MOSCOW, May 31 (RAPSI) — The number of appeals received by the office of Children Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova increased by more than 7% in 2020, according to the annual report on the activities of this human rights institution.
In 2020, the Commissioner received and considered 9,291 appeals from 47,000 citizens, including collective appeals, as well as from public organizations, the media, law enforcement agencies, executive, legislative and judicial authorities, local self-government bodies and organizations from different Russia’s regions. Compared to 2019, the number of applications increased by 7.3%, the report says.
It is also worth noting that the number of applications received by e-mail increased by 31.2%; therefore, it became possible not only to promptly register applications, but also immediately react to the appeals, the document reads.
Much more applicants used social media to turn to the Ombudsman’s office; 40.7 times more often citizens contacted it via VKontakte, Facebook, and Instagram, and 6.1 times more often by phone, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the report, the main topics of appeals received by the Commissioner in 2020 were: judicial protection and provision of qualified legal assistance (51.8% of the total number of appeals); family legal relations (27.2% of the total number of appeals); housing (15.6% of the total number of requests); social security (15.2% of the total number of applications); education (12% of the total number of applications); safety of life, protection from violence (11% of the total number of requests); health care for minors (9.4% of the total number of appeals); alimony (4.7% of the total number of requests); citizenship, protection from the bringing minors abroad and retention of them on the territory of a foreign state (3.3% of the total number of applications); access to information and information security (0.9% of the total number of requests); rest and health improvement (0.9% of the total number of requests); access to cultural values and sports (0.3% of the total number of requests).
In the reporting year, the number of collective appeals concerning the rights of minors increased by 49.5% (3% of the total number of appeals).
The overwhelming majority of such appeals related to the implementation of the right of minors to education, the applicants asked for the right to choose the form of education for children, speaking out against distance format of education. The resolution of these problems was under the special control of the Ombudsman, the report emphasizes.
The number of applications from public organizations, including charitable foundations, increased by 31.9%, among them those seeking to protect the rights of seriously ill children undergoing treatment far from their places of permanent residence, the report says.
In 2020, compared to 2019, there was a threefold increase in the number of applications for judicial protection and provision of qualified legal assistance to minors. Citizens asked for legal assistance and advice on measures to support children and families with children, receive benefits, procedures allowing children to receive specialized and high-tech medical care, according to the document.
In her report, Kuznetsova also noted a 2.7-fold increase in the number of applications regarding the right to life and protection from violence. Each such appeal was considered promptly with the involvement of relevant authorities, and urgent measures were taken.
For each appeal, well-grounded answers and explanations of the current legislation were given, telephone consultations were held and, if necessary, inspection trips were initiated, relevant inquiries and recommendations were formed and sent to federal and regional government bodies, the report stresses.
The violations of the rights and legitimate interests of minors, revealed in the course of analysis of appeals became the basis for the development of systemic decisions by the Commissioner, the report concludes.