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Baby Boxes: absurd criticism by the UN of Czech baby boxes programme

30 Members of the European Parliament have reacted to the recent report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child which criticises the Czech Republic for running the project designed to save lives of new-borns.

[ 20. července 2011 | Autor: Zuzana Roithová, Anna Záborská ]

The baby hatches (known as 'Baby Boxes' in the Czech Republic) aim to represent the last solution for mothers in need who give birth in secret. The baby hatches provide a solution for the unwanted children. Since 2005, more than 50 children have been saved. Therefore, the report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child sparked criticism by the Members of the European Parliament. MEPs Zuzana Roithová (CZ) and Anna Záborská (SK) initiated a letter to Professor Lee, Chairwoman of the Committee, which was co-signed by 28 Members of the European Parliament, the majority being Members of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

"We refute the call by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to end the baby hatches programme. This project has been very useful as it has helped to save lives. Similar projects are run in other states, for example in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Canada, India, Japan or the USA. Each year hundreds of new-born children are saved and their right to life is guaranteed. As long as the babies' cries are heard from the boxes, their existence is justified. The network of baby hatches must be supported and expanded", said Zuzana Roithová MEP, former Czech Minister of Health.

"It is absurd that the UN Committee, that was created to protect children, is asking to end the programme designed to save children's lives in the Czech Republic. Many of those saved children are now happy in their new families and would probably not have had the chance of a happy life otherwise. According to the statistics, the women in need used this programme in very exceptional, difficult situations. The majority of women prefer to seek the help of specialised institutions that offer help, advice and shelter - allowing the mother to make her decision freely as to whether she will keep her child or put it up for adoption. In this light, baby hatches are the ultimate safeguard for the children and as such, should not be abolished", said Anna Záborská MEP.

Letter to Professor Lee attached

For further information:
Zuzana ROITHOVÁ MEP, Tel: +32-2-2847485
Anna ZÁBORSKÁ MEP, Tel: +32-475-2538050
Marek Hannibal, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-753048
Atilla Agárdi, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-750272

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