Πέμπτη, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Philippines / CRC 62nd session: Committee on the Rights of the Child reviews report of the Philippines on the Sale of Children and Child prostitution

Committee on the Rights of the Child
22 January 2013


The Committee on the Rights of the Child this afternoon reviewed the initial report of the Philippines on how that country implements the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Introducing the report, Corazon Juliano Soliman, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Chairperson of the Council for the Welfare of Children of the Philippines, said that the Government had increased the resources available for the social protection of the poor in order to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children. In 2012, more than 3 million households with 7.4 million children benefitted from conditional cash transfers.

The Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking, created in 2010, rescued 414 trafficked minors in 2011 alone, while a comprehensive programme was in place to provide psychosocial, social and educational services to child victims of pornography, prostitution and trafficking.

Committee Experts asked about the study on the causes, nature and extent of sexual exploitation and child pornography in the country and the remedial action undertaken by the Government, and about assistance and reintegration services available to children who were abused, exploited or discriminated against.

The Experts inquired about root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, such as poverty, lack of birth registration and discrimination against girls, and the measures undertaken to address them.

In concluding remarks
, Agnes Aidoo, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Report of the Philippines, said that many initiatives to raise awareness and prohibit and prosecute offences against children were underway, and noted that confounding the sale of children with trafficking in children remained an issue of concern.

Also in concluding observations, Ms. Soliman of the Philippines said that the delegation had listened carefully to the views of the Committee and would study carefully its concluding observations, which would become a springboard to further advance the cause of children’s rights.

Yanghee Lee, the Committee Vice-Chairperson, in closing remarks said that multi-sectorial engagement and cooperation with civil society were the strength of the Philippines and commended the country for the timely submission of its reports.

The delegation of the Philippines consisted of representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Justice, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Council for the Welfare of Children, the Philippine National Police, and the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The next public meeting of the Committee will be on Wednesday, 23 January at 10 a.m., when it will examine the initial report of Slovakia under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (CRC/C/OPSC/SVK/1), and its initial report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (CRC/C/OPAC/SVK/1).

Reports
The initial report of the Philippines under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography can be read here:
(CRC/C/OPSC/PHL/1).

Statement by the Delegation
CORAZON JULIANO SOLIMAN,
Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Chairperson of the Council for the Welfare of Children of the Philippines, condemned in the strongest terms the sale of children and incidences of child prostitution and child pornography happening around the world and reiterated the commitment of the Philippines to combating those acts, rehabilitating the victims and sanctioning the perpetrators.

The Government had instituted several mechanisms that positively impacted on the welfare of children, such as the creation of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster composed of several key agencies to strengthen coordination among them for purposes of improving the overall quality of life of the Filipinos.

The Philippines was determined to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children and had increased the resources available for the social protection of the poor through its Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.

More than 3 million households with 7.4 million children had benefitted from this programme as of December 2012.

The Comprehensive Programme for Street Children, Street Families and Indigenous Peoples, especially the Sama-Badjaus, provided services and interventions to respond to their needs and provide the opportunities to live productively and in a safe environment.

The Government aggressively implemented the Child Wise Tourist Programme which provided training to police officers, tour guides, taxi drivers, hotel personnel and local tourist officers in premier tourist destinations.

The Philippines continually enhanced its legal protection of children through its strict enforcement of laws, and it had created an Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking to implement the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

The work of this agency had resulted in the rescue of 414 trafficked minors in 2011 alone.
The Agency also maintained a database on trafficked persons and to date, 30 persons had been convicted of the trafficking of children.

The National Justice Information System had been implemented since 2008 in order to interconnect all information systems of the justice sector agencies.

The Committee for the Special Protection of Children had been reorganized to ensure the timely investigation and prosecution of cases, and assistance and protection to child victims throughout the legal and judicial procedures.

The Philippines was committed to the recovery and reintegration into society of all child victims of pornography, prostitution and trafficking; it had in place a comprehensive programme to provide psychosocial, social and educational services for victims; to date, this programme had assisted 285 victims of trafficking.

There were 42 residential facilities and temporary shelters around the country for victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking, which had served 326 clients between 2009 and 2012.

The Philippines had enacted laws to criminalize acts that the Optional Protocol sought to prevent; victims could file a criminal case against perpetrators who, if found guilty, were ordered by courts to pay compensation to the victims.

Questions by Experts
SANPHASIT KOOMPRAPHANT,
Committee Expert and the Rapporteur for the Report of the Philippines, asked whether a study on the causes, nature and extent of sexual exploitation and child pornography had been conducted and what were the findings of that study and what remedial action had been undertaken.

What were the plans concerning the adoption of the Second National Action Plan for Children 2012-2016 and what resources would be allocated to implement it?

What programmes of assistance, recovery and reintegration were available for the abused, exploited and discriminated children at the municipal and barangay levels and under which framework?

The Country Rapporteur also asked the delegation to provide further explanations concerning the development of the model Child Protection Unit of the Philippines General Hospital and duplicating it in other hospitals in the country, the data collection mechanism for victims of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, prohibition of child pornography, and plans for the ratification of the 1980 Hague Convention on International Adoption.

AGNES AIDOO, 
Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Report of the Philippines, asked about the coordination of activities under the Optional Protocol and expressed concern that the Council for the Welfare of Children was attached to the Department for Social Welfare and had, in the recent past moved its institutional anchorage, and wondered about its capacity and resources to undertake coordination and monitoring of activities under the Optional Protocol.

What steps were undertaken to ensure the dissemination and increase of knowledge about the provisions of the Optional Protocol among the public and especially children and their parents?

How were the root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, such as poverty, lack of birth registration, discrimination against girls, street children and others, being addressed?

The delegation was asked to elaborate on the budgetary issues for the activities on children’s rights and the methods to guarantee transparency in the management of those resources at the municipal levels and prevent their misuse; extradition of foreigners committing crimes under the Optional Protocol and the sanctioning of Filipino citizens committing those crimes abroad; measures to increase birth registration rates;
protective services available to children; and the status of the girl child in the society which made them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Response by Delegation
In terms of the Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum, the delegation said the Philippines had always ranked high and had ranked eighth in the latest report out of 138 countries, which would not be possible if discrimination against the girl child was prevalent.

Girls were valued in the Philippines.

The ratification of the 1980 Hague Convention on international adoption was still under study but even if was not yet signed, there were sufficient safeguards in the domestic legislation, such as the laws prohibiting children to travel without the consent of both parents.

The Council for the Welfare of Children was very well set up for the coordination role and included representatives of several ministries and children themselves.

At the regional levels, there were regional Committees on Child Welfare under the Regional Development Council and the coordination was well maintained and sustained.

The Council had specific campaigns to raise the awareness of the population, which took place every second week of February on a specific topic connected to the Optional Protocol and trafficking in children.

Committee Experts asked about outreach to more vulnerable children and their parents, such as children out of school, street or poor children and families.


In response, the delegation said that one of the sustainable interventions was the conditional cash transfer serving more than 3 million of households until 2012, almost 7.5 million poor children. Children were provided with a cash grant for education, and a health grant was disbursed to mothers and babies and young children.

Children in need of special protection, such as street children, indigenous children and children vulnerable to labour exploitation, were also included in the modified cash transfer programmes which provided not only cash grants, but also house rental for six months and immediate livelihood support. 

Additional support was provided to children affected by natural disasters or armed conflict.

Conditions for participation in the programme were to keep the children in school, and not only in primary school but also in alternative learning systems which applied to street and indigenous children who might not have had any previous schooling, regular health visits of mothers and children to health centres, and the attendance of monthly family development sessions which educated parents on responsible parenting, anti-trafficking and provisions of the Optional Protocol.

The evaluation of the conditional cash transfer had been conducted by the World Bank and it indicated that the families in the conditional cash transfer areas spent more on education, nutrition, health and other areas which benefitted children and pregnant mothers.

More than 30 per cent of the Government’s budget was for social services and for public education which was provided free; children were the majority beneficiaries of those services.

The major investment to prevent trafficking, sale, prostitution and pornography was the conditional cash transfer which last year alone received a budget of US dollars 1.1 billion; this investment aimed at keeping children in school and keeping them healthy was important to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and exclusion.

Local Government Units were mandated to implement national laws and received seals of approval by the Department of Interior for good housekeeping and management of resources. In terms of corruption, the Philippines was able to jump 20 points on the Transparency Index.

The National Justice Information System had been newly created for the purpose of information sharing and coordination.

Extradition could be carried out only with countries which had an extradition treaty with the Philippines.

All offences, including those against children, were territorial in nature, but there was currently a move to include the extraterritorial character of those crimes in the ongoing revision of the penal code.

In the law on prostitution, children were considered victims and were not prosecuted.

The Government had a programme to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry and promote ethical and sustainable practices to protect the rights of the child.

The programme was being gradually launched in the 14 major tourist destinations in the country, and this was being done with the participation of children.

This was an inter-agency initiative in which several Government departments and local Government took part.

In order to address poverty which was among the principal root causes of the sale and exploitation of children, the Government had put in place a conditional cash transfer programme which enrolled poor families.

For this purpose a household targeting system for the identification of the poor had been developed, which identified the poor through a proxy and a set of verifiable indicators, including the state of housing, access to basic services such as water and sanitation, ownership of appliances, employment, etc.

This programme reduced the underlying causes of poverty which were social marginalization and exclusion.

Services available to victims of exploitation and abuse were delivered through community based and centre based programmes. 


Community based programmes provided immediate intervention to children who needed protection and services, while centres provided psychosocial services to help the victim manage the trauma so that they could recover and reintegrate into the society and the family.

Children victims of exploitation and abuse were identified through the reports by the police, parents or organizations working with children.

There were no cases of reported cases of organ sales for children; there were cases involving adults aged 25 years and over.







Concluding Remarks

AGNES AIDOO,

Committee Expert and the Co-Rapporteur for the Report of the Philippines, said that much had been achieved by the Philippines: many initiatives to raise awareness and prohibit and prosecute offences against children were underway and resources were on the increase.

The issue of confounding the sale of children with trafficking in children remained of concern and it was hoped that the number of victims of the sale of children would be on the decrease.

CORAZON JULIANO SOLIMAN,

Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Chairperson of the Council for the Welfare of Children of the Philippines, thanked the Committee for the dialogue and said that they had listened to the views of the Committee and would study carefully its concluding observations, which would become a springboard to further advance the cause of children’s rights.

The Philippines would hold in March 2013 a national multi-stakeholder forum to focus on the continuing challenges to the effective implementation of the Optional Protocol.

Action and monitoring plans would be adopted to provide the appropriate response to those challenges and the Committee would be kept abreast of developments in this regard.

YANGHEE LEE, 
Committee Vice-Chairperson, said that multi-sectorial engagement and cooperation with civil society were the strength of the Philippines and commended the country for the timely submission of its reports.

