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Monday, December 11, 2006

Belarus: Drunkards Prison or Worse

Parents have a duty to raise their children in a safe environment and provide nurturing care that prepares kids to be successful adults. Most civilized countries have child welfare laws in place designed to protect children from abuse and provide a safety net when parents are physically or mentally unable to provide the basics. A lawmaker in Belarus has made a proposal that may be just a bit over the line.

According to media reports from the former Soviet republic, Belarus Representative Viktor Kuchinsky has made a proposal calling for the forced sterilization of parents suffering from alcohol addiction. He also wants to send alcoholic parents to the edges of a polluted wasteland.

The Belarus House of Representatives is debating a proposal that would allow the government to remove neglected children from homes without a court order. Parents would be forced to pay for childcare for any children removed from the home and could lose their homes or apartments. Belarus is also considering a measure by which unemployed parents who have abandoned their children and do not accept job offers could be sent to prison.

Rep. Kuchinsky said he does not believe the measures go far enough, suggesting alcoholic parents should be shipped to "special camps" along the Belarus border near the radioactive exclusion zone created by the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. He also called for public executions of foreign drug dealers.

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