The situation with disadvantaged children in Ukraine and issues with juvenile justice in Ukraine

The battle for Bahmut (a city in south-eastern Ukraine) continues and there seems to be no end to this Ukraine РRussia war on the horizon. The situation with at-risk children in Ukraine is much worse today for obvious reasons. Our program offers a path of relief today and hopes for tomorrow for at-risk Ukrainian children:

In¬†our series of articles, we continue to provide details as far as¬†disadvantaged children in Ukraine are concerned. One such issue¬†is the juvenile justice system in Ukraine. Back in 1995, Ukraine adopted a Law ‚Äúon Departments & Services for Minors and Special¬†Institutions for Minors‚ÄĚ. Unfortunately, since 1995 the Ukrainian¬†government has not had the time and commitment to focus on this issue by¬†creating sub-laws and decrees to start actually implementing this¬†Law. One of the provisions of this Law is that a special education¬†department in the Justice System of Ukraine should be created in¬†order to educate and train juvenile judges and juvenile caretakers¬†(special social workers) given the peculiarities of juvenile¬†delinquency as compared to adult criminal behavior. In addition,¬†important decrees must be adopted which would allow special measures¬†of influence towards children with deviant behavior to combat¬†juvenile delinquency.

As¬†a background note, the real responsibility for criminal actions in¬†Ukraine affects only individuals who have reached the age of 16. Only¬†for especially brutal criminal acts (like murder, violent robbery,¬†rape, etc.) criminal responsibility comes at the age of 14 to 16¬†y.o. However, some children from crisis families and¬†social/biological orphans tend to initiate criminal activity at¬†a much earlier age, starting from 10 and sometimes even earlier. For¬†instance, if children under the age of 16 are caught in thefts, street¬†attacks (even with ultimate body injuries on the victim of the attack),¬†extortion, hooligan acts, etc. – – nothing can be done to punish and¬†rehabilitate such juvenile criminals today. In reality, this means¬†that when police find out about criminal actions of individuals¬†below the age of 16, rarely any criminal investigation is initiated¬†because the victim, possible witnesses, and police realize criminals¬†under 16 y.o. cannot be persecuted. Finally, the abuser him/herself¬†realizes that acts like this go unpunished. Peers of schoolchildren¬†under 16 frequently come to understand this, which allows the¬†potential to follow this ‚Äúexample‚ÄĚ considering no punishment will¬†be enforced. Further reform in this area is way past any deadline,¬†however, no political force in Ukraine is pushing such reform today,¬†as obviously, all attention is on the war.

We continue to monitor and support orphans and other the most disadvantaged children in Ukraine through a personal sponsorship program and general support program, please consider joining us!