Statement: UNICEF condemns every form of violence against children
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3 September 2015

UNICEF statement in response to the news report on Today.md on Thursday, 3 September, where disturbing cases of physical abuse of children residing in Orhei residential institution for boys with disabilities were shown

UNICEF condemns every form of violence against children and especially children with disabilities.

The video report showed highly disturbing images of physical abuse of children from the Orhei residential institution for boys with disabilities. The journalist’s report suggests that systematic mistreatment, neglect and abuse of children residing in this institution is taking place.

UNICEF reminds all duty bearers in Moldova of their responsibility to respect and ensure children’s rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are protected. It includes the obligation of national authorities to monitor the quality of care and the protection of children placed under their custody. UNICEF urges the government to ensure unrestricted access to child care institutions for independent human rights monitoring bodies such as the Ombudsperson’s Office and accredited Human Rights civil society partners.

UNICEF appeals to the authorities to undertake urgent action and speed up the de-institutionalization reform, including through adequate budgetary allocations ensuring quality of services at all levels and support to families and children with disabilities. Current financial difficulties in the country should not be a reason for delay of planned reforms. Urgent actions are required to prevent institutionalization, especially for children with disabilities, and ensure the right to family environment for all children currently in institutions.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly recognizes that every child must be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse. This also includes children with disabilities.

Through joint collaborative efforts, the Government of Moldova and UNICEF have ensured a three-fold decrease in the number of children in residential institutions (from more than 12,000 in 2005 to less than 4,000 in 2013) and a reduction by half in the number of children attending separate schools for children with disabilities (from more than 3,000 in 2010 to about 1,500 in 2015). However, more efforts are needed as many children who are still in residential care have disabilities.

UNICEF continues to support the Government of Moldova to realize children's rights as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For more information, please contact:
Margarita Tileva, UNICEF Moldova, (+373 22) 220 045, mtileva@unicef.org



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