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Kazakhstan, UNICEF Address Improving Quality of Children’s Lives

ASTANA – Improving the quality of children’s lives was discussed at a July 23 meeting between Tamara Duisenova, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Protection, and Octavian Bivol, Deputy Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, the Prime Minister’s press service reported.

UNICEF officials, including Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, commended the adoption of the Social Code and the Digital Family Card and the establishment of family support centers in the regions of Kazakhstan.

They expressed their readiness to provide technical support and assistance in the future development of the social services system to improve the availability, quality and effectiveness of social work.

The participants also reviewed childhood protection measures and social services, announcing plans to bolster cooperation between UNICEF and the Kazakh government to develop new solutions to improve the targeted social assistance program, the child’s well-being index and children’s digital cards, and increase the number of children covered by the universal child benefits in line with international experience.

The parties agreed to consider the UNICEF recommendations on strengthening childhood protection measures and legislation, preventing child deprivation with a focus on the causes, improving accessibility to education, digitizing public services, preventing bullying, and early intervention and response to violence against children.

Progress and priorities 

Dinara Zakiyeva, the Kazakh Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights, presented a report on the work that was recently carried out.

She said the objective is to create a prevention system and assistance tools, amend the legislation on crimes against children and their safety, and create the necessary infrastructure for children with special needs and those living in rural areas.

Zakiyeva visited four regions to facilitate work in all directions. She informed that she plans to organize a big discussion with non-governmental organizations and senior regional representatives this autumn and visit all the regions for a longer period to work in district centers and villages.

She also spoke about regular meetings with parents on specific problems, noting that approximately 400 private requests on obtaining treatment and medicines and on the issues of violence have been processed over the reported period.

Duisenova instructed the appropriate government agencies to coordinate the work on providing families with comprehensive assistance, to work on early detection of dysfunctional families, and to create a single state contact center to address family, women, and children issues. She stressed the need to review all state organizations for children, resolve the issue of housing orphans and children left without parental care in regional centers, and create a database of resocialization of those released from jail. 

Source : Astana Times