Deinstitutionalisation the child care institutions
In January-February 2022, the Senate Committee on Youth, Culture and Sports studied the status of the work being carried out in the Navoi, Surkhandarya and Tashkent regions to deinstitutionalize the child care institutions.
The results of this study were actively discussed with the participation of Committee members, experts, including the director of the SOS Children's Villages Uzbekistan, representatives of responsible ministries and departments, relevant deputy khokims(mayors), heads of secretariats of local Kengashes, members of standing commissions for youth affairs, newly created secretariats and sectors for child protection issues, as well as members of the Youth Parliament.
It was noted that during the study conducted by the Committee, attention was paid to the implementation of the Law “On guardianship and custody”, the Decree of the President “On measures to further improve the system for ensuring the rights of the child” and relevant resolutions, the Resolution of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis “On information of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan on comprehensive support for children left without parental care and improving the quality of medical and social services provided to children with disabilities”, as well as the deinstitutionalization program for 2019-2023 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
At the meeting, it was noted that consistent work is being carried out in the republic to deinstitutionalize child care institutions.
In particular, over the past 6 months, a total of 1,359 children left children's institutions, of which 134 children were returned to their parents, 141 children were placed under the care of close relatives, 71 - under the care of other persons, 83 - under patronage, 656 were placed in family-type children's home, 274 enrolled to study and work.
At the same time, the activities of a total of 15 institutions have been completely stopped.
Currently, 707 children are being brought up in 8 children's institutions of the republic. In total, there are 114 family-type children’s homes, of which 109 are newly created.
According to the Presidential Decree, 92 children were provided with housing in the Navoi region, 13 in the Surkhandarya region, and 100 in the Tashkent region. However, most of the houses provided in the city of Navoi need repair and equipment. The study also found that there were a number of other problems.
In particular, as a result of the fact that parents who go to work abroad do not assign a guardian or custody to their minor children, children from such families end up being placed in institutions.
It was also noted that the mahalla(local community) institute does not work enough in the field. It has been criticized that in the Navoi and Surkhandarya regions, some mahalla chairmen do not know that a child who has left the institution lives in a state-provided house, they do not know about the existence of a new family typr children’s home in the mahalla.
In addition, during the study, the activities of the secretariats for child protection and the sectors of district (city) khokimiyats for child protection were recognized as unsatisfactory in the regions. As it turned out, the provisions of most of the secretariats and sectors have not been approved. Although this task is entrusted to local governments.
In addition, the meeting paid special attention to the need to simplify the process of taking children into care. Currently, 14 documents are required from a citizen who takes a child into custody, and 7 for a child. Such complex processes in many cases create an obstacle to obtaining guardianship or custody.
Representatives of the government and responsible ministries and departments present at the meeting were given information about the topic from the agenda. Relevant proposals were also put forward on the identified problems and shortcomings.
It was noted that the main goal is to ensure the upbringing of children in the family environment, the phased cessation of the activities of child care institutions in the form of boarding schools, and the prevention of the opening of new such institutions.
As a result of the meeting, the appropriate decision of the Committee was adopted based on the results of the study of Navoi, Surkhandarya and Tashkent regions.