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Defense of children rights - Polish model

17.10.10 | Pilgrim |
The group of social workers and lawyers of Donetsk and Lugansk regions from Children’s rights network were invited to Poland to the seminars in the subject of “Defense of rights of children and guardianship for the kids under the threat of demoralization.” The initiative was taken by the Polish branch of “Helsinki fund in human rights” alongside with right defending organization “Postup’” and a net of right defending children’s centers of Donbass. The Ukrainians could see the pedagogical system and prevention of juvenile delinquency as well as of crimes against kids in Poland.
What is easier to punish or to bring up in such a way that there won’t be anything to punish for? In the neighboring country they think that we are not to blame kids in bad actions they do, but adults and that is why the word “guilty” is not used towards Polish adolescents. Finding themselves in a tough situation a Polish child is not alone. A whole lot of organizations functions where the workers are trained how to render effective help.
All the family issues are solved by special family affairs court and until it makes a decision the future of a family is not determined. But beside this last resort there are numerous state and non state organizations. Their goal is to protect a child from negative influence of an adult, to reeducate difficult children and to give them opportunity to enter adult life fully prepared.
The participants of the seminars could come to see the trial procedure of the family court as well as to talk to the judge and coordinator who directly come to a family and control problem situation and help to deal with different questions. Besides this the rights defenders from Ukraine could come to junior high school, center of social rehabilitation and corrective center. They were friendly accepted in so called “police hut of a child” where the teens suspected in committing an offence are taken. They could gain information directly from the people who work in those institutions, spoke to social pedagogues, psychologists and sure enough teenagers who dwell in the centers.
Rather important was the acquaintance with the people who work with teens directly on streets. Streetworkers – people who spend much time on streets speaking with street kids and teens, organize various events and trips for them and become real friends for them who would help in tough life moments.
It worth mentioning here that there’s no such a notion as “street kids” in Poland. Street kids do spend much time on streets but they live at home and have families. There are simply no such kids in Poland that would live on streets days and weeks.
Regardless of numerous problems in Polish families the rights defending system is directed to do the best for a child to stay in his family in future. That is why one of the principles of the work – the problem of a child is to be solved only in complex with the family. Here Ukraine can learn a lesson.
In the whole according to the participants of the seminars the trip was 100% successful. Of course, not everything can be applied to such work in Ukraine working with Ukrainian kids and families but at least it’s possible to start with down layers of society. And then there will be an opportunity to change and to improve the situation with little and minor citizens of Ukrainian state.
The vice President of the fund “Pilgrim” Oleg Boravlov pointed out that Ukrainian organizations in defense of rights of kids need to gain such positive experience. We were eyewitnesses of actual work of juvenile justice and saw it could give positive results. Our laws can and must be changed because the situation our children are situated in is pathetic. They are almost unprotected in our society and it is so easy to blame on them. That is why the task of non state organizations such as “Pilgrim” is to start making some steps to try to get the laws changed. A big role of course plays the fact that Poland is so religious – in police, in the army, in schools, other institutions there are wage rates for priests and Christian values have constant influence on the society in Poland.


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