Ukraine's Children Protection Approaches European Standards
Kyiv, July 13, 2012. Council of Europe welcomed Ukraine’s July 7, 2012 ratification of the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Such statement was released during the round table chaired by Yuriy Pavlenko, Children’s Ombudsman under the President of Ukraine, and Regina Jensdottir, the Head of the Children's Rights Policy Division, Council of Europe.
“I am very pleased that we have become partners in the fight against child sexual abuse,” said Regina Jensdottir at the meeting with Ukrainian and European experts. She added that introduction and implementation of mechanisms for combating sexual violence and abuse of children was among the key priorities of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child for 2012-2015.
The European Council will cooperate with Ukrainian Children’s Ombudsman in order to implement the provisions of the Convention. Notably, the Council of Europe was satisfied with the first year in the office of the children’s rights representative in Ukraine. “We want to continue assisting the Commissioner in his work,” said Regina Jensdottir.
Council of Europe, however, urged Ukraine to strengthen the institution of the Children's Ombudsman by adopting the respective law. The law would increase Ombudsman’s independence and provide him with immunity for work with child’s reinstatement, as well as provision a separate budget for his work. In addition, Regina Yensdottir pointed out Ukraine's progress in reforming the criminal law, namely the adoption of the new Criminal Procedure Code, and highlighted the Council’s preparedness to cooperate in order to establish a child-friendly justice in Ukraine.
Notably, the rights of children were at the top of the list of Ukraine’s agenda for the duration of its six month chairmanship at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe leadership at the PACE (May – November, 2011). The work conducted by Ukraine was focused on the protection of children against any form of violence and the fulfillment of the children’s right for health care. The country’s key achievements include the organization of two international conferences that provided the Council of Europe with professional recommendations as well as preparation of the 2012-2015 Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child.