Russian Federation: Report makes critical assessment of treatment of detained persons in Northern Caucasus

Council of Europe Secretary General welcomes publication of anti-torture Committee report on the Russian Federation

Strasbourg, 24.01.2013 –

“I welcome the decision of the Russian Government to request the publication of this report as a sign of openness which I trust will continue in the future,” 
said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

“ I am confident that this is the beginning of a new policy of the Russian Federation which will increase the impact of the Committee’s work in Russia, to everyone’s benefit,”

added CPT President Lətif Hüseynov.

In a report published today, the Council of Europe’s  
Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
expressed serious concerns about the treatment of persons held by law enforcement agencies in the North Caucasian region of the Russian Federation and the effectiveness of the action taken by the investigative authorities concerning possible ill-treatment.

The CPT makes a series of recommendations aimed at combating torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

In particular, it proposes measures to ensure better accountability of law enforcement agencies, reinforce fundamental safeguards against ill-treatment and improve conditions of detention in law enforcement and pre-trial establishments.

In their response, the Russian authorities provide information on steps taken or envisaged to implement the CPT’s recommendations, including as regards investigations into specific cases of possible ill-treatment raised by the Committee and improvements to conditions of detention in the establishments visited.

Until recently, the Russian Federation had represented an exception to the well-established trend towards States lifting the veil of confidentiality and publishing CPT visit reports.

The issue of publication of visit reports and Government responses has been raised on several occasions, including during high-level talks in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg in May and June 2012.

The report covers the most recent visit to the North Caucasian region, in April/May 2011.

The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies in the Chechen Republic, the Republic of Dagestan and the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.

The report and the response are available on the CPT’s website: www.cpt.coe.int.

MALI: More than 7,500 flee new Mali offensive; refugees report food shortages

BAMAKO, Mali, January 22 (UNHCR) –

Almost 7,500 refugees have fled into neighbouring countries since French and Malian forces launched a counter-offensive against Islamic militants almost two weeks ago and the exodus is continuing.

In Mauritania, 4,208 Malian refugees have arrived since the latest fighting began on January 11.
After being registered at the Fassala transit centre, they are being transported further inland to the Mbera refugee camp, which was already hosting some 55,000 people from earlier displacements.

In Niger there are now 1,300 new refugees, mainly from the Menaka and Anderamboukane areas. During the same period, Burkina Faso has received 1,829 new refugees.
These are mainly ethnic Tuaregs and Songhai from the regions of Gossi, Timbuktu, Gao and Bambara Maoude.

"To help receive people we have erected two hangars in Inabao, at the border with Mali, which is currently the main entry point for new refugees. Our partner, Plan Burkina, has also rehabilitated a water pump and has constructed emergency latrines,"
a UNHCR spokesman, Adrian Edwards, said.
"In part, this is aimed too at easing any possible tensions with the local population," 
he added.

New arrivals continue to tell UNHCR that they left their homes because of French air strikes and fighting, as well as fears over the application of Islamic law, or Sharia.
They also speak of increasing shortages of food and fuel, with traditional markets unable to operate.
A lack of cereal is pushing breeders to either kill some of their animals as they have nothing else to eat, or to try to sell them.

Some refugees are travelling by private car or by truck, while others have arrived from Mali on foot or by donkey.
Many newly arrived refugees are expecting additional members of their families to join them in the next days from Mali.

UNHCR and partners continue to assist those refugees who are in camps in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania by providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene structures, food, adequate shelter, health care and education.

In Burkina Faso, vehicles are going back and forth at the border to collect those who are unable to walk.
"We are also continuing to relocate refugees from the border to safer sites inland,"
spokesman Edwards noted.

On Saturday, a convoy with 568 refugees left the Ferrerio and Gandafabou refugee sites, in Burkina Faso's northern Sahel region to be relocated to Goudebou camp near the town of Dori.

Ferrerio will now only be used as a transit centre for the new arrivals before they are transported to Goudebou.
In total, Burkina Faso is hosting 38,776 Malian refugees.

Including those displaced this month, almost 150,000 Malians have found refuge in neighbouring countries since the Mali crisis started in January 2012.

Inside Mali,  
229,000 people are displaced – mainly from the Kidal, Timbuktu and Gao areas.

For the internally displaced as well as for refugees, the immediate needs are for water, food, shelter and medical care. Living conditions are particularly precarious for the internally displaced and UNHCR is supporting income-generation activities in the Mali capital of Bamako for IDPs.

But humanitarian access to other areas of Mali is severely restricted by the security situation. Abdullah, 41, was staying in a small room at his father's house in the capital after fleeing with his family from the southern town of Diabaly, which was captured by the Islamists on January 14 and briefly held.

Abdullah worked as a driver for a private company in Diabaly and told UNHCR he was picking up his boss at his home on January 14  
"when we were attacked by six men. They were threatening us with their guns and Kalashnikovs and asked for the car keys before taking away the vehicle."
He returned home and stayed there with his family as the sounds of gunfire and explosions echoed around the town.

He decided to leave the next morning on foot with his wife and four children, heading south towards the capital.  
"We joined many other people who were leaving Diabaly. I was carrying my younger son on my shoulders. We went straight to Bamako," 
 Abdullah said.

In their small temporary home, his wife and four children sleep on the bed, while Abdullah bunks down on the floor.  
"It is normally a room used for storage,"
he said, adding:  
"I just want to return to Diabaly and go back to work so that I can take care of my family."

By Hélène Caux in Bamako, Mali

Τρίτη, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Italy: Summary returns to Greece violate refugee rights

Unaccompanied Children, Asylum Seekers Should Not Be Turned Away

Human Rights Watch Press release

                                                        January 22, 2012
(Rome) –
Italy is summarily returning unaccompanied migrant children and adult asylum seekers to Greece, where they face a dysfunctional asylum system and abusive detention conditions, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today.
Stowaways on ferries from Greece, including children as young as 13, are sent back by Italian authorities within hours without adequate consideration of their particular needs as children or their desire to apply for asylum.

The 45-page report, “Turned Away: Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece,” documents the failure of Italian border police at the Adriatic ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, and Venice to screen adequately for people in need of protection, in violation of Italy’s legal obligations.
Human Rights Watch interviewed 29 children and adults who were summarily returned to Greece from Italian ports, 20 of them in 2012.

“Every year hundreds of people risk life and limb hiding in or under trucks and cars on ferries crossing the Adriatic Sea,”
said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Too often Italy sends them straight back to Greece despite appalling conditions and treatment there.”

Placed in the custody of the captains of commercial ferries, adults and children alike are confined on board ships during the return journey to Greece in places such as makeshift holding cells or engine rooms and sometimes denied adequate food.

Back in Greece, unaccompanied children and asylum seekers, like all migrants, are vulnerable to law enforcement abuse, degrading conditions of detention, and a hostile environment marked by xenophobic violence, Human Rights Watch said. Ali M., an Afghan boy who was 15 when he was returned from Italy to Igoumenitsa, Greece, in March 2012, said Greek police took him to a detention facility outside the port and detained him for over two weeks with unrelated adults in squalid conditions without adequate food.

Italian and international law prohibit the removal of unaccompanied children without a determination that it is in their best interest.
Yet, Human Rights Watch met with 13 children ages 13 to 17 who had been summarily returned to Greece.
None of them were given access to a guardian or social services, as required by Italian and international law.

Although Italian government policy is to give an individual who claims to be a child the benefit of the doubt, Human Rights Watch research indicates that this policy is not being followed.
Only one of the children interviewed had any kind of age determination examination, in his case a wrist x-ray.
Ali M., for example, was returned without an age determination:
“I told them I was 15, they didn’t listen. They put me in the ticket office and then on the boat.”

Best practices require a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluating age and that any medical testing be non-intrusive. Access to a guardian and social services and proper age assessments can only be carried out when children are admitted to the country.

Most of those we met were Afghan boys fleeing danger, conflict, and poverty,”
said Alice Farmer, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“Italy needs to take responsibility for providing them the special protection to which they are entitled as children.”

Sending adult migrants back to Greece without giving them the opportunity to lodge asylum claims also violates national and international obligations.
While Italy has the right to enforce its immigration laws, asylum seekers must be allowed to exercise the right to lodge asylum claims, and no one returned should be exposed to risks of torture or ill-treatment.

Overwhelming evidence of chronic problems with Greece’s asylum system and detention conditions has led to landmark European court rulings barring returns to that country under the Dublin II Regulation, which generally requires the first EU country of entry to process an asylum claim. Numerous EU countries have suspended transfers of asylum seekers to Greece as a result.

Italy has not suspended Dublin transfers to Greece but claims to assess the risk of rights violations when considering whether to do so.
But its summary returns from the ports contradict this policy.

Most people interviewed said they had not had a chance to express their desire to apply for asylum, while five said their pleas to do so were ignored by port police officers.
According to Bari border police, only 12 out of almost 900 migrants detected at the port between January 2011 and June 2012 were allowed to remain in Italy.

“Some asylum seekers may not want to apply for asylum in Italy, even if given the chance, because they are convinced that their prospects for protection and integration are better in other European countries,”
Sunderland said.

“But those who do want to apply for asylum should not be turned away.”

Nongovernmental organizations with contracts to provide services and information to migrants detected at the ports do not have systematic access to them, leaving decisions about who is allowed to remain in Italy in the hands of border police.
None of those interviewed had been given access to nongovernmental groups or information about their rights and about applying for asylum.

Only seven had been assisted by an interpreter.

“The whole point of authorizing nongovernmental groups to provide services at the ports is to ensure that migrants’ rights are respected,”

Sunderland said.
“But they can’t do their job if they don’t have access to all arriving migrants, and those in need are falling through the cracks.”

The European Court of Human Rights 
is expected to issue a judgment soon in the case of Sharife and Others v. Italy and Greece involving the 2009 summary return of 25 adults and 10 children who contend that the return violated their right to life and to protection against torture or ill-treatment, and to an effective remedy.
The Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, and
the UN special rapporteur on the rights of migrants, François Crépeau,
have both urged Italy to refrain from summary returns to Greece.

Human Rights Watch recommended a number of changes in Italy’s procedures, including:


* Suspend immediately the summary returns to Greece;
* Permit those reaching Italy who claim to be unaccompanied children, without exception, to stay and benefit from the specific protections guaranteed under Italian law, pending a properly conducted age determination;
* Properly screen adults to identify those with special vulnerabilities and those who wish to apply for asylum or otherwise have protection needs;
* Provide full access to all arrivals for authorized nongovernmental organizations so they can provide legal and humanitarian assistance;
* Provide ferry companies with clear guidelines for shipmasters on humane and safe treatment of stowaways when discovered on board and during returns to Greece.

«Οι απαντήσεις στην ερώτηση 19 βουλευτών για την αλλαγή των εγγράφων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων».

