect his or her psychological and emotional state.
There also exists the problem of violence against children in educational institutions, which is confirmed by appeals from children themselves and by information in mass media. As the system of operation of education institutions, especially boarding ones (including orphanages), is permeated by the principle of hiding of such facts and mutual cover-up, currently it is impossible to realistically assess this situation. The problems the children in boarding institution experience most often and most often call the National hotline about concern cruel treatment of children by employees of the boarding institution and by peers and elder children. Of greatest concern is such cruel treatment by employees of boarding institution, as these are the people authorized to protect children’s rights and interests, instead they violate these rights cruelly. This situation is extremely difficult to change as most violations of this kind are concealed and the convoluted child is afraid and does not know where to look for help.
In 2012, the National Hotline in the issues of prevention of violence and protection of children’s rights received a call from A., a boy from an orphanage in Kirovograd region, who complained about cruel treatment from tutors and the management, about the psychologist’s disregard for his problems and about bullying from his peers. At first, the boy kept silent, but then he did dare to tell the psychologist that he was being beaten, that corporal punishment was applied to him by both tutors and by the head of the institution. To keep A. silent, it was planned to send him for treatment to a psychiatric institution. Only the urgent intervention from the Commissioner of the President in Children’s Rights (by referral from the „La Strada – Ukraine» Center) helped to redress the situation, the boy was transferred to a small family child care home.
The right for medical assistance
53% participants of the survey mentioned violations of the right for medical assistance. This right is most often violated by medical specialists.
The major problems in the sphere of health care of children are still lack of proper examination and objective diagnostics for children; significant drawbacks in the material and technical facilities of medical institutions (poor state of beds, mattresses, bed sheets, insufficient provision of medications, obsolete equipment); assistance to disabled children, etc.  In 2012, the issues still unresolved include: limited access of children in rural areas to health care services, insufficient funding for payment for medical services (as it is difficult or impossible to obtain such services for free) .
The expenditures of the State budget-2012 do not cover the actual needs in providing disabled children and severely ill children with medications, rehabilitation services, immunoprophylaxis, etc. The treatment of Gaucher disease is covered at 25% of the required level, "Renal failure (dialysis)" – at 37%, "Primary immunodeficiency" – at 10%. The expenses for treatment of certain diseases (autism, epilepsy, mucopolysaccharidosis) are not included at all. The item «Children’s oncology and oncohematology» is funded at the level of 45% of the necessary. Insufficient funding, lack of transplantation methods of treatment, absence of rehabilitation and special palliative care go along with violation of the children’s right for parental care when in medical institutions. Parents are not allowed to stay along with their inpatient children older than 6. One in every five children in Ukraine requires, to this or that extent, attention of the child psychiatrist, but the state program concerning provision of such help is still not in place. Of the medications procured for state funds, applied in pediatrics and sold in drug store chains, 70% do not have the evidentiary basis.
In the spring of 2012, the President of Ukraine gave the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine the task to develop a separate program concerning rehabilitation of children with infantile cerebral paralysis and promised that in 2012, UAH 60 mln. would be allocated for implementation of the rehabilitation programs. In fact, in 2012 the state allocated for rehabilitation of children with infantile cerebral paralysis the amount of UAH 16 mln., thus increasing the funding of the program «Measures on rehabilitation of patients with infantile cerebral paralysis at the International Clinic of Rehabilitation» by three times.
In April 2012, 180 cases of HIV-infection in children were registered. The level of awareness among school students about HIV/AIDS in general and about ways of transmission of HIV-infection is still very low (17.2%).
Sexual exploitation of children and child labor
52% believe that there are cases of sexual exploitation of children.
47% believe that children experience labor exploitation.
During 9 months of 2012, the agencies of internal affairs registered 226 crimes concerning molestation of minors (article 156 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), 58 crimes concerning sexual intercourse with persons that have not yet reached sexual maturity. During 6 months of 2012, 61 children suffered rape (including attempted rape), of them – 18 young children. Among the registered crimes, there were nine cases related to child pornography (article 301 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), and four related to child prostitution (article 303 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine); 41 children were found to engage in prostitution, and they were held administratively liable according to article 181-1 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences. In 2011, the number of teenage girls engaged in the sphere of commercial sex was 15, 000 persons.
Such data allows to state that the scope of the problem is rather large, and the official statistics reflect but the top of an iceberg. Today Ukraine is unable to effectively respond to cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, both at the legislative and practical levels. There is no system of prevention of sexual violence against children and sexual exploitation of children, no system for provision of assistance to children-victims. Even if information about such crimes does reach the law-enforcement agencies, they rarely are solved or make it to the court. The center for social and psychological rehabilitation «Sofia» for girls, who suffered sexual violence and sexual exploitation, run by the NGO «Vira. Naida. Liubov», the only one of this kind in the entire country, in 2012 did not operate – due to lack of funding. The problem is not only in lack of such centers, but also in providing the governmental structures with specialists, who would be able to provide the professional assistance to children-victims. The school curricula do not contain separate courses on development in children of skills to counteract the risks of sexual abuse against them.
Most activities in the area of prevention of sexual violence and protection of children’s rights in 2012 were initiated and conducted by non-governmental organizations. For instance, the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, with the financial support from the international organization ECPAT, in 2012 established in Kharkiv two specially equipped «green rooms» for questioning of children, who suffered from violence and exploitation (in 2011 such rooms were established in Kyiv and Odesa). The methodological recommendations on equipment and use of such rooms in operation of the Criminal Police in Cases of Children have been developed, published and distributed among scientists and field workers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine; trainings for specialists have been conducted.
In 2011-2012, in Ukraine the activities were conducted on development and implementation of the Code on Protection of Children from Cruel Treatment on the Internet and Informational-Communicational Resources, initiated by «La Strada – Ukraine» with the support from the Office of the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine in Children’s Rights and with financial support from the international organization ECPAT. The Code covers the issues of protection of children from violence on the Internet, including from child pornography. In compliance with the Code, the providers undertake to inform their clients about responsibility for these crimes and about ways to safeguard against them. The Code has been signed by mobile operators «Kyivstar» and «MTS», and «Ukrtelecom» supported the initiative.
The «La Strada – Ukraine» Center cooperates with the reception center for children under the chief department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Kyiv. In 2010-1012, the Center trained 14 volunteers, who conducted the prevention work in reception centers of Lviv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Odesa and Simferopol.
The problem of child labor is still in the shadows. According to the data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, during 9 months of 2012, 31 criminal cases were opened concerning child exploitation (article 150 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – 3 cases, article 150-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – 28). In 2011, the number of such cases was 94 (14 - article 150, 80 - article 150-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). The official data do not reflect the entire scope of the problem.
Child’s right for care and guardianship
48% believe that the state does not always take care of children-orphans and children deprived of parental care and attention, or cares not in full scope.
As of October 1, 2012, foster homes and small family child care homes raise 11,261 children, which constitutes 11.7 % from the total number of children-orphans and children deprived of parental care and attention. In Ukraine, 695 small family child care homes and 3,737 foster families are operating. Of children-orphans and children deprived of parental care and attention, 1,445 were adopted by citizens of Ukraine and 588 children – by foreigners.
At present, orphancy is a social problem, as majority of children without guardianship have living parents. In Ukraine, parents still can give up their child by handing him or her over to an orphanage (boarding school).
During the last year, the number of children in boarding schools increased by six times. More than two thirds of Ukrainian children-orphans that reached full legal age have no place to live. To the experts’ opinion, this situation is caused by the authorities’ inability to provide children with cheap social housing. In their turn, the governmental officials insist that orphans mostly are left without a roof over their heads because of their own social inaptitude.
Rights of children deprived of parental care are violated both in boarding institutions and in foster families by their guardians. There are known cases when guardians were giving their fosterlings not to boarding schools, but to foreigners and in doing so were ignoring the laws of Ukraine that provide that such actions can be conducted only after the foster family is checked by special agencies. For instance, on May 7, 2012, the prosecutor’s office of Dnipropetrovsk oblast started a criminal case against a guardian (part 1 of article 169 of the Criminal Code), who illegally gave away his underage sister to be raised abroad. This man came with his sister to Italy where in compliance with the local legislation he formalized guardianship for his sister to foreigners but ignored the legislation of Ukraine. In July 2012, it became known about a case of violence and murder of two adopted children by their adoptive parents, as well as kidnapping of a stranger child. A family with many children was registered with the social service but this did not prevent the tragedy, which shows its superficiality or total lack of effectiveness.
The Commissioner of the President of Ukraine in Children’s Rights initiated abolition of the secret of adoption. This problem has been widely discussed during the round table discussions by governmental and non-governmental organizations. Obviously, such changes require educational work among citizens and precise actions of governmental agencies.
