Some 200 people protested outside Seimas over children taken from parents

Protest by the Seimas
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

People held banners expressing their disapproval over the recent children’s rights protection reform. They read “Stamp family – stamp Lithuania” and “Unwell family needs treating, not killing”.

“The law says that attempts will, first, be made to help families, and children would be taken as a last resort. But today we see that such extreme measures are applied from the start,” Salomėja Fernandez Montojo, director at the Free Society Insitute, was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the rally’s organizers.

The rally was held in response to a high-profile case in Lithuania’s second-largest city of Kaunas where two small children were taken from their parents over alleged abuse. They were return to the family last week.

The Social Security and Labor Ministry held a sitting of an inter-institutional council on children’s wellbeing on Tuesday and it was decided to set up a special working group involving representatives of parents’ organization to identify possible flaws in the children’s protection system.

Figures from the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service show that over 500 children have been taken into temporary care since July when the changes in the children’s rights protection system came into force, and also 6,000 reports on possible rights violations have been received but two thirds of them eventually proved unfounded.

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