Latvian ex-children’s home closed after violations, alleged crimes by ex-director

The operations of Latvian Family support centre Saulstari have been stopped by the Latvian Welfare Ministry over violations of law, while a criminal case against the former head of the children’s home continues.

The former children’s home Līkumi, now turned into the family support centre Saulstari, is situated in rural south-eastern Latvia, in the Sēlpils pagasts, Sala municipality.

The decision by the Welfare Ministry was announced on Wednesday, June 12, and it sets forth ceasing the provision of the services of Saulstari from August, 2019.

Lack of specialists, criminal case over forced abortion

The Office of the Latvian Ombudsman had previously determined in an inspection in the Saulstari family support centre that it lacks necessary specialists, including a children’s psychologist and a social worker, therefore the centre cannot provide the necessary services to children under its responsibility.

It is also due to the lack of specialists that the children are highly exposed to risks of violence from other children.

Meanwhile, a criminal case is viewed, where charges have been brought against Juris Boķis, the former head of the children’s home Līkumi.

Boķis has been charged with ten counts of offenses allegedly committed by him as a public official against the children living in the children’s home.
The man has also been charged for a situation, where he is accused for forcing a girl to make an abortion.

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