Parliament photo exhibition to promote establishment of Ombudsman for Children in Ukraine
“Save and Protect” photo exhibition is held in the Parliament of Ukraine to promote the introduction of the Ombudsman for Children in Ukraine.
KYIV, 17 March 2009- Today the photo exhibition “Save and Protect” is launched to promote the introduction of the Ombudsman for Children institution in Ukraine.
The exhibition is displayed in the Parliament of Ukraine till 20 March 2009. International Charitable Foundation “Oleksandr Feldman’s Foundation” together with Kharkiv oblast administration and Kharkiv Photoclub have initiated this exhibition in order to support the draft law on “Ombudsman for Children in Ukraine” and to promote it among the Members’ of the Parliament. The initiative of establishing Ombudsman for Children in Ukraine is supported by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
To produce this exhibition, the photographers visited ten children institutions in Kharkiv and oblast, as well as foster families where orphans and children deprived of parental care live. Some children – ‘heroes’ of the exhibition - have been taken to the families. The photographers show the contrast of a child’s condition living in family opposite to one living in the institution. This photo project was designed to support adoption and family type care, although today it aims to advocate for the protection of child rights, especially the most vulnerable – orphans and children deprived of parental care.
In early 90th UNICEF developed the concept on introducing the Ombudsman for Children institutions in all countries. By adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ukraine made a commitment to take all measures in order to ensure full development of a child. UN Committee on Child Rights has recommended Ukraine to endorse the Ombudsman for Children back in September 2002.
Currently, the most urgent problems in the area of child rights protection in Ukraine are poverty among children and families with children, child neglect and homelessness, the need to reform children institution system, violence and abuse, including labour and sexual exploitation as well as child trafficking. Establishment of the Ombudsman for Children in country would fasten and facilitate the addressing of the above mentioned topical issues.
The specialized institution – Ombudsman for Children - will contribute effectively to the full realization of the children’s rights in accordance to the respective UN Convention. It will allow respond effectively to the individual and collective gravamens of children or their representatives. As other countries experience demonstrates, the Ombudsman for Children could be the facilitator in uniting the governmental and civil society efforts in the best interest of the Ukrainian children.