Children's ombudsman calls for giving orphans in Russia a decent future
MOSCOW, December 20 - RAPSI. Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov has urged the government and society to take all measures so as to ensure a decent future for orphans in Russia.
"It is shameful to export our children. In deciding to ban foreigners from adopting Russian children, we need to realize that we can no longer pin our hopes on foreigners coming to save our children. The government and society need to make more effort to ensure Russian orphans have decent lives, a good education, effective social support measures and a good future ahead of them," Astakhov said, commenting on the adopted law.
The commissioner added that this entails supporting large families and children with disabilities. All orphans should be placed in families, with the use of orphanages significantly reduced and adoption within Russia better supported.
On Wednesday the State Duma approved an amendment prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children in the second reading.
The amendment will close adoption agencies and will terminate the U.S.-Russian agreement on the child adoption. Deputies approved the bill in response to the Magnitsky Act in the first reading on December 14. The law will come into effect in 2013.
The bill also includes measures against U.S. citizens who violated the rights of Russians, committed crimes against them, or were involved in these types of crimes. The document also envisages the drafting of a list of U.S. citizens who will be prohibited from entering Russia, and will suspend the activity of any legal entities controlled by these individuals in the country.
On December 6, the U.S. Senate approved the Magnitsky Act, which stipulates visa sanctions for Russian citizens who, according to the Senate, have been involved in human rights violations.
United Russia party members have called the law drawn up in response to the Magnitsky Act the "Dima Yakovlev Law", in memory of a two-year-old boy who died in Virginia after his foster father left him in a locked car in the sun. They have also said that the law commemorates all underaged Russians who died or suffered as a result of negligence on the part of their U.S. foster parents.