Διαβάστε το Δ.Τ. του ΣΥΔ του οποίου τις Δράσεις και τον Αγώνα για την Αναγνώριση των Δικαιωμάτων των Διεμφυλικών, ως ACTUP στηρίζουμε 

Δελτίο Τύπου 21.1.2013

Αθήνα, Δευτέρα 21 Ιανουαρίου 2013
Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών
(Αρ. Αποφ. Πρωτ. 7646/2010 – Αρ. Μητρ. Περιφ. Αττ. 19388).
http://www.transgender-association.gr/transgender.support.association@gmail.com


Θέμα: «Οι απαντήσεις στην ερώτηση 19 βουλευτών
για την αλλαγή των εγγράφων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων». 

     Το Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών (Σ.Υ.Δ.), με το παρόν δελτίο τύπου γνωστοποιεί τις απαντήσεις στην ερώτηση που κατατέθηκε από δεκαεννιά βουλευτές του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-ΕΚΜ, με κύριο αντικείμενο την αλλαγή των εγγράφων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων, προς τους Υπουργούς Εσωτερικών και Δικαιοσύνης Διαφάνειας και Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων.

      Υπενθυμίζουμε τις ερωτήσεις που είχαν τεθεί προς τα δύο αρμόδια Υπουργεία (το πλήρες κείμενο της ερώτησης εδώ http://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/c0d5184d-7550-4265-8e0b-078e1bc7375a/7824803.pdf):
1. Θα κατατεθεί νομοθετική ρύθμιση, σύμφωνα με τις διεθνείς και ενωσιακές υποχρεώσεις του ελληνικού κράτους, που θα επιτρέπει στα διεμφυλικά άτομα να προβαίνουν στη διόρθωση του ονόματός τους, προκειμένου να έχουν αποτελεσματική πρόσβαση στην εργασία, την ασφάλιση και τις υπηρεσίες υγείας;
2. Θα διασφαλιστεί η δυνατότητα διόρθωσης του ονόματός τους ανεξαρτήτως των ιατρικών διαδικασιών επαναπροσδιορισμού φύλου, ώστε τα νέα έγγραφα να ανταποκρίνονται στο φύλο όπως τα ίδια τα άτομα επιθυμούν να προσδιορίζεται;
3. Με ποιες νομοθετικές ρυθμίσεις σκοπεύουν να συμμορφωθούν στις υπερνομοθετικές επιταγές για την προστασία των δικαιωμάτων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων και στην αποτελεσματική τιμωρία των εις βάρος τους διακρίσεων και εκδηλώσεων βίας;
      Η πρώτη απάντηση δόθηκε από το Υπουργείο Εσωτερικών στις 4.12.2012 στην οποία περιγράφεται η ισχύουσα διαδικασία αλλαγής εγγράφων για τα διεμφυλικά άτομα που έχουν κάνει επέμβαση επαναπροσδιορισμού φύλου, σύμφωνα με τον Ν.344/1976 «Περί ληξιαρχικών πράξεων» (ΦΕΚ 143 Α’) σε συνδυασμό με το άρθρο Ν.2503/1997, μετά από δικαστική απόφαση. Η απάντηση του Υπ. Εσωτερικών καταλήγει: 
 «Επισημαίνεται ότι ο επαναπροσδιορισμός φύλου, χωρίς τη μεσολάβηση ιατρικής διαδικασίας, προϋποθέτει την αναμόρφωση των σχετικών διατάξεων του Αστικού Κώδικα, η οποία εκφεύγει των αρμοδιοτήτων του Υπ. Εσωτερικών, και αποτελεί αρμοδιότητα του συνερωτώμενου Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης, στο οποίο κοινοποιείται το παρόν».
Εν ολίγοις, το Υπ. Εσωτερικών, απεκδύεται των ευθυνών του και δεν απαντά σε καμία από τις ερωτήσεις που τίθενται, απλώς επαναλαμβάνει την ισχύουσα διαδικασία (η απάντηση εδώ: http://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/67715b2c-ec81-4f0c-ad6a-476a34d732bd/7858378.pdf).
     
 Στη συνέχεια ακολούθησε η απάντηση του Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης στις 8.1.2013, όπου αναγνωρίζεται ότι «τα διεμφυλικά άτομα υφίστανται αρνητική αντιμετώπιση σε πολύ μεγαλύτερο βαθμό από τα λοιπά πρόσωπα» 
Εν τούτοις, όπως αναφέρεται «καίτοι δεν υφίσταται στην ελληνική νομοθεσία ειδική αναφορά στην ταυτότητα φύλου ως απαγορευμένου λόγου διάκρισης».
Αναγνωρίζεται επίσης ότι  
«η έννοια της ταυτότητας φύλου αποτυπώνεται ρητά σε πρόσφατα κείμενα του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης»,
καθώς ακόμη ότι
 «το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο επεσήμανε το 2010 την ανάγκη λήψης νομοθετικών μέτρων, τα οποία θα περιλαμβάνουν την έννοια της ταυτότητας φύλου στο πλαίσιο της κατοχύρωσης της ίσης μεταχείρισης».
Η απάντηση του Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης καταλήγει:
«Επί του παρόντος η ελληνική έννομη τάξη δεν αφίσταται της σχετικής νομολογίας του ΕΔΔΑ (βλ ενδεικτικά την από 11 Ιουλίου 2002 απόφαση στην υπόθεση Christine Goodwin κατά Ην. Βασιλείου)», δηλαδή της σχετικής νομολογίας του ΕΔΔΑ πάνω στην οποία στηρίχτηκαν οι νομοθεσίες χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για την αλλαγή των εγγράφων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων (η πλήρης απάντηση εδώ http://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/67715b2c-ec81-4f0c-ad6a-476a34d732bd/7909168.pdf).

       Παρ’ ότι και στην απάντηση του Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης δεν δίδεται κάποια ουσιαστική απάντηση στις ερωτήσεις που τέθηκαν σχετικά με το αν προτίθεται να υιοθετήσει νομοθετικές ρυθμίσεις για την καταπολέμηση των διακρίσεων και των εκδηλώσεων βίας για λόγους ταυτότητας φύλου καθώς και για την αλλαγή των εγγράφων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων, εν τούτοις αναγνωρίζει τις διακρίσεις που υφίστανται τα διεμφυλικά άτομα, καθώς επίσης ότι τόσο το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης, όσο και το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο έχουν θέσει το πλαίσιο της κατοχύρωσης της ίσης μεταχείρισης για λόγους ταυτότητας φύλου με σαφήνεια.

      Το Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών (ΣΥΔ), θεωρεί θετικό ότι ο Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης, κύριος Ρουπακιώτης, αναγνωρίζει όλα τα παραπάνω, ωστόσο οι διαπιστώσεις δεν λύνουν κανένα από τα σοβαρά προβλήματα και παραβιάσεις των δικαιωμάτων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων και καλεί τα αρμόδια Υπουργεία και κυρίως το Υπ. Δικαιοσύνης να αναλάβουν την πρωτοβουλία κατάθεσης σχετικών νομοθεσιών για την προστασία των δικαιωμάτων των διεμφυλικών ατόμων. Συγκεκριμένα:
1. Τροποποίηση του νόμου 3304/2005, στην κατεύθυνση της προσθήκης της ταυτότητας φύλου ως έδαφος που να απαγορεύονται οι διακρίσεις στον χώρο εργασίας και την παροχή υπηρεσιών.
2. Τροποποίηση του νόμου 927/1979, στην κατεύθυνση της προσθήκης της ταυτότητας φύλου ως έδαφος που να απαγορεύεται η διάδοση του ρατσιστικού μίσους.
3. Αναθεώρηση του Άρθρου 79, παράγραφος 3 του ΠΚ  (π.δ. 283/1985, ΦΕΚ 106 Α΄), στην κατεύθυνση της προσθήκης και της ταυτότητας φύλου, για την προστασία των διεμφυλικών ατόμων από τις επιθέσεις / εγκλήματα μίσους.
4. Κατάθεση νόμου που να επιτρέπει την αλλαγή εγγράφων στα διεμφυλικά / τρανς άτομα, χωρίς τη μεσολάβηση ιατρικών ή φαρμακολογικών διαδικασιών (σύμφωνα και με την σχετική νομολογία του ΕΔΔΑ που ανεφέρθη).
ΤΟ ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΙΚΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ
 ΣΩΜΑΤΕΙΟ ΥΠΟΣΤΗΡΙΞΗΣ ΔΙΕΜΦΥΛΙΚΏΝ (Σ.Υ.Δ.)
Ζαν Μωρεάς 17, Κουκάκι, Αθήνα, ΤΚ 11741
http://www.transgender-association.gr/
transgender.support.association@gmail.com

Burkina Faso/ CRC 62nd session: Committee on the Rights of the Child hears reports of Burkina Faso on Sale of Children and on Children and Armed Conflict.

Committee on the Rights of the Child
21 January 2013


The Committee on the Rights of the Child today reviewed the initial reports of Burkina Faso on the implementation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the implementation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Dieudonné Marie Désiré Manly, Technical Advisor, Ministry for Social Action and National Solidarity of Burkina Faso, introducing the report presented under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, said that the 2009 project on child labour in artisanal mines and quarries had removed more than 11,000 children working in the mines.
The Government had launched a help line for child victims of violence in 2011 and had adopted the national plan for combating the worst forms of child labour in 2012.
Burkina Faso had drafted a general bill on the definition and prohibition of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, while a General Code for the protection of children was being elaborated.

Concerning the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, Mr. Manly said it was important to note that Burkina Faso was not a conflict or post-conflict country and no armed groups operated in the country.
Many of the issues relative to the involvement of children in armed conflict, such as recruitment by armed groups or reinsertion and reintegration of children involved with armed groups, were not applicable in Burkina Faso.
Since 2012, Burkina Faso had been receiving refugees escaping the conflict in Northern Mali and in October 2012, some 35,000 had been hosted in six Burkinabe provinces, most of them children under the age of 17.

In the discussion on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the Committee Experts noted that the legislative efforts undertaken by the State party were rather limited in nature, while no reform of the criminal legislation had taken place, and asked whether the legislation currently being drafted would include the provisions of the Optional Protocol.
The Committee expressed concern about the widespread practice of child labour and about some customs and traditions that opened the door to the harmful treatment of women and girls and led to their exploitation and abuse, including early and forced marriages, polygamy, inheritance and land ownership and others.

On the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Committee Experts welcomed the peace in Burkina Faso and cautioned that the situation in neighbouring Mali might cause the recruitment of children in armed conflict. 

The delegation was asked about the ongoing revision of the Criminal Code and whether it would criminalize the conscription of children, about prevention of the recruitment of children on Burkinabe territory, further information about military schools and academies, a mechanism to identify children involved in armed conflict in Mali among the arriving refugees and the training of border officials to this effect, and the services offered to the children.

In concluding remarks, Hatem Kotrane, Committee Expert acting as Rapporteur for the report under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, noted that very little reform of penal and civil legislation had been undertaken and that all the crimes and offences mentioned by the Optional Protocol must be included in the domestic legislation.

