The Turkmenistan Government delegation has returned from the study tour to learn about the protection of vulnerable children, which took place in London, the United Kingdom on 11-18 May 2013. The visit was organized with UNICEF’s support and facilitated by the Coram Children’s Legal Centre, a UK-based NGO. The national delegation was represented by Ministries of Interior, Labour and Social protection, Health and Medical Industry, Justice, Education and the Parliament of Turkmenistan. The study tour was carried out within the framework of cooperation between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF for 2010-2015.
The study visit to the United Kingdom has encompassed multifaceted capacity building objectives, including learning about coordination mechanisms for inter-sectoral work in the social protection system, exploring the role of social workers in providing family support services, the legal and operating framework of the social protection system in the UK.
The study tour also aimed at advancing Turkmenistan policy makers’ insights into development of policies, legislation, rules and regulations for vulnerable families and children, introduction of social protection provisions in the regulatory framework, and integration of additional social protection services into the existing system.
A special emphasis was put on care for development and the work of the health visitors, who undertake child’s development assessment and provide counseling services for families with young children.
Within the framework of the study tour, the delegates also had an opportunity to engage in a discussion with the Child Rights Commissioner of England on the role and necessity of the independent child rights’ monitoring function.
According to the government delegates, the study tour was both practical and informative. The visit enabled to learn about a comprehensive approach to child protection and the importance of multi-disciplinary cooperation of social sectors in delivering preventive and protective services to children and families at risk.
The UK social protection system has been deliberately chosen for exchange of experiences and practices as one of the recognised and well-established systems with the inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms and the capacity to address a range of essential social issues for vulnerable populations. Last year, UNICEF supported the Government of Turkmenistan to undertake the assessment of the national social protection system to identify systemic gaps and opportunities for its further strengthening. The Government has acknowledged the need for enhancement of the national social protection system in line with the best international standards as means for delivering social justice and promoting inclusive development. As a follow up to the study visit, UNICEF will provide further technical and policy advice on integrating best practices to strengthen national capacity in providing effective social protection services.
UNICEF - Turkmenistan