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Are children's rights fulfilled in Ukraine?

Against the background of the current socio-political and economic difficulties in Ukraine, the important issue of harmonious and integrated development of children is put aside. In fact, children - country's main resource, our hope for the future -were left without attention.

Today 7,614,000 children under the age of 17 years live in Ukraine. It is almost 20% (!) of the total population of Ukraine. Of the total number of children, 42% - children under the age of 7 years, 43% - from 7 to 14 years, and 15% - 15-17 years.

Children not only have their own special needs, but often, in contrast to the adult citizens, they need their rights to be protected. So-called “global constitution of the rights of the child”, the Convention on the Rights of the Child , was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989. Since then, almost all countries have ratified the document. Ukraine incorporated the Convention into national law on September 27, 1991.

However, for more than 25 years of independence, Ukraine couldn’t create effective mechanisms to ensure the effective protection of the rights of the child.

According to the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine on the Rights of the Child Nikolai Kuleba, "lacks of respect, a violation of the rights of children are present in all areas of health, education and social protection. Today the system works more on the elimination of the consequences rather than the causes of violations of children's rights "(transcript of the parliamentary hearings 12/10/2016).

For example, according to the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights, 153 thousand children with disabilities live in Ukraine; 104 thousand are deprived of parental care. According to his estimates, 27% of children regularly suffer from cruelty and violence, 65% of children at least once were abused, and 30% live below the poverty line. Now the state system focused its attention on activities to subsidize the socially disadvantaged population. But it does not solve the problems of poverty, violence, disability, education and many others.

There are still urgent problems of sexual abuse, violence against women, child drug addiction and crime. Even children's vagrancy problem in our country in the 21st century, remains valid: in the first half of 2016 there were 5,574 homeless children!

However, despite a fairly clear view on the problem, there is no mainstreaming, respect and guarantee of the rights of the child in Ukraine.

"Neither sustainable development strategy" Ukraine-2020 ", nor program of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine activities make respect and protection of children's rights in Ukraine a priority. We have to admit that in our country negative trends in the field of security and protection of children's rights are intensifying, as the protection of children's rights take second place in the activities of executive bodies and local self-government ", - confirms Arthur Palatniy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Family Matters, Youth Policy, Sports and Tourism (transcript of the parliamentary hearings 12/10/2016).

Often, all the issues and problems on respect and guarantee of the rights of the child are solved by either parents or the public organizations and volunteers. However, even the most powerful foundations or public initiatives cannot replace the systematic statesmanship. The problem needs to be solved at the state level; it requires the development and approval of relevant government programs.

It is time to understand that children are the future of any country. And if adults do not change their attitude to the Ukrainian children, who do not take responsibility and control over the unconditional fulfillment of their basic rights, the future may be bleak. And remember - there is no such thing as other people's children!