Bernard Gastaud, Committee Expert acting as Rapporteur for the report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, noted the efforts made by Burkina Faso in dealing with the influx of Malian refugees and reiterated the concern about the lack of criminal legal provisions in line with international standards.

Also in concluding observations, Mr. Manly of Burkina Faso, expressed satisfaction with the discussion and reiterated the openness of Burkina Faso to receive and consider recommendations of the Committee to improve the rights of children in the country.

Yanghee Lee, the Committee Vice-Chairperson, in closing remarks said that Burkina Faso knew where the challenges were and emphasized that the Optional Protocol on the sale of children went beyond the narrow scope of trafficking and expressed hope that the delegation would go back to Burkina Faso with that understanding.

The delegation of Burkina Faso consisted of representatives of the Ministry for Social Action and National Solidarity, the National Council for Survival, Protection and Development of the Child, the Directorate for the management and protection of children and adolescents, the Ministry for Human Rights and Civic Promotion, and the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The next public meeting of the Committee will be on Tuesday, 22 January at 9 a.m. when it will consider the initial report of Niue (CRC/C/NIU/1) via teleconference.

Reports

The initial report of Burkina Faso under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography can be read here: (CRC/C/OPSC/BFA/1) and Burkina Faso’s initial report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict can be read here: (CRC/C/OPAC/BFA/1).

Statements by the Delegation
DIEUDONNE MARIE DESIRE MANLY, 
Technical Advisor, Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity of Burkina Faso, said that both reports presented by Burkina Faso had been prepared as per the Committee’s technical guidelines and in a participative manner.

Concerning the report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography,
Burkina Faso had launched in 2009 a project on child labour in artisanal mines and quarries, which had allowed for the removal from the mines of more than 11,000 children.
It had also launched a help line in 2011 for child victims of violence.
The Government had adopted a national plan for combating the worst forms of child labour in 2012 and had implemented several campaigns on the sale and exploitation of children.
The data collection system currently in place could not provide all the data required by the Optional Protocol, but it was known that in 2012, there were 1,910 children victims of trafficking.
A number of laws had been adopted to enable the implementation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol, including the decree on conditions to open centres for children in distress, the decree on the placement and monitoring of children in institutions and foster families, and the decree of 2010 on the creation of a central adoption agency.
Information campaigns to disseminate the provisions of the Optional Protocol had targeted cinema and Internet café managers, persons working in the area of children’s rights, persons in charge of child victims of violence, and students.
Burkina Faso had drafted a general bill on the definition and prohibition of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, while a General Code for the protection of children was being elaborated.
The country was part of the regional cooperation process to combat trafficking in children, and was scheduled to sign a cooperation agreement with Côte d’Ivoire on the fight against cross-border trafficking in children this January.

Turning to the report presented under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, Mr. Manly said that the recruitment of children into armed forces had already been prohibited in Burkina Faso and that the age of recruitment had been increased to 20 years in 2012.
The National Council for the Survival and Development of Children had a permanent secretariat which played a key role in disseminating the provisions of the Optional Protocol and played a coordinating role in its implementation.
Some legal texts had been adopted to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol in domestic legislation, such as the 2012 decree on the organization of operations following contingency calls.
Burkina Faso was not a conflict or post-conflict country and there were no armed groups operating in the country; therefore the reinsertion of children involved in armed conflict or recruitment of children by armed groups was not an issue. Since 2012, Burkina Faso had been receiving refugees escaping the conflict in Northern Mali and in October 2012, some 35,000 had been hosted in six Burkinabe provinces, most of them children under the age of 17.

The implementation strategy of the two Optional Protocols was inscribed in the global framework for the promotion of the rights of the child.
A clear political commitment to children’s rights was evident in a number of key policy documents, such as the 2010 Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy and in child policies adopted by the Ministry for Children.
The country faced a number of difficulties in achieving the set goals in the promotion and protection of children’s rights, such as the lack of resources, lack of domestic standards to implement the provisions, and the lack of legal norms for the implementation of certain provisions.
In closing, Mr. Manly reiterated the importance of continued technical assistance and international cooperation to ensure an environment conducive to the growth and development of children in Burkina Faso.

Examination of the Report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Questions by Experts

HATEM KOTRANE,

Committee Vice-Chairperson and the Rapporteur for the Report of Burkina Faso under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, expressed the satisfaction of the Committee with the fruitful relationship with Burkina Faso which was very punctual in submitting its reports.
The Country Rapporteur noted the participative method in the preparation of the reports and asked the delegation to provide more information about the measures undertaken to disseminate the provisions of the Optional Protocol.
The legislative efforts undertaken by the State party were rather limited in nature, while no reform of the criminal legislation had taken place.
The provisions of the Optional Protocol were not directly applicable in the domestic law in Burkina Faso.
Did the legislation that was currently being drafted, such as the general bill on the definition and prohibition of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the General Code for the Protection of Children, include the provisions of the Optional Protocol? 
Did the Criminal Code explicitly prohibit and punish child pornography and child prostitution, and how was a child considered to be a victim of prostitution? 
Acts committed outside of the State party were not criminalized in domestic law; were there plans to amend this legislation and ensure it was in line with the Optional Protocol?
How would the criminal legislation be amended to bring it in line with the provisions of the Optional Protocol?

Another Expert asked 
what campaigns were envisaged or carried out to ensure that the provisions of the Optional Protocol were well known by the population, which was in large part illiterate.
Activities undertaken to combat early marriage made quite a long list, said another Expert, and asked whether there were any plans to increase the minimum age of marriage and how the laws on early marriage and forced marriage were implemented in practice.
Could the delegation provide more information about the help line, how it was resourced, managed and operated and how many calls it received?

The Committee was 
rather concerned that the knowledge about the two Optional Protocols among the population was rather low, particularly among girls who were the principal victims of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
There was little research and data gathering on those issues that affected the Burkinabe children and the implementation of the two Optional Protocols was rather inadequate.
What concrete measures were being undertaken to increase the knowledge of the Protocols among the population?

Some customs and traditions
had opened the door for the harmful treatment of women and girls, such as polygamy, marrying brothers of deceased husbands, inheritance, land ownership and others that led to the abuse and exploitation of girls.
What was being done in practice to change norms and legislation and to bring about cultural change in the understanding of the role of women and girls? 
How did legislation regulate the private sector to ensure that their actions did not have a negative impact on the rights of children, including in protecting children from child labour?

The delegation 
was asked to elaborate on the implementation of the national action plan to combat the worst forms of child labour, the findings of the national study into the causes and nature of sexual exploitation and child pornography in the country, coordination on the implementation of the Optional Protocol, measures to address deep rooted traditions concerning talibé children, child labour, early marriage and others, exercising of extra-territorial authorities, international adoptions, and birth registration and the reasons why rates were low.

Mr. Zermatten, Committee Chairperson,
asked about criminal responsibility of legal persons for crimes of child pornography and child prostitution, for example companies that manufactured and sold this kind of material.
Could the current laws on the media ensure the adequate protection of the image of children?

What resources were being dedicated specifically to meet the requirements of the implementation of the Optional Protocol, either through the National Poverty Reduction Plan or through some other mechanism?

Response by Delegation
In response to these questions and comments and others, the delegation said the various provisions of the two Optional Protocols were spread out in various texts which condemned the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution, and the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Burkina Faso had never interrupted international adoption in course and had strengthened the local capacity by setting up a central authority in charge of international adoption in line with the provisions of the Hague Convention.
The authorities were not aware of adoptions taking place outside of the legal framework; all adoptions had to take place through the State structures and using the Hague procedures.
Illegal practices in international adoption were considered as criminal offences and were punishable under the criminal code.
The Government was providing support to orphanages and foster parents, who received some compensation. When a child was intercepted as a victim of trafficking, he or she was taken to a care centre prior to a reunion with the parents.
The child had to have a lawyer and depending on the age of the child and nature of the offence, proceedings could take place in public or could be filmed by camera, and the judge could also decide upon the need for the victim to face the perpetrator.

Civil society was a partner of the Government and their efforts to promote the rights of children were well appreciated, as were the activities to disseminate and raise awareness about the Convention and the Optional Protocols.
The Government was very open to participation and input of the civil society, which was involved from the start in the preparation of the reports.
Mines did not employ children under the age of 18, but children could be involved in small-scale gold washing activities in remote areas.

Child labour was widespread in the country and child labourers had even formed associations to further their interests.
Many forms of hard labour were prohibited by law and the Government was investing efforts in protecting children from exploitation and worst forms of labour.
There were parents who sent their children to work in the fields of Côte d’Ivoire, but this was an illegal practice which was considered as a form of sale of children and trafficking in children.
Distinction needed to be made between child labour in the country and abroad, as those were considered differently under the law.  
“Confiage” was a traditional practice of sending the children to paternal or maternal grandparents to take care of them but with increased school enrolment rates this practice was about to die off.
There had been cases of trans-border trafficking of children to Mali and Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso was aware of the need to strengthen regional cooperation to successfully tackle this problem.

The minimum age for marriage was 17 for girls and currently there was a draft law which would bring the minimum age to 18 for both girls and boys.
The call to abolish polygamy had caused a public outcry and it would not be possible to do away with this practice overnight.
The hotline for child victims of violence was operational and was manned with trained multidisciplinary teams which operated 24/7.
A person who received the call made a complaint and contacted the intervention team directly.
Those working with children had a duty to report, but it was usually other professionals or other people in contact with children who reported violence.
In known cases of forced marriage, sentences were handed down to perpetrators; but this phenomenon often took place inside the family and it was very hard to identify the practice and undertake legal action. Legally, forced marriages did not exist in Burkina Faso, but forced free unions existed.

School drop out rates for girls were rather high and were mainly due to girls being kept home to take care of household chores.
The Government and its partners had increased assistance for school enrolment and retention for girls, and school drop out rates were now decreasing.
In 2010, Burkina Faso had been involved in drafting the General Protection Code for Children, but had been told that it did not comply with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The general code had been abandoned and had been turned to the code on children in conflict with the law.

The Committee Experts noted that forced marriage, even if did not exist in the law, was a practice and a reality for children and asked what were the intentions of the Government to address this problem. Responding, the delegation said that it was usually the parents who arranged the early marriage or union. As a part of reviewing the Family Code, the age of marriage for boys and girls would be raised to 18 years of age.
The schooling rates were on the rise and the young people themselves often reported that they would be married off. It was hard to change these practices and it would take time.
Awareness raising on early and forced marriages was being undertaken with traditional and customary authorities and sensitisation was undertaken for people in remote areas.

The National Human Rights Commission could receive complaints of violations of the rights of the child.
The new Commission had been established as a national human rights institution under the Paris Principles in 2010; it was independent in terms of financial resources and its management, and could monitor the activities of the Government and undertake the necessary investigations.
The Commission had the Chamber for the Rights of the Children which was in charge of children’s rights and their violation.

