21 October 2020
Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF, UNICEF Office in Kosovo, SOS Children’s Villages in Kosovo and the Organization for Children without Parental Care – OFAP, have addressed to the MPs deputies of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo proposals for the Draft Civil Code, with the aim to regulate the chapter on the protection of children without parental care.
Forms of protection for children without parental care, such as guardianship, foster care, residential care and adoption, need to be supplemented and amended. Also there is necessary to foresee new forms of protection for children without parental care, such as Supervised Independent Living.
Adoption as a form of protection for children without parental care during its implementation in practice has encountered many difficulties. Most worrying of all remain the indefinite legal deadlines, and consequently the delays in issuing adoption decisions which create circumstances that may affect the wellbeing and the development of children in adoption procedures.
Also, the current legislation does not define the types of foster care, does not regulate and does not provide forms of protection regarding the rights and needs of children who are without parental care and who need further state care after reaching the age of 18. An example that should be emphasized is when a child without parental care reaches the age of 18, according to the legislation in force must leave the foster family. Since the child can not stay in the same foster family after the age of 18, the Custodian Body is obliged to place the children in the Institute in Shtime, which negatively affects the overall well-being of the child.
Also issues related to residential care, especially community-based hommes for children without parental care need to be further regulated in the Draft Civil Code.
In order to draft proposals for the Draft Civil Code, the above-mentioned organizations have conducted a series of public consultations to bring the views of key civil society actors and actors of public institutions regarding the Draft Civil Code, with a focus on child protection.
These consultations have enabled discussions between key actors in the field of child protection and provided the opportunity to give voice to the views of civil society, public institutions, thus drafting proposals for the protection of children without parental care under the Draft Civil Code.
The proposals aim to improve the situation of children without parental care. Furthermore, the proposals aim to have a comprehensive Civil Code that is practical and easy to implement by public institutions and other organizations, thus creating strong mechanisms in child protection and increasing the accountability of law enforcement institutions.
We expect the deputies of the Republic of Kosovo to include proposals for regulating the protection of children without parental care within the Draft Civil Code.
We are open to offer our contribution to this process by providing professional expertise and additional clarifications regarding the submitted proposals.