Plans of Russia’s Chidren’s Ombudsman’s Public Council
Over 130 representatives from NGOs, charities, public associations, scientific and educational institutions, religious faiths and the business community have taken part in the first meeting of the Children’s Ombudsman’s Public Council.
The Children’s Ombudsman’s Public Council has set up a number of working groups, according to a statement published on the Ombudsman’s official website. Individual groups will discuss issues relating to health, education, training, cultural development and improvements, volunteering, protection of the family and traditional family values, security of information and deviant behaviour, as well as the protection of the rights of children left without parental care.
In 2016, Anna Kuznetsova was appointed as the new Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Anna is also President of the Pokrov Foundation which supports the family, motherhood and childhood. She explained that her Council’s main work plan would be prepared in the light of discussions at Public Council meetings and with her own children’s experts. Work identified as being of high priority will be included in Federal and Regional Commissioners’ Action Plans.
Andrey Kochenov, head of the national Live, little one! programme, has been appointed as the Public Council’s Chair. He is also head of the St Basil the Great charity and Director of the NGO partnership The Association of Psychologists at Antenatal Clinics in Krasnoyarsk. Those who have now joined the Council include Yana Leonova, Executive Director of the Change one life charity; Elena Alyshansky, President of the charity Volunteers helping child orphans; Alexander Slivak, Chair of the Board of the National Charity for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; Nailya Novozhilova, Chair of the Board of the Arithmetic of Goodness charity; Nikolay Slabzhanin, Director of the Children’s Villages SOS charity and Yulia Zimova, President of the Our Children international public body.
“We’re hopeful that the Public Council will be an effective forum for resolving problems related to social orphanhood which are still very prevalent in Russia”, said Elena Alyshansky. In her view, its main tasks are working to stop children from being abandoned, keeping families together and assessing the process which is overseeing the reorganisation of child orphan institutions. The working group led by Alyshansky will continue to monitor the protection of child orphan rights.
“We have an excellent pool of experts covering a variety of different areas in our working group. For example, we have offered to monitor the health of child orphans in a number of pilot areas next year with the support of the Children’s Ombudsman”, said Yulia Zimova who chairs the working group on the protection of the rights of orphans left without parental care.
Among those taking part in the Public Council meeting were experts working with crisis centres. “We’ve again suggested that a map be prepared of crisis centres for women who find themselves in difficult living circumstances. Such a map would include a description of the services that these centres could provide”, said Zimova.
The next Public Council meeting will be held at the start of next year.