Birth registration rates were on the rise thanks to the increase in the number of health centres, the 2007 sensitization campaign and the issuing of the replacement birth certificates for voters without one. Children under the age of 13 could not be prosecuted.
Children offenders were placed in protective custody and were assisted throughout the process.

Legislation on the media protected human rights and penalties had been established, for example in December 2012 a daily had been suspended because it had published pictures of children living in the streets.
Measures taken by the Government showed the commitment to avoid publishing and using any images that might compromise the rights of children.

On the legal basis for decisions on extradition for offences against children, Burkina Faso adhered to international legislation; extraditions were undertaken for acts considered offences under international legislation and the Criminal Code.
This excluded the principle of dual criminality. One of the failings of the system was evident in this, if someone committed an offence towards a child abroad, and the country where the offence took place did not criminalize that act or did not ratify the Optional Protocol, then it was very difficult to extradite.
In case of female genital mutilation for example, heavy sanctions were accorded by the domestic legislation, and so the transnational aspect of the practice was on the increase, with the people going abroad.
If a perpetrator was a national of Burkina Faso and committed a crime abroad, domestic courts could deliver sanction upon return to the country; the problem was in establishing the facts of the crime and identifying the perpetrator.

Legal entities had the obligation to protect children from exploitation, and in the tourism sector the Government sensitized both legal and physical persons about the provisions of the Optional Protocol.
There were no specific budget lines allocated to combating violence against children, but the financial and technical resources were provided thorough the budget of the Ministry for Children.

Trafficking of children was clearly defined in the law and the Government worked with its partners to operate the helpline. 
One of the priorities of the Poverty Reduction Strategy was child protection, and given the numbers of young people in the population, the child was a focus for the Government.
The Ministry for Social Action was the focal point for all the child protection activities of the Government. Caring for the taléb children was part of the activities for children living in the street and the Government had established a technical committee for their protection.

Concerning the legislative framework, it was important to say that there was an inter-ministerial Committee looking into the overhauling of the Criminal Code to bring it in line with international instruments that Burkina Faso had ratified. With regard to coordination issues, the National Council for the Survival and Development of Children was an intern-ministerial unit composed of all the ministries that had rights of children in their mandates, while members of civil society were involved as technical and financial partners.
The Council conducted the National Children’s Forum which took place every three years to look into children’s issues, and held regular meetings at the national and regional levels.
The Council was in charge of coordinating the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols and the African Charter on the Rights and the Welfare of the Child.

Examination of the Report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict

Questions by Experts

BERNARD GASTAUD,

Committee Expert acting as Rapporteur for the Report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, welcomed the progress in Burkina Faso, a country that lived in peace, but situations in several neighbouring countries, such as Mali at the moment and earlier Côte d’Ivoire, should be observed.
According to the law, conscription into the army or foreign armed groups was a crime, but it was not sufficiently defined in the law.
What was the status of the revision of the Criminal Code and would it define those elements?
The conflict between the armed groups and the national army in Mali made it very likely that children would be recruited.
How would Burkina Faso prevent any recruitment of the children on its territory?
What measures were being taken and what means were been mobilized to strengthen the knowledge of children’s rights?
Children aged 11 and older could be schooled in military-type schools, could the delegation provide more information about this?

Other Experts asked the delegation about the mechanism to identify children involved in armed conflict in Mali among the arriving refugees, training of border officials to this effect and the services offered to the children; the increase in the involvement of girls in the military schools; and the training of peacekeepers in the two Optional Protocols.

Response by Delegation
Le Prytanée Militaire de Kadiogo (PMK) was a military school that had the authority to recruit children coming out of the primary school, aged 11, and provide them with an education for both military and civilian careers.
At the end of their schooling, they had to pass a test to join the military.
There had been no cases of abuse in those settings.
With regard to the presence of women in the army, the Government was promoting recruitment of both young men and young women and training them according to international standards to ensure they could be sent to other countries.
The Unit for Children’s Rights was in charge of training and dissemination of the Convention and the Optional Protocols among the soldiers.

Concerning the prevention of recruitment of children beyond the borders, the delegation said that a committee had been set up to work with the regions where a problem was identified to assist them in ensuring that the rights of children were not violated and that cross-border conscriptions did not take place.
Schools had been set in refugee camps to ensure that they continued their education and to provide a more secure environment for the children.

The ratification of the Rome Statute meant the overhauling of several legal statutes and the inter-ministerial Committee had set up a special law to implement the Rome Statute.
There were no cases of Burkinabe children conscripted into armed conflict in the country or abroad.
Armed forces were trained in international humanitarian law and on the Optional Protocols; training was done in universities, while various training activities were organized by several ministries. 
An inter-ministerial Committee on international humanitarian law was in place and was in charge of providing training courses in the subject matter.

The Committee Experts asked about a complaint mechanism that children or their parents had at their disposal to report the involvement of children in armed conflict; whether the recruitment of children was a crime under the law; and the means and resources for providing care for refugees.

The delegation said that it would be very difficult to be certain that there was no cross-border recruitment of children.
The crisis in Mali was still ongoing and it shared 2,000 kilometres of border with Burkina Faso.
The law on the implementation of the Rome Statute was being drafted at the moment and it was important to disassociate the provisions of the Rome Statute and look separately into the offences.

No one had brought to the attention of the Government the presence of Burkinabe children in any armed forces.
Caring for refugees started with the National Refugee Council identifying them and providing basic services such as food, shelter and health, as well as psychosocial services.
School aged children were sent to school and those of university age were sent to the capital and enrolled in public universities.
Concerning punishment of those found guilty of the recruitment of children in armed conflict, the delegation said that the international provisions needed to be transposed in domestic laws and that was one of the purposes of the ongoing revision of the laws.

Burkina Faso intended to apply a holistic approach to children’s rights, including those guaranteed by the Optional Protocol; budgets were not allocated specifically for this purpose, but budgetary lines existed in relevant ministries, and some resources were being provided by partners such as the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The responsibility for the prevention of the recruitment of children for the conflict in Mali had been devolved to the provinces which had been informed of measures they could undertake, and about the ways to deal with the refugees.
Provincial authorities were supported by partners such as the United Nations Children’s Fund.
With regard to the monitoring of the cross-border recruitment, the military was involved as well, and its officers had received training in children’s rights and had in place the military security mechanism to protect civilians in times of crisis.

In addition to social protection measures for refugees entering Burkina Faso, there were sensitization activities for refugees and the local population on a number of subjects.
Assisting refugees was not a simple undertaking, from their identification and registration, to the identification of children in special circumstances.
Measures were effective but were not enough given the number of refugees and the scope of the crisis.
The staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees were working on sites in the north of the country and assisting the authorities in providing services and assistance to the refugee population.

Concluding Remarks
HATEM KOTRANE,
Committee Vice-Chairperson and the Rapporteur for the Report under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, said that Burkina Faso was making significant efforts to align its legislation with the spirit of the Convention and the Optional Protocol, but the fact was that the very little reform of penal and civil legislation had been undertaken.
All the crimes and offences mentioned by the Optional Protocol must be included in the domestic legislation.
The focus must be on prevention too, in the tourist industry, international adoption and alternative care, children living in the street and other areas.
The Committee recommended further efforts in sensitization and awareness raising among the population on children’s rights and the provisions of the Optional Protocol.

BERNARD GASTAUD,
Committee Expert acting as Rapporteur for the Report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, noted the efforts made by Burkina Faso in dealing with the influx of Malian refugees given the scarce resources the country had, and reiterated the concern about the lack of criminal legal provisions in line with international standards.

DIEUDONNE MARIE DESIRE MANLY, 

Technical Advisor, Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity, expressed satisfaction with the discussion with the Committee and reiterated the openness to recommendations of the Committee to improve the rights of children in Burkina Faso without any discrimination.

YANGHEE LEE,
Committee Vice-Chairperson, said that Burkina Faso knew where the challenges were and emphasized that the Optional Protocol on the sale of children went beyond the narrow scope of trafficking and expressed hope that the delegation would go back to Burkina Faso with that understanding.

Egypt: Prosecuting writers and journalists by 24 cases and reports on charges of insulting the president

Cairo January 20, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said 
the number of the cases against the journalists, media-professionals and writers due to allegations of insulting the president Mohamed Morsi in 200 days, which reached 24 cases.

It a new record in prosecuting the journalists, which is never achieved by any Egyptian president or a king, since adding this elastic accusations which was disregard by all the democratic countries in the world.

This report, which was issued by ANHRI and entitled “The Crime of Insulting the President, An Authoritarian Regime Crime”, included comparison between the president Morsi, which has been only 200 days in the term, and all the president, kings and Sultan of Egypt since the end of the 19th century and through the 20th century and until the end of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Despite the short period of Morsi in the term,
which is the shortest until now, he topped the list of the users of the insulting the president indisputably.
As it reached 24 cases and report.

The second position was to the King Farouk, the last kings of Egypt before the revolution and who been to power for 16 years, by number of 7 prosecutions due to insulting the king.

Then in the third place came the ousted president Mubarak, by number of 4 cases, which included 6 defendants in 30 years of ruling, after that Khedive Abbas Hilmi II by number of 3 cases and 6 defendants during 22 years of being of power.

The most severe judgment, by the virtue of this article, was against the poet “Monier Saaid Hana” in 2009, which was issued by Maga’ah in Menya for three years imprisonment, but was acquitted in the appellate court while the citizen “Bishoy Camille Kamel” in the prison for 6 years, which was issued by the court of Tamah in the Sohag Governorate and insulting the president Morsi and three years of insulting Islam and a year of insulting another citizen.

The number of cases and reports of insulting the president in all the cases since the beginning of using it at the end of the 19 century, which reached since 1897 until 2009 (112 years) of 23 defendant, distributed among 14 cases, while the number of the cases during the term of the president were, (in 200 days), 24 cases and reports which included 23 defendant.
 

Δευτέρα, 21 Ιανουαρίου 2013

18ΑΝΩ -Κ.ΜΑΤΣΑ: μια γιατρός που τιμά τον όρκο της/ αναδημοσίευση ενός συγκλονιστικού άρθρου..


 
18 ΑΝΩ: Όχι «ομερτά», κ. Υπουργέ. Θεραπεία

 Καταγγελίες και δημοσιεύματα «έγκριτων» ΜΜΕ...
 
Της Μαρινίκης Αλεβιζοπούλου

Σοβαρές κατηγορίες εναντίον της Μονάδας Απεξάρτησης 18ΑΝΩ ήρθαν προ ημερών στη δημοσιότητα. Όμως τα γεγονότα είναι διαφορετικά από όσα υποστήριξαν τα ΜΜΕ. Και τα πραγματικά αυτά γεγονότα δεν δείχνουν παραπτώματα στη λειτουργία της επιστημονικά έγκυρης Μονάδας Απεξάρτησης αλλά μια συντονισμένη επίθεση, με αρωγό τα φίλια ΜΜΕ, εναντίον όσων αντιστέκονται στην πολιτική του υπουργείου Υγείας να καταργήσει τα «κλειστά» προγράμματα κοινωνικής επανένταξης και να τα αντικαταστήσει με την χορήγηση υποκαταστάτων.

