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MPs rejected ombudswoman’s report

With the report, she pointed to several serious flaws in social custody facilities.

Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová (Source: TASR)

Parliament has refused to take note of Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová’s report in which she pointed to the violation of children’s rights by methods used by social custody authorities.

Only 63 MPs of 140 present voted for the report. The report was rejected by deputies of Smer, the Slovak National Party (except for MP Radovan Baláž), three Most-Híd MPs, the whole caucus of the far-right People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) and three non-affiliated MPs, the TASR newswire reported.

The ombudswoman surveyed the social custody facilities in 2016 based on several motions and media reports. The document deals with the protection of the rights of children who are placed in resocialisation centres or children’s homes based on court rulings or agreements between public authorities and parents.

Read also:Report: Children placed in care without expert opinions

She revealed serious flaws in decisions when placing children into facilities, particularly if it is organised by the state. She criticised the courts, for example, for not asking for children’s opinions.

“The authorities that should secure these children’s rights usually adopt steps to secure the problem-free operation of their institution,” reads the report, as quoted by TASR.

It seems that these public authorities have not taken on their role in protecting children.

“The system is set in a way that it protects them [the authorities],” the ombudswoman added, as quoted by TASR.

Dubovcová also misses a system of independent control in the facilities and points to the insufficient representation of children in the proceedings. Moreover, she also points to dubious educational methods in the facilities for children which may in some cases seem “humiliating”, as reported by TASR.

The report’s findings have systemic character, they are not failures of individuals, Dubovcová added.

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