Services for children and families in difficult situations examined in Majilis
The Committee on Legislation and Judicial Reform of Majilis, with support of the British Embassy and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan, met with government officials to discuss reforms in the development of services for children in difficult situations in Kazakhstan and practical measures of medical and social accounting, Kazpravda.kz cites Majilis press service reporting.
On April 1, 2019, Kazakhstan adopted important amendments and additions to the legislation relating to the activities of organizations carrying out functions to protect child rights. The law amended the Penal, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure Codes, Codes of Administrative Infractions, Public Health and the Health Care System, Marriage and Family. The law was initiated by deputies. This law also prescribed a new mechanism for the child protection - medical and social accounting, which is intended to address the needs of vulnerable categories of children. Its role is to help provide medical, psychological, social, adaptation and rehabilitation assistance to children in difficult life situations, identified by the internal affairs bodies and directed to local authorities for assistance. There were 7 thousand such children in 2019.
Chairman of the Committee Nurlan Abdirov expressed gratitude to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the British Embassy for the assistance provided to deputies in the process of lawmaking and implementation of the provisions of the laws in children's rights, as well as the hope for further cooperation in improving the legislation.
Secretary of the Committee Svetlana Bychkova informed about the issues to be resolved that were identified during monitoring of the implementation of the law.
UNICEF representative in Kazakhstan Arthur van Diezen believes that medical and social accounting can be an important mechanism for integrating the efforts of education, healthcare, social protection and law enforcement bodies working with children and families in difficult life situations at the local level. He emphasized that further integration is necessary to develop social services and case management in Kazakhstan.
British Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Gifford noted that protection and well-being of children is paramount, and all children have the right to exercise all rights.
He welcomed the adoption of the child protection law, which strengthens the role of organizations to protect children in difficult situations. Their joint program with UNICEF, he added, seeks to strengthen intersectoral coordination, the role of national judicial and legislative bodies in ensuring access to justice and supporting children and families in a difficult life situation.
During the meeting, participants also noted the importance of providing continuing professional training for specialists in the field of special social services through educational institutions or training mechanisms of each branch ministry, introducing monitoring and inspection mechanisms for the quality of services provided, and developing a social data management system for each ministry.