Για «κλοπιμαία» που βρέθηκαν στη Μονάδα Απεξάρτησης 18 ΑΝΩ έκαναν λόγο τηλεοπτικές εκπομπές και δημοσιεύματα του Τύπου, προ ημερών, καλώντας το κοινό να μπει σε υποψίες για την εντιμότητα ενός από τους πιο καταξιωμένους και ευυπόληπτους φορείς στον χώρο της δημόσιας υγείας.

Το δημοσίευμα του Βήματος, λόγου χάρη, στις 7 Απριλίου, είχε τίτλο «Εισαγγελική έρευνα για κλοπιμαία στο 18 ΑΝΩ – Αφορά σάκους που προέρχονταν από το πλιάτσικο της 12ης Φεβρουαρίου». Από το άρθρο της αρμόδιας συντάκτριας για το υπουργείο Υγείας, Έλενας Φυντανίδου, μάθαμε ότι το θέμα είχε ανακύψει μόλις πριν κάποιες ώρες, ύστερα από σχετική αναφορά του δημοσιογράφου Ιορδάνη Χασαπόπουλου, στην πρωινή ενημερωτική εκπομπή «MEGA Σαββατοκύριακο».

Σύμφωνα με αυτό και άλλα παρόμοια δημοσιεύματα, η υπόθεση είχε ως εξής: Νοσηλεύτρια του δημόσιου, «στεγνού» (άνευ υποκαταστάτων) και «κλειστού» (εθελοντική επικέντρωση στη θεραπεία, χωρίς περισπασμούς από εξωτερικούς παράγοντες) προγράμματος απεξάρτησης, είχε καταγγείλει εγγράφως στον διοικητή του Ψυχιατρικού Νοσοκομείου Αττικής, όπου υπάγεται το 18 ΑΝΩ, τον εντοπισμό «κλοπιμαίων στην μονάδα απεξάρτησης που προέρχονταν από το πλιάτσικο στα λεηλατημένα καταστήματα της Αθήνας».

Σύμφωνα, μάλιστα, με τις ίδιες καταγγελίες, «η υπεύθυνη του προγράμματος (σ.σ.: άνευ ονόματος) εφέρετο να έχει καλέσει, στη συνέχεια, γιατρούς και νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό να δώσουν όρκο τιμής ότι δεν θα αποκαλυφθεί το περιστατικό». «Ομερτά», όπως καταλόγισαν στη συνέχεια άλλα δημοσιογραφικά site – μολονότι κανένας από τους αποκαλυπτικούς αυτούς δημοσιογράφους δεν το έκρινε σκόπιμο να μπει στον κόπο να ζητήσει εξηγήσεις από οποιονδήποτε υπεύθυνο του προγράμματος.

Για την «ομερτά» ο ίδιος ο υπουργός Υγείας Ανδρέας Λοβέρδος μας ενημέρωσε μέσω ανακοίνωσης την ίδια κιόλας μέρα –για την ακρίβεια λίγες ώρες μετά την εκπομπή του Σαββάτου– ότι διατάχθηκε ΕΔΕ «με το ερώτημα της παύσης κάθε υπευθύνου», ενώ επιβεβαίωσε την προαναγγελθείσα από την δημοσιογράφο εισαγγελική έρευνα «για το ποιοι φιλοξενούνται εκεί μέσα και ποιοι είναι αυτοί, γιατί είναι τέσσερα συγκεκριμένα άτομα, ποιοι κάνουν το πλιάτσικο, ποιοι χτυπάνε, τρομοκρατικές ομάδες, τελοσπάντων…».

Οι εξηγήσεις που δεν ζητήθηκαν

Η άνευ ονόματος αναφερόμενη στα δημοσιεύματα επιστημονική υπεύθυνη του 18 ΑΝΩ, είναι στην πραγματικότητα η διευθύντριά του και είναι κάτι παραπάνω από γνωστή – και σίγουρα στην πλειοψηφία των δημοσιογράφων, τουλάχιστον αυτών που συνδέουν την έννοια της δημοσιογραφίας με το ρεπορτάζ. Λέγεται Κατερίνα Μάτσα και είναι πρωτοπόρος στον τομέα της απεξάρτησης και της κοινωνικής επανένταξης Και ο υπουργός την ξέρει. Τον προειδοποιούσε παντοιοτρόπως, πολύ πριν την σημερινή κατάσταση, ότι η κρίση οδηγεί σε αύξηση της εξάρτησης και ότι οφείλουμε να στηρίξουμε ως κοινωνία πιο πολύ από ποτέ «τους ευαίσθητους δέκτες αυτής της συστημικής κρίσης, που οδηγεί στον κατακερματισμό του κοινωνικού ιστού, αρχίζοντας από τα πιο αδύναμα στοιχεία».

Σε πείσμα της αναμφίβολα ορθόδοξης δημοσιογραφικής πρακτικής των άλλων ΜΜΕ που βρίσκει τα στοιχεία με… μαγικό τρόπο, το UNFOLLOW απευθύνθηκε στην ίδια την επιστημονική υπεύθυνη και τη ρώτησε τι συνέβη.

«Κάποια παιδιά πήγαν στην πορεία της 12ης Φεβρουαρίου» μας απάντησε η Κ. Μάτσα «και επιστρέφοντας στον ξενώνα στον οποίο διαμένουν, βρήκαν πεταμένα στο δρόμο κάποια πράγματα –ρούχα και παπούτσια– και τα πήραν. Την επομένη το πρωί, τα ίδια τα παιδιά θεώρησαν ότι αυτή η πράξη τους σηματοδοτούσε πισωγύρισμα στον παλιό τρόπο ζωής, “ολίσθηση” στην πορεία της κοινωνικής επανένταξης, όπως λέγεται επιστημονικά, και έτσι αποφάσισαν μόνοι τους να μιλήσουν στους θεραπευτές τους. Από αυτούς ενημερώθηκε όλη η θεραπευτική ομάδα η οποία και το αντιμετώπισε όπως όφειλε: ως θεραπευτικό ζήτημα. Επομένως υπήρχε εξ’ ορισμού το ιατρικό απόρρητο και όχι οι “όρκοι σιωπής” ή “ομερτά”, όπως είπαν και έγραψαν. Είναι θεραπευτική αρχή το να μην ποινικοποιούμε τη θεραπεία, η οποία ούτως ή άλλως έχει τους κανόνες της και τις αρχές της».

Και τι συνέβη, ρωτήσαμε, με τα παιδιά που ενεπλάκησαν στο περιστατικό; «Έφυγαν» απάντησε «από τους ξενώνες και επέστρεψαν στο στάδιο της εμψύχωσης». Το θέμα, ωστόσο, όπως δηλώνει και η ίδια αλλά επιβεβαιώνουν και οι υπόλοιποι θεραπευτές συζητήθηκε σε όλες τις δομές και αναπτύχθηκε πολύ σοβαρός προβληματισμός για αυτό το πισωγύρισμα. «Και τα παιδιά που συμμετείχαν και εκείνα που φοβήθηκαν και δεν κατέβηκαν στη διαδήλωση, κατάλαβαν πολύ καλά το πώς, ενώ δίνεις τη μάχη της κοινωνικής επανένταξης, μπορεί κάποια στιγμή να ολισθήσεις στην παραβατικότητα. Κάποια μάλιστα από τα παιδιά που έκαναν το πισωγύρισμα, μέσα σε αυτούς τους μήνες που μεσολάβησαν, προχώρησαν τόσο στη θεραπεία τους, ώστε σήμερα να επιστρέφουν στον ξενώνα».

Το ζήτημα λοιπόν δεν προέκυψε από την κλειστή φάση του προγράμματος, όπως γράφτηκε στα ΜΜΕ, αφήνοντας να εννοηθεί ότι δίδεται «ειδική άδεια» από την επιστημονική υπεύθυνη για να συμμετέχουν τα παιδιά στις διαδηλώσεις. Προέκυψε από τους ξενώνες επανένταξης, στους οποίους ελεύθερα μετακινούνται οι διαμένοντες. Επίσης, το θέμα συζητήθηκε και στις τρεις επανεντάξεις του 18 ΑΝΩ (δύο ανδρών, μία γυναικών – χωρητικότητας περίπου 100 ανθρώπων) και από όλους τους θεραπευτές. Μάλλον δεν χρειάζεται πολύ μυαλό για να καταλάβει κανείς ότι αν θέλει κάποιος να κρατήσει κάτι μυστικό, δεν το κοινοποιεί σε… 100 άτομα.

Αυτά είναι τα γεγονότα: Όχι «ομερτά» αλλά ιατρικό απόρρητο, όχι «υπόθαλψη» αλλά θεραπευτική διαδικασία και συζήτηση μεταξύ των θεραπευτών.

Οι ακαριαίες αντιδράσεις των… αρχών

Μήπως, ωστόσο, έχει κάποια βάση ο ισχυρισμός πως το περιστατικό καταδεικνύει ότι το πρόγραμμα δεν λειτούργησε όσο αποτελεσματικά θα έπρεπε;

«Με βάσει τα διεθνή δεδομένα» λέει η Κ. Μάτσα «αναφορικά με τη σχέση τοξικομανίας και παραβατικότητας, όταν ένας τοξικομανής μπαίνει σε στεγνό πρόγραμμα έχει ένα 80% παραβατικότητα. Όταν φεύγει, η παραβατικότητα μηδενίζεται. Στην πορεία του προγράμματος μπορεί να έχεις κάποιες ολισθήσεις. Αυτές όμως, εφόσον παραμένει στο πρόγραμμα, αντιμετωπίζονται θεραπευτικά και όχι νομικά. Αυτό μετέδωσαν και οι παλαιότεροι θεραπευτές στους νεώτερους και όλοι τους έκαναν έξτρα συναντήσεις για το θέμα. Δεν πέρασε έτσι από το πρόγραμμα και ουδέποτε είπαμε ότι δεν θα αποκαλύψουμε πουθενά τι έγινε.

Το γεγονός όμως ότι δύο μήνες μετά, μία νοσηλεύτρια, η οποία ήταν και υπεύθυνη του ξενώνα, καταφεύγει στη νοσηλευτική υπηρεσία, χωρίς να έρθει σε επαφή ούτε με τον επιστημονικά υπεύθυνο της επανένταξης ούτε με εμένα, που είμαι η διευθύντρια του προγράμματος, και έπειτα απευθύνεται στον σύλλογο εργαζομένων του ΨΝΑ, λες και πρόκειται για συνδικαλιστικό ζήτημα και από εκεί στον διοικητή, μάλλον άλλα πράγματα δείχνει». Και γίνεται σαφέστερη: «Αυτό δείχνει αφενός ότι υπάρχει ένα σχέδιο να στιγματιστούν τα παιδιά.

