Report on UN Convention on Rights of the Child
At a press conference to mark “Russia’s 20 year ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”, Boris Altshuler, member of the Public Chamber and director of the Russian charitable organisation “Rights of the Child” made an announcement about this report. He stated that by 14 March Russia should put together 4-5 reports about how the convention has been implemented in the country in the last eight years.
Oleg Zykov, member of the Public Chamber and director of the charitable fund “No to alcohol and drugs” noted that his own participation in the group and in the preparation of the report was merely “a formality”, as he was not invited to the meeting. According to him, in August the Ministry of Health and Social Development (MHSD) sent out letters to all district offices asking how the recommendations of the convention had been implemented in each region. Zykov says that the committee set up to implement the recommendations was abolished in 2004 and since then the process of implementing the convention has been brought to an end. According to Zykov, ”The MHSD does not read these proposals”. Furthermore, there are no means of implementing the proposals and Zykov has called the method of preparing the reports “state fraud”. In his opinion, a system protecting children’s rights does not exist and he links this with “political indecisiveness”. The latest example of such indecisiveness is the abandonment of a bill to create youth courts in Russia.
Olga Samarina, director of the Department for the Development of Social Protection in the MHSD stated: “We know what to write…. To some extent we have something to write about, to some extent we don’t… This report should at least be truthful.”
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international legal document, setting out children’s educational and social rights, right to holidays and free time and provision of other rights. The UNCRC is the first and chief international legal document in which children’s rights are set down under international law. The document consists of 54 articles detailing the individual rights of children under the age of eighteen. Among these are rights to all available opportunities and to proper conditions, and the right to be protected from hunger, cruelty, exploitation and all forms of abuse. The UNCRC has been ratified by all UN member states, excluding the United States and Somalia. All member states are required to present a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. In this report the country must state the measures that have been taken to consolidate the rights outlined in the convention and the progress made in implementing these rights. The committee then provides their suggestions and recommendations on how to implement the convention.
Translated by Lina Numan