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Maia Banarescu, the people’s ombudswoman for children’s rights, aims to obtain the exclusion of tests for enrolling children at the primary school and the adjustment of the education system and to take other steps designed to improve the quality of life of children in Moldova. In a news conference at IPN, the ombudswoman said she aims to become a real friend of children and in her work will take their pieces of advice into account.
Among the immediate objectives set by Maia Banarescu are to monitor the observance of children’s rights to health services, education and social protection, to focus on the development of social protection services for children who are temporarily deprived of family environment and children with disabilities and on de-institutionalization and social inclusion. Now the local authorities do not have specialists for child protection and the whole responsibility is borne by the social assistant who is often not prepared to monitor the situation of children.
The ombudswoman for children’s rights also pleads for child-friendly justice. She said that juvenile justice is on the rise, according to statistics, and there is no appropriate legal framework for dealing with cases involving delinquent children younger than 14. She aims to promote an appropriate legal framework for children younger than 14 in the legal system, in cooperation with Parliament.
Another objective is to eliminate violence and discrimination against children and to prevent suicide. Maia Banarescu considers the tests to which the children are subject when they are to be admitted to the primary school represents discrimination because these are divided into categories. These tests should be eliminated next year already and testing should be allowed only for specialized classes, such as the arts one.
The ombudswoman aims to consult the children about their problems and to find out what solutions they suggest. A children’s forum will be set up to openly discuss the situation of children with them. An online communication platform will be launched for the children to present their problems and receive advice from specialists.
Maia Banarescu plans to monitor the situation of children in the Transnistrian region. For the purpose, she will go to the Latin-script lyceum “Lucian Blaga” in Tiraspol on May 31. As she will be guided by the principle of transparency and cooperation with civil society and the development partners in her work, on May 6 the ombudswoman will meet with representatives of civil society for the first time.
Maia Banarescu was named the people’s ombudswoman for children’s rights on April 8.
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