Right for education
48% mention violation of the children’s rights for education.
The last year research showed that in Ukraine there are problems in children’s equal access to pre-school, secondary and extracurricular education: lack of vacancies in children’s pre-school institutions mostly in large cities, problems with access to educational institutions in rural areas, difficulties of access to education for children with disabilities and children with special educational needs, poor technological infrastructure of educational institutions, few schools having access to the Internet, low level of legal literacy. In 2012, in the published Global Gender Gap Report, by the indicator of boys and girls’ equal access to education, Ukraine holds the 22nd place.
According to the data of the project «I gave a bribe for my child», which aimed to map bribery in Ukraine in the sphere of family relationships, protection of children’s and women’s rights, during the first month of the project they received 21 reports. Of them, 86% were cases when people gave bribes, and 14% were cases when citizens informed that they did not give bribes. According to the project’s data, the most expensive region of Ukraine for children to live is the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. In Sevastopol, it would cost parents up to UAH 3,000 to secure their child a place in a kindergarten, which is about the level of the capital. The cheapest bribe for a child to be admitted to the kindergarten – in Donetsk oblast – costs UAH 300. In Kyiv, a bribe demanded for a child to be admitted to the first form of a gymnasium is USD 1,000. Interestingly, the cost to skip inoculation of one’s child in medical institutions does not depend on the region – and is estimated as UAH 450-500.
Children’s rights in contact and conflict with the law
43% are aware of the cases when children that committed a crime were subjected to torture and humiliations.
In 2011, the Concept of development of criminal justice for minors in Ukraine and the action plan for its implementation was adopted. In 2012, by the Decree of the President a working group was established in the issues of implementation of the Concept. There is no information about the state of implementation of the action plan adopted in October 2011 in open access.
Initiatives of non-governmental organizations as to protection of children’s rights.
To follow the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and to facilitate observance of children’s rights, in Ukraine the NGO Coalition «Children’s Rights in Ukraine» was established. There are many non-governmental organizations actively working in this direction, among which the All-Ukrainian NGO «School of Equal Opportunities», the All-Ukrainian NGO «Service of Children’s Protection», the Ukrainian Foundation «Children’s Welfare», the International Charitable Foundation «Father’s Home», «Ukraine without Orphans» as well as others. In connection with the growing number of calls from children to the National Hotline in the issues of prevention of violence in the family and protection of children’s rights, as well as in observance of the international standards in the sphere of protection of children’s rights, the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center is working on establishment of a separate hotline for children, which will be launched in January 2013. The trainers of the Center’s National Trainers’ Network in 6 months of 2012 conducted 1,465 events for 14,111 persons. In the second half of the year this work was continued. The information about the initiative and their activities can be found online on these organizations’ websites. Activity of private funds and support of activities of non-governmental organizations for protection of children’s rights should be mentioned, too.
When improving the laws and advancing the protection of children’s rights in practice, one thing not to get overlooked is work with the population, as the society demonstrates a rather lenient attitude towards violations of children’s rights. It is necessary to teach people to show zero tolerance to such violations, what would facilitate observance of children’s rights in Ukraine and prevention of violation of these rights.
1. To secure effective redistribution of functions after the administrative reform among bodies of central and local power and coordination of actions for complete coverage of the state’s obligations concerning children’s rights.
2. To resume operation of the Intersectoral committee in the issues of protection of childhood. To update its composition, by including in it the representatives of non-governmental organizations that are engaged in protection of children’s rights in Ukraine. To conduct regular sessions of the Intersectoral committee in the issues of protection of childhood.
3. To develop the mechanism to include children in the process of adoption of decisions in the issues concerning protection of childhood and protection of children’s rights. Within that, to develop the mechanism to consider children’s opinions in resolution of the issues that concern the children themselves.
4. To develop and submit for consideration of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the draft law on harmonization of the legislation of Ukraine with the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. In particular, to develop the provisions on comprehensive counteraction to child prostitution and child pornography; to criminalize seduction of children through use of the informational-communicational technologies; to introduce correctional programs for persons that commit crimes of sexual nature against children; to create the database on persons that committed crimes of sexual nature against children; to start the system of rehabilitation for children that suffered from sexual violence and exploitation.
5. To research the issue concerning the average age of reaching sexual maturity in Ukraine and based on that to set in the legislation of Ukraine the age of consent for entering the sexual encounter.
