Achievements of INGO “Ponimanie” in realization of National Plan to improve childcare and the protection of children’s rights
In 2010 INGO “Ponimanie” suggested to include articles 55, 56 and 67 into the National Plan to improve childcare and the protection of children’s rights for 2012-2016.
After 5 years of hard work INGO “Ponimanie” is glad to present the achievements and results of our work as well as the difficulties we have faced, carrying out the National Plan.
Article 55. Implementation of child-friendly interviewing into the criminal and legal procedures.
By the beginning of 2017, 19 child-friendly interviewing rooms have been opened and are successfully operating in Belarus, including the first A-Type House of Understanding opened in Zhodino on November, 2016. More than 30 psychologists, 17 forensic experts and 120 investigators were educated how to conduct investigative interviews with the children-victims or witnesses of abuse. This educational course is based on the Thomas Lyon’s Ten Step Protocol. This Protocol was translated and upgraded by the specialists of INGO “Ponimanie”, Minsk State Linguistic University and the National Security Institute. In 2012 this Protocol was recognized as the best Russian rendering of the Thomas Lyon’s Ten Step Investigative Interview at the ISPCAN Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
In 2013 the Investigative Committee of Belarus together with Ponimanie team worked out and accepted the Methodical Recommendations for investigative procedures on the cases regarding child sexual abuse. The Ten Step Protocol of child-friendly investigation was included in there.
In 2016 the deputy of the House of Representatives Vadim Devyatovskiy and the specialists of INGO “Ponimanie” achieved success in changing the Law of child-friendly interviewing, and since then a child-victim or witness of abuse is legally allowed to be interviewed by the psychologist under control of investigator.
For its achievements for creation and implementation of The United Child Protection Model, INGO “Ponimanie” was recognized with a plenty of prestigious awards including ISPCAN Multidisciplinary Team Award (2014) and WWSF Award for Prevention of Child Abuse (2014). The United Child Protection Model influenced the development of child protection systems of many countries such as the USA, Iceland, Thailand, UAE, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Estonia.
Article 56. Maintenance of Child Helpline in Belarus.
In 2011 at the initiative of INGO “Ponimanie” the Commission on Juvenile Affairs of the Council of Ministers took a decision upon the creation of Child Helpline in Belarus. The Ministry of Health with the help of the specialists from “Ponimanie” set up the Helpline in the Republican Center of Psychical Health.
Since the very beginning, INGO “Ponimanie” supported the work of Helpline and was in charge of promotion campaign of that kind of service for children and their parents. All the children around Belarus received leaflets with the phone number of Child Helpline, hundreds posters were distributed in schools, 25 billboards were set around Belarusian regions.
In 2012 Child Helpline received 2500 phone calls from children, parents and specialists. But from June, 2014 the Ministry of Health became the only institution to monitor the work of Helpline. Since then Child Helpline hasn’t answered any call.
At this moment, the specialists of INGO “Ponimanie” are trying to get back to life the service, which helps children, their parents and specialists to receive help. They are suggesting the Child Helpline to be an on-line source via web-site and app.
Article 67. Participation of non-governmental organizations in the realization of the governmental policy regarding children’s rights.
By 2015 INGO “Ponimanie” signed the Plans of co-operation with the key governmental agencies such as the Investigation Committee, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Forensic Examination Committee and the Ministry of Health. These Plans stipulate the actions of the agencies concerning the National Plan to improve childcare and the protection of children’s rights.
The achievements of INGO “Ponimanie” in the realization of the National Plan to improve childcare and the protection of children’s rights were recognized as the best practice at the International Congress ISPCAN (Calgary, Canada) in 2016.
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