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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Child Protection Agencies Negligent Turn Child of Alcoholics to An Animal

"We need a normal system of childhood protection in the most accurate sense of this word. Today there is no such system in the country, and these deplorable figures prove this," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in Mach last year. But as we see situation didn't change.
The president said the authorities had detected 100,000 problem families a year in Russia.

"Children, growing up in such families, permanently join in the ranks of waifs...and become crime victims or often commit crimes themselves," he said.

In order to prevent domestic violence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is creating a new position: a police family inspector. For now the new position has been filled on a trial basis in five regions. This inspector would take control of troubled families. Authorities are dissatisfied with the fact that they only learn of such problems after a child has been beaten or killed.

In accordance with the family code, any specialist working with children (doctors, school or kindergarten teachers) who learns that a child has suffered abuse, must immediately notify authorities, explained Alexei Golovan, Childrens Rights Commissioner for Moscow. In the West this notification system works well: at the smallest suspicion, doctors and teachers inform authorities. Here the alarm is usually raised by neighbors, friends, or relatives. We often come across neglected cases. We start to investigate, and we discover that the school knew, the clinic knew, but they did not take any steps to notify authorities, even though they were legally obligated to. And all because they dont have anything to lose by not caring about the childs fate. And this will continue until we start holding people responsible for failing to report such incidents.

Institutions are required to react to reports within three days, and immediately if the case is serious. Additionally, police departments now have a childrens affairs division, Golovan continued. If a child is in need of urgent help, police officers must immediately, like firefighters, arrive at the location and do whatever necessary to protect the childs interests. For instance, taking the child away from the family and taking him or her to a hospital or orphanage, then passing this information on to the appropriate authorities, who will take care of the situation.

According to Golovan, many countries have special telephone numbers which people can call who are worried about how a child is being treated. Or a child can call the number himself, and he will be given not only psychological assistance, but government organizations responsible for his protection will take action. In Russia there is no such service yet, but it is still possible to find justice for the children of negligent parents. Complaints can be made to the police, or to any teacher. In Moscow there were even instances of children coming to an orphanage for protection, said Golovan. Of course, in such cases the orphanage is required to take in the child.

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