Γιατί τους παίρνει όλους η μπόρα με χαρακτηρισμούς όπως “πλιατσικολόγοι” και “εγκληματίες”. Άντε τώρα να πάει ένα παιδί να ζητήσει δουλειά λέγοντας ότι τελείωσε το 18 ΑΝΩ. Μέχρι τώρα το έλεγαν με περηφάνια. Τώρα θα ντρέπονται. Επίσης σπιλώνει τους θεραπευτές οι οποίοι δίνουν την ψυχή τους. Είχα σκοπό να βγω στην τηλεόραση να δείξω τα εκκαθαριστικά τους. Αρχίζουν από 200 ευρώ το μήνα και το ανώτερο είναι στα 600 ευρώ. Πώς να μιλήσουμε όμως τώρα όταν ο δημόσιος διάλογος δαιμονοποίησε ολόκληρο το πρόγραμμα;».

Όσο για το τι πιστεύει για την έκβαση της υπόθεσης; «Είναι απαράδεκτη και πιστεύω ότι θα καταπέσει. Έχουμε αποδείξει τόσα χρόνια τι είμαστε ως πρόγραμμα. Ο κόσμος ξέρει τι προσφέρει το 18 ΑΝΩ».

Της ίδιας άποψης είναι και η δικηγόρος του προγράμματος, Ζωή Κωνσταντοπούλου, η οποία λέει για την προς διερεύνηση κατηγορία της «κλοπής» και της «υπόθαλψης εγκληματία», με την οποία βαρύνεται το πρόγραμμα: «Πρώτα απ’ όλα να ξεκαθαρίσουμε ότι σε καμία περίπτωση δεν πρόκειται για ποινικό αδίκημα. Το να βρεις στα σκουπίδια, στην άκρη του δρόμου, πεταμένα ρούχα και να τα πάρεις, δεν είναι κλοπή. Ο νόμος δεν προβλέπει κάτι τέτοιο. Δεν συμμετείχαν σε κανένα πλιάτσικο, τα βρήκαν στο δρόμο και τα πήραν. Μάλιστα μιλάμε και για αντικείμενα ευτελούς αξίας, ρούχα και παπούτσια. Από κει και πέρα, έχει ένα ενδιαφέρον το πώς διαβιβάστηκε ένα ήσσονος νομικής αξίας θέμα στην Εισαγγελία αλλά και το πόσο άμεσα ένα τμήμα, όπως αυτό του Αγίου Παντελεήμονα, το οποίο έχει ένα σωρό υποθέσεις να χειριστεί, έστειλε μέσα σε ελάχιστο διάστημα αστυνομικούς της Ασφάλειας σε άλλο ξενώνα του προγράμματος, γιατί είχαν, λέει, πληροφορίες ότι θα βρουν τα αντικείμενα. Ο χρόνος λοιπόν κατά τον οποίο ενήργησαν οι Αρχές, ύστερα από την καταγγελία που θυμήθηκε να κάνει η καταγγέλλουσα δύο μήνες μετά το συμβάν, έχουν από μόνα τους ένα ενδιαφέρον».

Όπως προκύπτει, πράγματι, από τη δική μας έρευνα, η καταγγελία της νοσηλεύτριας διαβιβάστηκε από τον ίδιο τον διοικητή του Ψ.Ν.Α. απευθείας στις εισαγγελικές αρχές, χωρίς πρώτα να ερευνήσει ο ίδιος μέσω εσωτερικής προκαταρκτικής έρευνας, ως φυσικός προϊστάμενος της διευθύντριας Κ. Μάτσα, αν πρώτα απ’ όλα η καταγγελία ήταν διερευνητέα.

Εντύπωση προκαλεί ότι ο διοικητής επέλεξε να θέσει σε κίνδυνο τη λειτουργία της ίδιας της υπηρεσίας υγείας, της οποίας προΐσταται, ενεργοποιώντας μια διαδικασία που κατέληξε σε αστυνομικούς να χτυπούν τις πόρτες των ξενώνων, διαταράσσοντας έτσι τις ευαίσθητες ισορροπίες όλων των θεραπευομένων και διακινδυνεύοντας ό,τι έχουν επιτύχει ως τώρα, και προκαλώντας δημοσιότητα δυσανάλογη με τις πραγματικές διαστάσεις του ζητήματος. Προφανώς, η κατ’ εξαίρεση αστραπιαία κινητοποίηση της εισαγγελίας και των διωκτικών αρχών, καθώς και η αναπόφευκτη μεγάλη δημοσιότητα, ήταν κατά την κρίση του διοικητή… μονόδρομος, για μια υπόθεση πεταμένων ρούχων.

Ο διοικητής του νοσοκομείου, παρεμπιπτόντως, διορίστηκε στο Ψ.Ν.Α. το καλοκαίρι, με εκείνη την περιβόητη μεταμεσονύχτια απόφαση του υπουργού Υγείας Ανδρέα Λοβέρδου, με την οποία αντικατέστησε όλους τους διοικητές νοσοκομείων. Είναι ο Όθωνας Χαραλαμπάκης, ο οποίος τυγχάνει και πρώην σύμβουλος του υπουργού Υγείας. Είναι διοικητής των νοσοκομείων «Δαφνί» και «Δρομοκαΐτειο». Όταν επικοινωνήσαμε μαζί του, σεβόμενος, όπως μας είπε, το γεγονός ότι η έρευνα βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη, δεσμεύεται από τον εμπιστευτικό της χαρακτήρα και… δεν μπορεί να μας μιλήσει επ’ αυτής. Τα ερωτήματα γιατί δεν κάλεσε ποτέ την υφισταμένη του διευθύντρια για εξηγήσεις και γιατί δεν επέλεξε να ελέγξει πρώτα εσωτερικά την βαρύτητα των καταγγελιών, προστατεύοντας έτσι το ίδιο του το πρόγραμμα, προτού το παραδώσει βορά στα ΜΜΕ, διαβιβάζοντας μια καταγγελία για την οποία όφειλε να γνωρίζει πόση δημοσιότητα θα πάρει, μένουν αναπάντητα.

Ο υπουργός, οι «εξτρεμιστές» και τα «εύκολα» υποκατάστατα

Ο υπουργός Υγείας Α. Λοβέρδος και η διευθύντρια του 18 ΑΝΩ Κ. Μάτσα έχουν διαμορφωμένη «σχέση»: κατ’ εξοχήν πεδίο αντιπαράθεσής τους αποτελεί η πολιτική του υπουργείου υγείας σχετικά με την απεξάρτηση – καθώς η Κ. Μάτσα, που ευθέως πλήττεται από το ζήτημα που ανέκυψε, είναι μια από τις ηχηρότερες επικριτικές φωνές της πολιτικής του υπουργείου που προωθεί τα προγράμματα υποκαταστάτων και υπονομεύει τα «στεγνά».

«Ένας άνθρωπος που μπήκε στα ναρκωτικά» μας λέει η Κ. Μάτσα «δεν θα σταματήσει αν δεν αλλάξει ριζικά. Αυτό το παθητικό, άβουλο, ανασφαλές πλάσμα που είναι ο άνθρωπος στη χρήση, δεν μπορεί να σταματήσει παρά μόνο όταν μέσω της ψυχοθεραπείας καταφέρει να σηκώσει ανάστημα, να καταλάβει, να υπερασπιστεί τα δικαιώματά του και εντέλει να διεκδικήσει το δικαίωμά του στη ζωή. Οι εφαρμοζόμενες πολιτικές των υποκαταστάτων, όμως, αλλά και του ταυτόχρονου πολέμου στα στεγνά προγράμματα, αποδεικνύουν ότι κάποιοι δεν θέλουν τέτοιους ανθρώπους. Αλήθεια, προτιμούν να τους συντηρούν σε καταστολή με υποκατάστατα;»

Από το περασμένο καλοκαίρι, ο υπουργός από την πλευρά του αναφερόταν υπερηφάνως, από την ίδια εκπομπή του MEGA, στην κατάργηση «της λίστας της ντροπής του ΟΚΑΝΑ», μέσω του νέου προγράμματος χορήγησης μεθαδόνης από τα νοσοκομεία. Ίσως, μάλιστα, να αναφερόταν και στην Κ. Μάτσα όταν δήλωνε: «Τόσα χρόνια δεν προχωρούσαμε γιατί έχουμε στερεότυπα. Γιατί λέγαμε ότι για να χορηγήσουμε ένα υποκατάστατο πρέπει να έχουμε τρεις γιατρούς, δύο ψυχολόγους, δύο νοσοκόμες, τρία δωμάτια, τέσσερα κρεβάτια… Κάτσε ρε φίλε! Πώς θα τα φτιάξεις όλα αυτά;».

Και ο υπουργός Υγείας συνέχιζε: «Θα πας λοιπόν σ’ ένα ταχύρυθμο, εύκολο πρόγραμμα χορήγησης υποκαταστάτων σε πείσμα των εξτρεμιστών του χώρου. Γιατί το θέμα των ναρκωτικών το πληρώνουμε εξαιτίας των εξτρεμιστών του χώρου που επέβαλαν ότι όλα αυτά πρέπει να είναι τέλεια για να δώσεις ένα γραμμάριο». Υπενθυμίζοντάς μας δε τις προεκλογικές δηλώσεις του τότε ηγέτη της «Μεγάλης Δημοκρατικής Παράταξης», βάσει των οποίων «ακόμα και κατ’ οίκον θα το στέλνουμε προκειμένου να εξαλείψουμε τη λίστα της ντροπής», ο υπουργός Υγείας επεκτάθηκε στο παράδειγμα ενός πολυϊατρείου του ΙΚΑ όπου «ουδείς το παίρνει χαμπάρι διότι είναι μια συναλλαγή [sic] ενός ανθρώπου σαν κι εμάς που πάει με το αυτοκίνητο ή τη μηχανή του, παίρνει το υποκατάστατό του και πάει στη δουλειά του». (Η ίδια εκπομπή έχει προσφέρει κι άλλοτε φιλόξενο βήμα στην έκφραση εκτίμησης του Α. Λοβέρδου για τον Γ. Παπανδρέου. Εκεί είχε δηλώσει και το περίφημο «Θα γίνει μακελειό αν πειράξει κανείς τον Παπανδρέου…», θέλοντας να αποτρέψει το ενδεχόμενο πιθανής δίωξης του τέως πρωθυπουργού για την διόγκωση του ελλείμματος της χώρας.)

