Deputy Takes over Bulgaria's Child Protection Agency

Domestic | February 22, 2012, Wednesday // 13:12|  views

Kalin Kamenov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government has accepted the resignation of the head of the Child Protection Agency and appointed her deputy to take over the post.

Kalin Kamenov will replace Nadya Shabani, who quit office, citing personal reasons.

According to local media reports Shabani had informed the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Totyu Mladenov about her decision as early as last year and took the step after ironing out the amendments to the Law on Child Protection.

"I want to thank my colleagues for their understanding. I shall continue to help the social ministry in one way or another," she said.

She denied reports that she may join the team of newly elected President Rosen Plevneliev as a social affairs adviser.

Shabani entered the news in Bulgaria and abroad when an unusual investigation, bringing together prosecutors and human rights lawyers, revealed a grisly picture of neglect at Bulgarian state homes for mentally disabled children: 238 deaths since 2000.

She rejected the findings and said society also bore responsibility for rejecting people with mental disabilities.

"For 50 years, these children have been intentionally hidden from us," she said. "We have to change our attitudes as well," referring to the Communist-era practice to build homes for the mentally ill deep in the countryside to keep them far from public view.

Shabani was part of the team behind a proposal for closing all orphanages and institutes for abandoned children with physical and mental disabilities within 15 years.

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Tags: Child Protection Agency, mentally, disabled, ill, children, Nadya Shabani, Kalin Kamenov


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