All orphanages to close down in Kazakhstan24 april 2014, 14:22
Kazakhstan plans to introduce major changes to its orphans and disadvantaged children programs, Tengrinews reports.
According to Dariga Nazarbayeva, Vice-Speaker of the Majilis (lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament) all orphanages will be eventually closed down in Kazakhstan. The children will be living in families, instead of special institutions, to help them to better adap to their life in the society.
“The aim of this draft law (amendments and additions to the child rights legislation) to once and for all get rid of orphanages, baby houses, and youth houses, so that all the children who get in trouble and are for some reason left without parental care for some period of time would be taken into families,” Nazarbayeva said during the round table discussions at the “Modern aspects of children’s rights legislation enhancement” meeting in the Majilis on April 21.
The lawmaker added that the draft bill suggests a number of measures to attract potential adopters, foster families and guardians.
“Tax and financial inceptives will be offered by the government so that these children are taken into families that can create good conditions for them. So that when they grow up, they become full-fledged members of the society. This is our goal,” Nazarbayeva explained.
She added that social orphanhood was a big problem in Kazakhstan. 80% of the children in the system are social orphans who have living parents. “These are children from disadvantaged families. This problem has been growing and requires a close attention,” Nazarbayeva said.
Assiya Akhtanova, Chairman of the Association of Parents of Handicapped Children, suggested separating youth liaison inspectors from of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
“In fact, there is no preventative or other work done with difficult families. The inspector just comes to a mother and says that they would deprive her of parental rights and put her child into an orphanage. This is all they do. This system has to change completely,” Akhtanova said.
The discussion of amendments to the child rights legislation involved lawmakers of the lower chamber of the Parliament and representative of a range of Kazakhstan government bodies. The moderator of the round table discussions MP Zagipa Balieva agreed with Akhtanova and promised that the changes would become part of another draft bill.
“The Committee of Children’s Rights Protection has to really protect the rights of children. It has to be separated from the Interior Ministry and should be made a separate agency,” Akhatova added.
She also regretted that the considered draft bill did not include changes into terms of adopting handicapped children, and said that "social benefits had to be larger in case of special children" to make the adoptions work.
Reporting by Altynai Zhumzhumina, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova