Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” advocates cancellation of the practice of placing migrant children into children’s reception centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs within the framework of the #Crossborderchildhood campaign and the project “Promotion of modern international standards of children’s rights: deinstitutionalization and humanization of closed institutions in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine”.
Until now this practice, which is regulated by the Chisinau agreement of the CIS countries, continues to exist in a number of countries, and migrant children are being placed in reception centres of the Ministry of Interior both before being sent to their home countries, and often also upon returning there, where they are forced to wait behind bars until decisions are made concerning their fate (i.e., whether they will return to their families or be placed into boarding schools). The Chisinau agreement ought to be replaced with new, more humane legal norms for the repatriation of children, without the involvement of the Ministries of Interior, without the use of children’s reception centres, where children are placed (imprisoned) as punishment for legal offenses. Migrant children do not violate the criminal codes, they have not come into conflict with the laws, and thus placing them into places of detention is a violation of the rights of minors. This situation was covered in a news report by Ukrainian Magnolia-TV, which was based on the situation in Ukrainian institutions for children. Ukraine withdrew from the Chisinau agreement, and in recent years the country strived not to place migrant children into children’s reception centres, but the problem has not yet been fully resolved. New international agreements are needed to return children who find themselves abroad without parents to their home countries, and more humane standards and norms are required concerning the terms of temporary placement of such children in the country of their temporary stay. These children are to be accompanied and supervised by the social services, not the police.
“Promotion of modern international standards of children’s rights: deinstitutionalization and humanization of closed institutions in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine” is a project of ADC Memorial and partner organisations (supported through the EaP Civil Society Forum Re-granting Scheme (FSTP) to Members and funded by the European Union as part of its support to civil society in the region). Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of its members that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum. Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the responsibility of ADC Memorial and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.