PACE Rapporteur on the abandonment of children at birth, pays visit in Ukraine

12:23, 27 August 2007
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To assess the scope of this phenomenon (as national statistics are scarce)

Michael Hancock (United Kingdom, ALDE), who is preparing a report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the abandonment of children at birth, is today embarking on a visit to Ukraine, which will last till 30 August, according to the PACE Communication Unit. The aim of the visit is to assess the scope of this phenomenon (as national statistics are scarce, if not non-existent) and seek ways of combating it.

Economic problems, poverty and the HIV virus/AIDS provide the backdrop to this situation and account for the fact that a sizeable proportion of children are still being abandoned in certain central and eastern European countries. The practices whereby people are encouraged to abandon their children, which have long been rampant in central and eastern Europe and have left their mark on people`s mentalities, are an additional factor noted by Mr Hancock.

The Rapporteur is to hold talks with the Ukrainian Deputy Ministers of Justice and Family Affairs, the Mayor of Kiev, the Children`s Ombudsman and representatives of UNICEF and various NGOs specialising in children`s rights.

Mr Hancock`s report should identify potential measures for preventing the abandonment of children as effectively as possible and will be given a first reading at the next meeting of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee in Paris on 20 September.

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