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The law on alimony: Female advocacy has perfectly worked in Ukraine

Author : Yuriy Odarchenko

Thanks to active public actions, Verkhovna Rada has voted for a law, which is not defending the interests of financial and industrial groups, but is aimed at protection of rights of Ukraine’s citizens
14:34, 14 December 2017

Read the original text at 112.ua.

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Advocacy campaigns are those campaigns that collect a large number of people around a particular goal or value and lead them from posing the question to the process of solving it. Now the theme of the protection of women's rights is relevant all over the world. The most striking example is the "Women's March", held in early 2017 in Washington. Then, after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands of people came out with a protest. Unfortunately, there are not so many examples in Ukraine when such movements are formed, especially those that would have been capitalized directly in the relevant decision of the government or parliament. The above-mentioned action was designed to show that no one, even the president, has the right to discriminate against women in modern American society.

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But there are many other examples of advocacy movements,  from the health issues to the tax cuts. In the process of actualization of the question posed, the main thing is to get an answer from the society. Regarding the issue of human rights and women's rights, there are global women's movements that have clearly defined problems, defined goals and methods of gathering sources to achieve these goals. These are UN Women, WEDO, Global Fund for Women and a number of other movements that have a great influence on global politics and carry out advocacy campaigns at the international level.

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This time, Ukraine appeared in a trend: the campaign "I HAVE A RIGHT!" is actively underway in the country, which, among other things, advocates for the rights of women and children in Ukraine. Actions "Stop Violence Against Women and Girls" and "All Children Are Common" are held. The campaign received support among women's public organizations and famous women, including politicians. And it brought results, because literally a few days ago the Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law "On toughening the responsibility of non-payers of alimony". Henceforth, parents who do not pay child support for 6 months, are deprived of the right to travel abroad before the debt is eliminated, the right not to give consent to the child's departure abroad, the right to drive, the right to use weapons and hunt. They will have to perform some socially useful works (two months), payment for which will go to pay off the debt for the payment of alimony.

This is an example of a successful advocacy campaign that will bring society lots of benefits. This is a good step of our country. The level of protection of women and children in the country is an important marker of the progressiveness of the society. Now, at least in solving this particular problem, we have become one with the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, the United States, and Canada. Of course, provided that the law will be implemented in practice. The listed countries are one of the most successful in solving the problem of alimony recovery.

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There are various types of punishment for debtors who refuse to supply their own children. For example, in Austria, France and Switzerland, divorce is possible only at the time of signing an agreement on the payment of alimony, and in Italy you cannot make a new marriage without such an agreement. In the US and Canada, driver's licenses of the debtors are taken away, and in Britain they can be sentenced to house arrest. The non-payers are punished with huge fines (in Switzerland) or by imprisonment for a period of from a month to a couple of years (in Austria). Ukraine is also moving to this progressive direction.

 

Related: Germany insists on human rights being respected in occupied Crimea

So, we saw a positive advocacy, thanks to active public actions through the parliament was not the next law, again defending the interests of financial and industrial groups, and the law aimed at the main reserves - citizens of Ukraine. But there is no need to dwell on the way: a number of bills have been registered in the Verkhovna Rada, for example, to protect against domestic violence. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the practice of advocacy in Ukraine and to attract the largest number of people in support of such socially important topics.

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