6. To develop the effective methodology for monitoring of violations of children’s rights in educational and boarding institutions and to secure the effective mechanism for bringing to responsibility the officials guilty of violations of children’s rights.
7. To provide for and secure sufficient funding from the state budget to support disabled children and seriously ill children for procurement of medications, medical products, rehabilitation services, immunoprophylaxis, etc.
8. To conduct a large-scale informational and educational campaign among the population of Ukraine concerning necessity to abolish the secret of adoption and to include in the support programs for adoptive parents the issues related to the secret of adoption.
9. To keep equipping and using, within the framework of the criminal proceedings, the «green rooms» for questioning of children that suffered from violence and exploitation.
10. To conduct the wide-scale informational campaigns concerning children’s rights and to support the operation of the National hotline in children’s rights.
 The section was prepared by the specialists of the International Women’s Advocacy Center «La Strada – Ukraine» – N.I.Bochkor, T.I.Buhaets, M.V.Yevsiukova, K.B.Levchenko, M.M.Legenka, and V.V.Mudrik.
 Letter from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine as of October 23, 2012, No.15/1-30/1323ПІ.
 The idea of the structure of the report «Children’s Rights in Ukraine - 2012» was proposed by M.V.Yevsiukova.
 The Analytical Report based on the results of survey of children in the age of 10-17 within the framework of the project «Children’s Rights in Ukraine: facts and challenges after 20 years of independence». – Access address: http://www.president.gov.ua/news/24361.html
 The appeals were sent by the Center «La Strada-Ukraine» as of February 16, 2012, registration No. 89/12 and 90/12.
 According to the data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as of September 20, 2012 http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/publish/article?art_id=245607021; http://www.president.gov.ua/news/25449.html
 Судовий розгляд справ, пов’язаних з вчиненням насильства в сім’ї в Україні: проблеми відповідності міжнародним стандартам і шляхи вдосконалення: наук.-практ. посіб. для суддів / Євсюкова М. В., Хриcтова Г. О., Шаповалова О. А. та ін. / за заг. ред. Шаповалової О. А., Павлиш С. О. – К., 2011. – с. 137-138
 Letter from the Department of Family and Children of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine as of October 18, 2012, No. 3223/0/57/12-зв.
 Нерівні можливості для дітей в Україні: аналіз та рекомендації для політики / Черенько Л.М., Полякова С.В., Шишкін В.С., Заяць В.С., Васильєв О.В., Новосельська Т.А., Демчук М.В., Київ: 2011.
 The data of the International Charitable Foundation «International HIV/Aids Alliance in Ukraine» http://www.aidsalliance.org.ua/cgi-bin/index.cgi?url=/ua/library/statistics/index.htm
 Готовність підлітків захистити себе від інфікування ВІЛ / Інститут економіки та прогнозування НАН України, Український інститут соціальних досліджень ім.. О. Яременка, Представництво Дитячого Фонду ООН (ЮНІСЕФ) в Україні, 2010.
 Letter from the Department of informational and analytical support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine as of October 22, 2012, No.16,1К-197 зі.
 Letter from the Department of criminal police in cases of minors of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine as of July 23, 2012, No.58/1-713.
 Оцінка чисельності дітей та молоді вікової групи 10–19 років, що відносяться до груп ризику / ЮНІСЕФ; Укр. ін.-т соц. дослідж. ім. О. Яременка. — К., 2011. — 48 с.
 Letter from the Department of informational and analytic support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine as of October 25, 2012, No. 16,1К-1362зі.
 Letter from the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine as of October 24, 2012, No. 3371/0/57/12-зв.
 «Соціально непристосовані сироти» http://sirotstvy.net/ua/press_centre/about_problem/735.html
 «Усе найкраще дітям, або Кому вигідне існування сиріт в Україні» http://sirotstvy.net/ua/press_centre/about_problem/559.html?pg=3
 Нерівні можливості для дітей в Україні: аналіз та рекомендації для політики / Черенько Л.М., Полякова С.В., Шишкін В.С., Заяць В.С., Васильєв О.В., Новосельська Т.А., Демчук М.В., Київ: 2011.
 In 2012, the recommendations of the last year report are still valid, in particular, No. 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, as well as the recommendations in the Alternative Report to the UN Human Rights Council «On the State of Observance of Children’s Rights in Ukraine», which was prepated by a coalition of Ukrainian NGOs.