Η απάντηση της Κ. Μάτσα ήταν άμεση, λίγες ημέρες μετά την συνέντευξη Τύπου που παραχώρησε ο Υπουργός το καλοκαίρι, εξαγγέλλοντας το πρόγραμμα υποκαταστάτων και το κλείσιμο δομών του ΟΚΑΝΑ: «Από κυβερνητικούς κύκλους προωθείται συστηματικά, με τη συνδρομή, μάλιστα, τηλεοπτικών εκπομπών υψηλής τηλεθέασης, η αντίληψη ότι η τοξικομανία αποτελεί “χρόνια ανίατη νόσο”, που η θεραπεία της συνίσταται στη χορήγηση υποκατάστατων των ναρκωτικών, περίπου σαν την ινσουλίνη του διαβητικού! Μ’ αυτό τον τρόπο, ανάγοντας αυθαίρετα στην ιατρική παθολογία τον κοινωνικό βασικά χαρακτήρα του πολύπλοκου και πολυπαραγοντικού φαινομένου της τοξικομανίας, επιχειρείται η απενοχοποίηση της κοινωνίας και η άρνηση των αρμοδίων να αντιμετωπίσουν τους γενεσιουργούς παράγοντες».

Η «σχέση» τους δυναμιτίστηκε έτι περεταίρω με την εξαγγελία του υπουργείου τον Αύγουστο για σημαντική μείωση των δαπανών σε φορείς πρόνοιας και ψυχικής υγείας, καθώς ακολούθησαν μεγάλες κινητοποιήσεις από τους δημόσιους λειτουργούς και ασφαλώς και από την ίδια την επιστημονική υπεύθυνη του 18 ΑΝΩ. Και το ποτήρι μοιάζει να ξεχειλίζει ύστερα από την στοχοποίηση των τοξικοεξαρτημένων και την αύξηση των οροθετικών χρηστών. Σε συνέντευξη Τύπου μάλιστα της Ελληνικής Εταιρίας για το AIDS, στην οποία είχε παραβρεθεί και ο ίδιος ο υπουργός, ο πρόεδρός της Μάριος Λαζανάς είχε –μάλλον αυθαίρετα, σύμφωνα με την πλειονότητα των συναδέλφων του– δηλώσει ότι «υπάρχουν τοξικομανείς που θέλουν να κολλήσουν για να πάρουν το επίδομα της Πρόνοιας». Ο Α. Λοβέρδος με τη σειρά του δήλωσε συντετριμμένος από τα αποτελέσματα των ερευνών του ΚΕΕΛΠΝΟ, εξ ου και έσπευσε να προμηθευτεί 100 χιλιάδες καινούργιες σύριγγες ως μέσο προστασίας.

Σε ερώτηση του UNFOLLOW κατά τη διάρκεια εκείνης της συνέντευξης Τύπου τότε γιατί μειώνουν τις δαπάνες σε φορείς απεξάρτησης, η απάντηση συνοπτικά ήταν ότι ανοίγουν μονάδες χορήγησης υποκαταστάτων μέσα στα νοσοκομεία. Σε σχετικό ρεπορτάζ του UNFOLLOW#1 (Δεκέμβριος 2011), η Κ. Μάτσα είχε αναφέρει, μεταξύ άλλων: «Με τα προγράμματα αυτά, ανάγεται αυθαίρετα στην ιατρική παθολογία ο κοινωνικός χαρακτήρας της τοξικομανίας […] ενώ ταυτόχρονα το μήνυμα που περνάμε στην κοινωνία είναι ότι αυτά τα παιδιά είναι άρρωστα, ότι δεν θα γίνουν ποτέ καλά, οπότε ας φροντίσουμε να μη μας ενοχλούν και άρα πολύ. Δημιουργούμε εξιλαστήρια θύματα και αρνούμαστε να εξετάσουμε τις αιτίες».

Η υγεία της κρίσης

Ο υπεύθυνος του Κέντρου Πρόληψης Αχαρνών και πρόεδρος του Σωματείου Εργαζομένων Κέντρων Πρόληψης, Παναγιώτης Τριανταφύλλου, επιχειρεί να αποτυπώσει την πολιτική του υπουργείου Υγείας σε αριθμούς: «Οι μειώσεις που εξαγγέλθηκαν τον περασμένο Αύγουστο από το υπουργείο Υγείας σε όλες τις δαπάνες για την πρόληψη, την απεξάρτηση και την επανένταξη των χρηστών, βάσει των στοιχείων που συλλέξαμε από τις επαφές μας με τους αντίστοιχους συλλόγους εργαζομένων ήταν: – 44% για τα Νομικά Πρόσωπα Δημοσίου Δικαίου πρόνοιας, – 52% στις μονάδες ψυχικής υγείας, – 50% στα κέντρα πρόληψης, – 33% στον ΟΚΑΝΑ, – 20% στο ΚΕΘΕΑ. Δεν είμαστε εναντίον των παράλληλων προγραμμάτων υποκαταστάτων, αρκεί να μην επιλέγονται σε βάρος των στεγνών προγραμμάτων κοινωνικής επανένταξης.

Και σε αυτό το σημείο θα πρέπει να αναφέρουμε ότι καταργήθηκαν προγράμματα υψηλών προδιαγραφών του ΟΚΑΝΑ, στα οποία χορηγούνταν υποκατάστατα με την ανάλογη, ωστόσο, ψυχοκοινωνική υποστήριξη. Ο τρόπος, λοιπόν, με τον οποίο επενδύουν σε προγράμματα υποκαταστάτων, θυμίζει τον τρόπο με τον οποίο επενδύουν στην εκκαθάριση του κέντρου. Επενδύουμε στην καταστολή με την ευρεία έννοια. Κι εδώ έχουν μια ιδιαίτερη σημασία οι συμβολισμοί. Η λέξη “εξάρτηση” δεν χρησιμοποιείται τυχαία. Ο τοξικοεξαρτημένος, εξαρτάται από κάτι. Ο απεξαρτημένος είναι ανεξάρτητος. Έχει ελεύθερη βούληση. Το “υποκατάστατο” δεν θεραπεύει. Υποκαθιστά».

Ο Π. Τριανταφύλλου εμβαθύνει και στον ορισμό της τοξικοεξάρτησης που «κυριαρχεί», όπως λέει «στη συμβατική καθεστηκυία επιστημονική ιδεολογία, επενδυμένη με το κύρος της ψυχιατρικής». «Βάσει αυτού» εξηγεί «όπως ορίζεται στο εγχειρίδιο των διαγνωστικών κριτηρίων ψυχιατρικών διαταραχών DSM IV της Αμερικάνικης Ψυχιατρικής Εταιρείας, η τοξικοεξάρτηση είναι “αυτοπροκαλούμενη νόσος του εγκεφάλου, χρόνια και υποτροπιάζουσα”. Με τον όρο “νόσος”, δικαιολογούνται τα φάρμακα, τα υποκατάστατα δηλαδή.

Με τον όρο “αυτοπροκαλούμενη” υπονοείται ότι το ίδιο το άτομο φέρει την ευθύνη και άρα όχι η Πολιτεία. Από κοινωνικό φαινόμενο μετατρέπεται σε ατομικό και άρα απλώς πρέπει να φύγει από τη μέση για να μην ενοχλεί την υπόλοιπη κοινωνία. Με τον όρο δε “χρόνια”, δικαιολογείται η διαιώνιση του προβλήματος και όχι η λύση μέσω της κοινωνικής επανένταξης. Σε αυτή τη φιλοσοφία, την αμερικανική, κινείται και ο νέος νόμος περί ναρκωτικών και έχει ένα ενδιαφέρον το γιατί επελέγη η φιλοσοφία του αμερικανικού εγχειριδίου και όχι του διεθνούς, το οποίο ορίζει την εξάρτηση ως κοινωνικό φαινόμενο».

Υπάρχει, ωστόσο, ένα έστω και αδήλωτο αντεπιχείρημα της απέναντι πλευράς, το οποίο συνοψίζεται στην αναγκαιότητα της «λιτότητας» εν μέσω οικονομικής κρίσης. Ρωτάμε, συνεπώς: Είναι αλήθεια φθηνότερο το πρόγραμμα υποκαταστάτων σε σχέση με την απεξάρτηση και την κοινωνική επανένταξη; Ο υπεύθυνος του Κέντρου Mosaic του ΚΕΘΕΑ Δημήτρης Γιαννάτος απαντά: «Ακούγεται αρκετά προσφάτως ότι η μεθαδόνη κοστίζει μόλις 250 ευρώ τον χρόνο για το κάθε άτομο, ενώ τα έξοδα για τις μονάδες κοινωνικής επανένταξης είναι συγκριτικά πολύ υψηλότερα. Το ΚΕΘΕΑ πραγματοποίησε μία έρευνα την οποία έδωσε στη δημοσιότητα πριν λίγους μήνες, αναφορικά με το κόστος της εξάρτησης και τα οφέλη της θεραπείας. Από αυτήν προέκυπτε ότι η παραμονή και μόνο στη θεραπευτική κοινότητα, ανεξάρτητα από την τελική της έκβαση, έχει σημαντικά οφέλη για την κοινωνία.

Αλλά και καθαρά οικονομικά αν μιλήσουμε, η εξοικονόμηση προκύπτει από τη μείωση του κόστους των υπηρεσιών υγείας, δίωξης, απονομής της ποινικής δικαιοσύνης, σωφρονισμού καθώς και των άλλων εξόδων που προκύπτουν από τη ζωή στη χρήση και τις σχετιζόμενες με την εξάρτηση δραστηριότητες. Οι περικοπές της κρατικής επιχορήγησης στους οργανισμούς απεξάρτησης αυξάνουν μακροπρόθεσμα μεν, σημαντικά δε το δημοσιονομικό κόστος, δεδομένου ότι οι δαπάνες μεταφέρονται σε άλλους τομείς, όπως η δημόσια υγεία, το σύστημα ποινικής δικαιοσύνης κ.λπ.».

Ανακεφαλαιώνοντας, από μια «αποκάλυψη» που δεν αποκαλύπτει τίποτα, μια «ομερτά» που στην πραγματικότητα είναι ιατρικό απόρρητο, μια ταχύτατη αντίδραση αρχών που υπό άλλες συνθήκες θα απαιτούσε απείρως περισσότερο χρόνο και μάλιστα για μια υπόθεση ήσσονος νομικής σημασίας, η οποία προέκυψε από τον ασυνήθιστο ζήλο ενός διοικητή πρώην συμβούλου του υπουργού –και όλα αυτά υπό το φως μιας διαμάχης όπου σεβαστοί εκπρόσωποι της επιστημονικής κοινότητας αντιμάχονται την πολιτική του ίδιου υπουργού– τι είδους συμπέρασμα διαφαίνεται τελικά;

Η τεράστια αγωνία των αρχών και των ΜΜΕ για την «ολίσθηση» ορισμένων μελών ενός προγράμματος απεξάρτησης; Ή η απόπειρα σπίλωσης και δημόσιας διαπόμπευσης επιστημόνων που δεν κάμφθηκαν από τις κρούσεις περί «εξτρεμισμού» και συνέχισαν να διατρανώνουν την αντίθεσή τους σε μια πολιτική που διαθέτει ως μοναδικό επιχείρημα τη λιτότητα – ένα επιχείρημα που κι αυτό είναι λανθασμένο;

Πηγή: Unfollow


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Notebook21 Ιανουαρίου 2013 - 12:42 pm | Μαρινίκη Αλεβιζοπούλου