Impressions from a Morning Tears Study Trip - Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs visits Spain and Italy
From January 16th and 22rd, a delegation of Chinese authorities visited Spain and Italy. The delegation was headed by Ni Chunxia, Deputy Director General of the Department of Social Affairs, of the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and included five other members of the MCA from the capital as well as from two provinces, JiLin and GuiZhou.
Morning Tears had organised this study trip in the framework of its project ‘Strengthening institutions for the care and protection of at-risk children and children of convicts’, co-funded by the European Union.
For their visits in Spain, Morning Tears Spain had arranged a schedule for the Chinese delegation to gather in-depth knowledge of the Spanish system for children protection - in all institutional, legal, financial and practical aspects (including housing, education, health, mental health, leisure activities).
Highlights of the visit were the meetings held with the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (Subdirection of Children Protection) in Madrid, and several meetings and visits held by the Institut Mallorquí d’Afers Socials (Majorcan institution responsible for children custody and protection). The delegation also had the chance to visit the first reception center for children taken away from their parents (Puig des Bous), and the Fundació Nazaret, a long-stay home for children between 6 and 14 years old.
Finally, the Chinese authorities visited a temporary shelter home for families.
Meetings were held with technical experts, lawyers, coordinators and directors of the different centers, to understand the process and the role of each of these institutions / places / possibilities for children (first reception, short stay, long stay, adoption, long term shelter in families..)
During the Italian part of the study trip the meetings concentrated on topics regarding children of incarcerated parents. Meetings were held by invitation of the Italian NGO A Roma Insieme, and we extend our sincere thanks for their engagement for this visit!
The panel of speakers consisted of government experts from the Ministry of Justice and prison directors, advocates and child protection experts.
Meeting with the Board of A Roma Insieme also opened new opportunities for further academic exchange on our shared topic - the challenges for children of incarcerated parents.
At Morning Tears we are happy that the visit of the MCA delegation to both Spain and Italy proved very useful for the delegation members and Morning Tears is hoping for a direct impact on the child protection system in China, both on national and provincial level. All participants will profit highly from this visit, as it enhanced knowledge about child protection in China and opened doors for more multinational exchange in this field. To better the worlds of the children in our care.