Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska: "The state and society have to change cardinally the attitude towards children who got into the trouble with the law"

The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights declared this thesis during the presentation of the special report of the national preventive mechanism "Observance of the rights of minors who are in corrective prisons of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine" prepared by the Kharkiv institute of social researches together with the Secretariat of the Commissioner with assistance of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the European Commission.

"In due time the whole concept was elaborated how to change criminal justice concerning minor children within it positions of special prosecutors and special judges are created. But it is absolutely not enough because condemnation for a criminal offense of the minor child is an issue not only of justice, but psychology and the society surrounding this child.

Punitive functions of the state have to change into educational that the young man or the girl, having been released after punishment serving, become full-fledged members of society and realized that two mobile phones stolen by them aren't worth to spend 4 years in jail", – Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska is convinced.

Also the leading expert of the Kharkiv institute of social researches Mr.Andriy Chernousov holds the same view.

"For today the system of execution of punishments of minors is such which can be regarded no more and not less as punishment with all problems inherent in it in modern Ukrainian society: bad food, excessively cruel requirements of the regime, lack of access to resocial and educational services, restriction of contacts with outside world, hard work and bad medicine. Such situation doesn't promote at all resocialization and correction of the children with delinquent behavior who committed crimes, and make them victims that in turn extremely complicates their return to normal life", – Ms.Andriy Chernousov noted.

A certain progress on the way of reforming of juvenile justice in Ukraine was noted by the Representative of the UN Children's fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine Ms.Giovanna Barberis.

According to her information, from 2005 till 2013 number of minor children in prisons of Ukraine decreased by 74%, and condemned in the same establishments – by 37%. However, as the special report testifies, in the sphere of criminal justice for minors there are many shortcomings. So, considerable part of children are arrested for insignificant crimes, there is no mechanism of complaints for conditions of their detention that violates human rights.

"The UNICEF urges Ukraine to undertake necessary measures in order that with all children who appear in prisons, are treated with respect and assisted them to become active members of society", – Ms. Giovanna Barberis emphasized.