Schools in Moldova are not ready to accept children with disabilities, conference

The child protection system in Moldova the past few years has changed considerably, but not sufficiently for safeguarding the interests of children. The services are not always child-friendly, ombudswoman for children’s rights Maia Bănărescu stated in an international scientific conference entitled “Office of the Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights after 15 Years of Work. Impact and Perspectives”, IPN reports.

“Educational inclusion has very big reserves for being child-friendly. Our schools are not ready to accept children with disabilities, both in terms of infrastructure and accessibility and of friendly communication and interaction,” stated Maia Bănărescu, noting the goal of the event is to see how the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights should work further, either by strengthening the institution based on the current concept or by creating a separate institution that would satisfy the needs and best interests of children.

Anastasia Catan, head of the Office’s Child Rights Promotion and Communication Division, said the children in the Republic of Moldova regrettably face multiple problems and difficulties in the realization of their rights. Therefore, it is essential to have a representative devoted to the cause of children, such as the ombudsperson for children’s rights.

Nadejda Burciu, secretary of state of the Ministry of Justice, said that progress has been made as a result of the insistent recommendations of the ombudswoman for children’s rights and the state institutions’ commitment to implement these recommendations. “In fact, this is the best formula for ensuring the proper realization of children’s rights in the Republic of Moldova,” stated the official.

Attending the discussion, UNICEF Country Representative in Moldova Maha Damaj said the work of the ombudsperson for children’s rights is essential to ensure that the rights of all the children are respected and protected. UNICEF will continue to support and promote the work of independent institutions for the protection of human and children’s rights and to ensure these rights are respected.

MP Vitalie Gavrouc, a member of the commission on human rights and interethnic relations, noted it is important for civil society to more extensively become involved in the formulation of policies on the protection of human rights, in particular children’s rights. “The child should have access to education and should learn the human rights. Finding a balance between the children’s rights and the necessity of growing a person who respects work, society and interacts with other people is key,” stated the MP.

On April 8, ombudswoman for children’s rights Maia Bănărescu completes her seven-year term in office. She formulated recommendations for the person who will succeed her in this post, saying this should be even more perseverant, vocal and insistent than she was as there are yet areas on which a lot of work needs to be done, while the children will come to aid as they always speak about the mechanisms and services they need. “The best interest of the child is the most important thing,” concluded the official.

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