Tskhinval hosted a video bridge between South Ossetia and Abkhazia ombudsmen for children's rights

Fri, 29/10/2021 - 08:41

A teleconference was held in the capital of South Ossetia, in which the children's ombudsman of South Ossetia Tatyana Tskhovrebova and the ombudsman for the rights of the child in Abkhazia Maktina Jonjolia took part.

The teleconference allowed colleagues to get acquainted.

“I studied your biography and noticed that we have a lot in common. You, like me, were working in the media, headed a charitable foundation, and in the same year we became ombudsmen for the rights of the child,” said Maktina Jonjolia.

It should be noted that the institution of the ombudsman for the rights of the child was created in Abkhazia in 2021.

“I am always ready to help, share my experience. We are actively working in the Republic. I am confident that our cooperation will be friendly and fruitful. I hope that you will come to us and we will continue closer cooperation,” Tskhovrebova said.

Further, the ombudsmen spoke about the activities of the institution of the children's ombudsman in their republics.

“Since the office of the ombudsman for the rights of the child appeared in Abkhazia for the first time, the budget has not yet been formed. Our team is still working at the expense of the Auchan charitable foundation, of which I am the head. Our foundation has been helping seriously ill children for 10 years,” said Jonjolia.

“Adaptive swimming will appear in the republic very soon. We will have a swimming instructor who has worked with the Paralympians. We also have a hippodrome that will open very soon,” said Tatiana Tskhovrebova.

The South Ossetian Ombudsman has noted that, unfortunately, the number of children with disabilities is growing in the Republic.

“Our priority is to create a favorable environment for children with disabilities. In addition, the Commissioner oversees the Commission on Juvenile Affairs. Soon we will have a guardianship and trusteeship body. We are trying to build a legislative system where the protection of children's rights would be a priority,” added Tskhovrebova.

She hasnoted that the Parents' Council for the Protection of the Rights of Children with Disabilities and Children with Disabilities, the Children's Public Council and the Expert Council are functioning under the Commissioner.

Tskhovrebova has asked how they treat disabled children in Abkhazia.

“The problem is acute. We have a large number of children with disabilities. We began to raise the issue of society's readiness to accept children with disabilities. Unfortunately, it is too early to talk about inclusive education, since there is only one correctional school in the country,” said the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child in Abkhazia.

Jonjolia has noted that they want to eradicate the silence of children with disabilities.

The Abkhazian Ombudsman has added that they have rehabilitation centers for disabled children, but the problem is the same as in Ossetia - a lack of specialists.

“Now the most important thing for us is to study all the problems in the field of children's rights protection. We travel to the districts and conduct a dialogue with the heads of administrations and with representatives of the bodies that work with minors. At the moment, during all our meetings, we found out that the most problematic issue remains the problems of children with disabilities, as well as big problems in the field of custody and guardianship. There are families from which a child needs to be taken, but there are no crisis centers in the country, i.e., the child has nowhere to take. These are the most problematic issues, and my team and I want to lobby for the creation of a crisis center,” explained the children's ombudsman in Abkhazia.

In the course of communication, the Ombudsmen came to the conclusion that there are many similar problems in the republics.

“It would be very interesting for us to see in practice how you are working with citizens, what problems are most often addressed, we will be happy to learn from your experience,” said Maktina Jonjolia.

Both parties expressed their desire to work on projects together, as well as that they are ready to conclude a memorandum of cooperation.

“In the near future, when the pandemic subsides, we will definitely invite you and sign a cooperation agreement,” Tskhovrebova said and added that she was always ready to help her Abkhaz colleague.

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