Kyrgyzstan – The Next Two Days

11 02 2010

The following is a brief update on Joint Council’s Mission to Krygyzstan.

Children are often abandoned on the steps of the hospital

On Wednesday and Thursday, we met with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, the Director of Child Protection and visited the Bishkek and Tokmak orphanages along with the Tokmak hospital.   We extend our thanks to the Deputy Minister of Health for his approval of our visits to the orphanages and hospital.

Today (Friday), we meet with Youth Human Rights Group, the Kyrgyz Ombudsman on Human Rights and the U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.

The meeting with the Deputy Minister of Health was most informative and he shared his concern regarding the well being of the children under his care.  During our meeting with the  UNICEF team, they stated their continuing support for the processing of all pending cases, provided that a full review of each case is completed.  However, a timeline for such a review was not known or offered.   They also firmly stated that UNICEF makes a clear distinction between child trafficking and issues related to intercountry adoption.  We expressed Joint Council’s appreciation of UNICEF Krygyzstan’s position that intercountry adoption is not related to child trafficking yet noted that UNICEF continues to connect the two in the press, most recently as related to the crisis in Haiti.  Joint Council continues to work towards ending any type of unethical practices in intercountry adoption and remains appalled at any comparison between child trafficking and intercountry adoption.  ll

The visits to the orphanages and hospital once again brought the reality of children’s suffering to us.    As we posted on the Joint Council Facebook page: children simply do not belong in orphanages.

120 children live in the Bishkek orphanage

And as we stated on our blog post a few days ago, the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach in ensuring that children live in a safe and permanent family.   Efforts by any government which reforms child protection systems while simultaneously causing abuse of a different type are seriously flawed.   Bringing attention to corruption only ends abuse when additional and timely support is put into place which prevents other abuse from occurring.   A failure to do so only replaces the type of abuse inflicted upon children.

During all meetings this week and again today, we call on the Kyrgyz government to continue its efforts to provide adequate protections to all children and to lift the suspension on intercountry adoption.

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4 responses

11 02 2010
mombycalling4me

Thank you so much for advocating for our little boy and for all the other children waiting for their families!

Mary from TN

12 02 2010
Sharon

Tom,
We are waiting for our little girl from BBH to come home. Words cannot adequately convey our grattitude for all of the work that you, Rebecca and the Joint Council have done! You guys are AWESOME!

12 02 2010
Linda

“They also firmly stated that UNICEF makes a clear distinction between child trafficking and issues related to intercountry adoption. ”

WHAT?!?!?! Are they kidding? I can’t believe they had the nerve to make that statement to you. I can’t speak for all adoptive parents, but UNICEF has made me feel like a criminal for wanting to give my daughter a safe and loving home. Shame on them.

15 02 2010
Kimberly

Tom – A million thanks for all you are doing to advocate for the children of Kyrgyzstan – and sweet little girl I hope will someday be my daughter who is still living in the BBH!
Blessigns to all of you who work tirelessley for the rights of childrens!

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