Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

When the Efficacy of Social Welfare Centres in Protecting the Rights of the Child is Missing

The cases of children abandoned by parents and cared by persons who are not their formal guardians testify of the consequences of the lack of an efficient role of social welfare centres in protecting the rights and best interest of a child.

Praxis client, minor M. M, though facing serious health problems, cannot exercise the right to health protection because she does not possess a health booklet. Specifically, after her parents divorced, the custody was awarded to her mother. However, the mother then abandoned her and moved abroad where she got married and gave birth to three children. Despite being born with orthopedic impairments, a girl was deprived of the adequate health care. In order to exercise the right to health protection, M. M. first needs to register permanent residence in Bela Palanka, where she lives. At the moment, her permanent residence is registered in Nis, at the same address as her mother’s. The request for registration of permanent residence or change of permanent residence should be submitted by a minor’s legal representative, parent or guardian, but M. M. does not have either a guardian or a legal representative. In addition to legal protection, the registration of permanent residence would allow her the right to parental and child support and the right to free textbooks.

Since M. M. has no legal capacity and no legal representative, the only way to protect the rights and interest of this minor girl is to conduct the procedure of deprivation of the parental right and appoint a guardian who would represent her in the exercise of rights.

Though not so rare in practice, such cases show how serious the consequences of the lack of active role of institutions in access to the rights for citizens may be. We must not forget that in addition to health, minor M. M. is deprived also of the exercise of other socioeconomic rights, which imply the rights to education, adequate housing, dignified life and also other rights.

For more information, see the announcement: Inefficacy of Social Welfare Centres in Protecting the Rights of the Child   

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action