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Title: Миссия Детского фонда ООН (ЮНИСЕФ) и перспективы развития его деятельности по защите прав ребёнка в Республике Беларусь
Other Titles: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Mission and its Further Activities in the Republic of Belarus in the Field of Protection of the Rights of the Child (Galina Leonova)
Authors: Леонова, Галина Михайловна
Keywords: ЭБ БГУ::ОБЩЕСТВЕННЫЕ НАУКИ::Государство и право. Юридические науки
Issue Date: 1998
Citation: Белорусский журнал международного права и международных отношений. — 1998. — № 5: Специальный выпуск к 50-летию Всеобщей декларации прав человека
Abstract: Human rights play an essential role in the life of every person since early childhood. The respect of human rights and freedoms shall be viewed as a vital contribution to the development of the society. 20 November 1998 the General Assembly passed the Convention on the Rights of the Child which has proved to be the first international document stipulating the whole range of the rights of the child. Some background information and UNICEF approach to the countries of the region. UNICEF Regional Directorate for Eastern Europe, CIS and Baltic countries has been implementing its programme in this part of the world since 1990. UNICEF activities are aimed to counter political, social and economical challenges of transition period. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by all countries of the region, is a legitimate basis for UNICEF co-operation framework with the Government, NGOs and other potential partners. It has been decided that UNICEF should focus on legislative reform and should regard collection of the data on the situation with children as a vital tool for co-operation with the governments. The overall objective is to promote such an approach when priority consideration is given to the interests and problems of the children. Given the situation in the country, UNICEF believes that it should assist the Belarusian Government in implementing its commitments concerning the Convention. Having joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, Belarus declared its commitment to bring the national legislation into correspondence with the provisions of the Convention. This would involve the development and implementation of the programmes aimed at the promotion of the Convention. It should be noted that since early 90s Belarus has been very active in developing the legislation. In 1993 Belarus was the first former USSR country that passed the Law "On the Rights of the Child". This Law became the national declaration of the rights of the child. However, Belarus has not yet established the state policy mechanism in the field of the protection and implementation of the statutory interests of the children. UNICEF Office started its work in Belarus in March 1997. UNICEF Office is implementing the joint projects with the Government and NGOs under the framework of the three major programmes: "Children of Chernobyl", "Dissemination of the Knowledge on the Rights of the Child" and "Young People Health and Development". The Programme "Young People Health and Development" is aimed at the protection of children and adolescents from various risk factors. The special emphasis is made on the project "Children in Foster Family". Transition challenges have negatively affected the children and their well-being. The living standards of many families are very low thus making it very hard for the parents to take a good care of their children. The number of social orphans tends to increase: in 1997 there were 25 thousand children left without parental care versus 11,2 thousand in 1990. Supporting the social policy of the country on family problems prevention, in 1998 UNICEF launched the programme "Children in need of special care". In 1997 children below eighteen years of age committed 9990 crimes which is 18,8% higher than in 1992. In difficult circumstances the children from families-at-risk either commit crimes themselves or become the victims ofcrimes. So far Belarus does not have a system for delivery of social and psychological services to children who need special care. Court system would also need improvement. Deprivation of liberty proves to be a prevailing sentence: in 1997 90,3% of all convicted children were sentenced to the deprivation of liberty in closed custodial settings. The data suggest that Belarus is lacking the comprehensive system for co-ordinating the policy and efforts of the Government and NGOs in the field in juvenile crime prevention. It has been mentioned above that UNICEF activities are aimed to counter political, social and economical challenges of transition period. The international community pays a lot of attention to juvenile justice. The UN General Assembly has passed the whole range of the relevant documents. "Beijing Rules" , for example, appeal to all member countries to ensure favourable environment for the development of a child thus minimising the risk ofjuvenile crime. At the same time "Beijing Rules" stress that juvenile justice should become an integral part of the national development of the country. In this respect it is quite clear why the Committee on the Rights of the Child is so concerned that the national justice system does not correspond to the principles and provisions of the Convention. Besides, Belarus does not have a proper juvenile justice system. The 1992 Concept of Legal Reform envisaged the establishment of special courts dealing with children's cases. However, those courts have not been established yet and so far "juvenile justice" is not an official legal concept. It's obvious that such state policy would not correspond to the international commitments of the country. Since UNICEF plays an important role in assisting the governments in promoting the Convention, Belarus would also need assistance in the development and administration of juvenile justice system that would meet the international legal standards. The efficient policy in the best interests of children should be based upon profound understanding of the real situation of children and their needs. It's obvious that the country is unable to fulfil its international commitments unless there's an independent mechanism for the protection of the rights of the children. The objective is to establish an institution which could protect the interests of the children and evaluate the state policy at the same time. This institution should also be a reliable source of information concerning the situation with children. 2 July 1998 UNICEF Office jointly with the National Commission of the Rights of the Child held a round table on the potential establishment of an Ombudsman in Belarus. In the course of discussion the majority of participants supported the idea. In its further activities UNICEF will continue assisting the Belarusian Government in evaluating the situation with the respect of the rights of the children. UNICEF Office in Belarus will also assist in drafting reports on the implementation of the Convention. We believe that through the support of reports' drafting process, UNICEF will foster better respect of the rights of the children and will encourage the decisions that could significantly improve the real situation with children.
Description: Раздел - "Международное право", рубрика - "Деятельность международных организаций в Республике Беларусь в области прав человека"
URI: http://elib.bsu.by/handle/123456789/30509
Appears in Collections:Белорусский журнал международного права и международных отношений. — 1998. — № 5

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