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Reirs: child’s interests should be the focus in any situation

Janis Reirs/flickr.com/.
To discuss topical matters of welfare, including violation of children’s rights in municipal social care institutions, Latvian Welfare Minister Janis Reirs will participate in a meeting of Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee on Wednesday, 19 April.

The minister reports that at the end of March he had ordered a full review of complaints received in relation to possible violations of children’s rights in municipal social care centre that were uncovered by Welfare Ministry’s de-institutionalisation project.

The ministry notes that a team of specialists that performed children’s evaluation suspected possible emotional and physical child abuse. This is why State Children Rights Protection Inspectorate was informed immediately to perform a detailed investigation.

Reirs emphasizes the importance of the DI project and its role in Latvia: «Interests of the child should be a first priority in any situation, and support should be more aimed towards that. Any received signal about situations involving interests of children, especially if they are staying at an institution, is immediately and carefully analysed. Analysis of each individual situation and prevention of possible repetitions of similar situations are of the utmost importance.»

The number of children put in state social care institutions continues to decrease. The most rapid decline was noted in the past four years. This means progress in this direction should continue, and it is important to make sure children are put in a family environment, not a social care institution, says Welfare Ministry.

The ministry also notes that 1,049 children received social care services in 2002, 570 children received social care services in 2013 and 288 received social care services in March 2017.


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