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Monika Luik Tallinn, Eesti 2003 Excursion into Child Protection Issues in Estonia from the Perspective of WGCC Priorities.

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Presentation on theme: "Monika Luik Tallinn, Eesti 2003 Excursion into Child Protection Issues in Estonia from the Perspective of WGCC Priorities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monika Luik Tallinn, Eesti 2003 Excursion into Child Protection Issues in Estonia from the Perspective of WGCC Priorities

2 Contents Organization of child protection in Estonia Sexual exploitation and abuse of children Unaccompanied and trafficked children Street children and children without a family Children in institutions Young offenders Policy responses

3 Organisation of Child Protection State level Legislative, investment and supervision activities for the organisation of childrens health care, education, work, rest, recreational activities and welfare. Child protecion in state level is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs Level of local government bodies Organisation of and supervision over child protection and assistance by the social services departments of the local governments (127 child protection specialsists) Legal guardian function Non-governmental level Supervision excercised by the Legal Chancellor

4 UN CRC Estonia ratified the convention in 1991 In 2001 we presented our initial report and in January 2003 the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued their concluding observations and made their suggestions One of the suggestions to Estonia was to create a comprehensive rights-based plan of action for the full implementation of the convention In October 2003 Estonian Government approved The Strategy for Implementation of the Rights of the Child

5 Strategy to Guarantee the Rights of the Child Initiated by the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) in 2001 Ordered from the Union of Child Welfare Finalized in MSA in 2003, approved in October Sets goals until the year 2008 Action plan for every year In the end of every year MSA presents a report to the government Three groups of goals

6 Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children In 2002 the number of registered sexual offences against children was 84.

7 Network of specialists Competence center 4 special examination/hearing rooms for making interviews with children who have been sexually abused Optional protocol to the convention on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography Discussions Need for more data/statistics

8 Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children The number of under-age prostitutes according to estimates of different experts which correspond to the opinion of public organizations, there may be between 100 and 120 under-age prostitutes in Estonia, of whom the majority are young women aged 16 17 No police records of sale or purchase of a child since 1998 During the last 5 years 8 convictions for disposing minors to engage in prostitution or aiding prostitution involving minors

9 No cases of cross-border trafficking of minors are known to the border guard No cases are known in Estonia where trafficking in a child has found place through adoption During the years 1999-2002 6 refugee children or asylum seekers, none of them unaccompanied Domestic cooperation needed International cooperation needed, appointment of NCPs

10 Street Children and Children without Families Official statistics show the number of children who have turned to/brought to shelters because of the reason of vagrancy which in 2002 was 508 Depending on the definition estimations say that there are about 4,000-5,000 children in the streets or approximately 100-200. Mostly in Tallinn and North-East Estonia

11 Children left without parental care, new cases (2002 – 1249 cases)

12 Of 1301 cases children were placed followingly: Three main reasons for staying in shelters and rehabilitation centers were: vagrancy, negligence at home and drug abuse

13 Insufficient coverange with counselling services, especially in rural areas Improvement of both preventive activities and rehabilitation services are needed Mandatory registration of the place of residence could also give good results

14 Children in Institutions There are 1542 children in social welfare institutions (childrens homes) Challenges: Qualified personnel Children with behavioral problems Size of families and institutions Legal guardianship Mechanism of complaints from children

15 Young Offenders In 2002 children committed 2400 crimes, that is 9% more than in previous year. From all known crimes in 2002, children were accountable in 13.3% of cases The Committees for Minors discussed 1902 cases in 2002 A juvenile committee may apply the following means of influencing minors:a warning; special school arrangements;referral for a consultation with a psychologist, an expert in narcology, a social worker or other specialist; conciliation;the obligation to live with a parent, guardian, foster parent or at a childrens home; community service; surety; participation in youth programmes, social programmes or medical treatment programmes; referral to a young offenders institution; a courts permission is needed to apply this means of influencing.

16 Definitely sentenced juveniles by type of principal penalty imposed in 2002 (nr of cases 1650)

17 By the end of 2002 there were 54 minors incarcerated in penal institutions (convicted), in 2000 the number was 64 341 juveniles (<18) were incarcerated while investigation and procecution, the number is increasing Three special schools for juvenile delinquents, 220 places Challenges Conditions in institutions Rehabilitation services Good practice – special classes

18 Policy Responses Preventive measures: Public awareness campaign to promote every citizens responsibility to inform the authorities about children at risk Enhancing employment opportunities for parents Availability of free leisure-time activities, enhancement of youth work Discuss the opportunity to offer free school meals and free books to all children in basic level education

19 Policy Responses Improved cooperation Assigned case-worker to every child in risk Improving the cooperation of specialists around the child, effective networking, training of network members and detailed manuals how to react to childs problem Engaging volunteers to work with children Effective procedure of receiving, controlling, investigating alerts and intervention has to be worked out in order to protect children from abuse

20 Policy Responses Improved availability of counseling and rehabilitation services Systematic approach in offering and financing psychological and psychiatric counseling and therapy in order to guarantee complex and thorough response to the special needs of children Effective and accessible rehabilitation services to street-children, young drug addicts, delinquents etc.

21 Policy Responses Improved quality of institutional care and development alternative care possibilities Requirements for qualification and training of childcare institution workers Program that reorganizes big orphanages to smaller orphanages More attention to developing alternative care possibilities to allow the child to grow up in family environment

22 Policy Responses Improving access to education and prevention of school drop-outs Ensure that every child has a sure start at school by making pre-school education available in either kindergartens or preliminary classes at school Develop more flexible learning opportunities for disabled students as well as other disadvantaged groups Develop teacher-training programmes Reduce the number of children in classes

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