Belarusian police set up force for hunting neglectful parents


Belarusian police are forming special units for hunting down neglectful
parents. Several teams have been formed in Vitsyebsk. In Baranavichy, police
use special vehicles to check on neglectful parents. The police are trying to
fulfill Alyaksandr Lukashenka's order to force parents to pay the state for
raising their children after their parental rights have been terminated.  

Alyaksandr Lukashenka said it is necessary to
establish labor camps for "uncaring parents" who refuse to compensate
the government for the institutional care of their children.

"Are they humans, those who abandoned their
children?" Sovetskaya Byelorussiya quotes Lukashenka as saying. "For
those who refuse to work, special labor camps will be created. The rascals will
be forced to work there from down till dusk, two or three shifts a day."

A senior police official in Vitsyebsk told Euroradio
that a special task force will be established to deal with neglectful parents.

"A special hotline will be set up so that employers
will tip police on neglectful parents failing to turn up for work. The rapid
reaction force will immediately go after them," the official said. 

Baranavichy, police are cruising in vehicles to pick up drunkards who miss work
and neglect their kids. Managers cannot sack neglectful parents for failing to
perform their duties properly because they may face a fine.
"At 6 a.m.
we take off to visit neglectful parents at home," says Dzmitry Kazachenka,
a police officer in Baranavichy. "We find out the reasons for missing
work, because they might have been in hospital. If a person is drunk, we take that
person to a sobering-up center. If a person is caught drunk three times, we
take him to a health facility for physical examination and bring criminal
But the measures are often ineffective. The housing authority in one district employed
three parents prone to alcohol abuse as cleaners, only one of them performs her
duties properly.

"One is
already in jail and the other will soon face criminal charges. She works just
five days a month and then disappears," says Tatsyana Charkasava, a
personnel manager with the district authority. "A cleaner earns at least
400,000 rubels ($200) a month. But greater part of the salary is deducted by
the state that takes care of their children."
Police officer Kazachenka says of 159 registered neglectful parents in
Baranavichy, 39 miss work on a regular basis. He says criminal charges were
brought against 17 persons last year and 35 persons were charged in 2008.

Across the country, 40 percent of neglectful parents reportedly miss
work on a regular basis.