Russia/US cooperation on protection of children’s rights
Marina Egorova, President of the Russian National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has suggested a number of projects with the aim of developing cooperation between Russia and the USA in protecting children’s rights.
Online consultations with Russian and American experts specialising in child protection have taken place. The experts suggest joint discussion of rehabilitation programmes designed to work with dysfunctional families. Such discussions will allow the exchange of ideas between Russian and American experts.
Another suggested project is the establishment of a Russian-American school on children’s rights near Lake Baikal. The creation of such a school will allow professionals to examine openly real issues in the area of children’s rights. Egorova discussed this plan in more detail at the roundtable debate “Development of Russian-American projects in Children’s Rights”. The roundtable took place as part of the agenda of the Russian-American Committee “Civil Society” and was supported by the Council of International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) and others.
In order to understand fully why cruelty to children exists, M. Egorova suggested carrying out research on “parental stereotypes and behavioural attitudes” when raising children in Russia and the USA. The NSPCC also suggests involving the mass media in publicising the best practices in the protection of children’s rights. Both countries have experience in carrying out large-scale media campaigns (violence against children, responsible parenthood, finding families for orphans). Egorova noted the importance of partnership not only with the mass media but also with specialist publications.
Furthermore, participants in the roundtable discussed the real issues existing in both countries on the subject of protecting children. The participants have put together a leaflet of suggestions which will be agreed with American partners and will become part of a report for the bilateral Russian-American Committee “Civil Society”. During Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow in 2009, he and Medvedev agreed to create a Russian-American committee. Vladislav Surkov, deputy director of the Russian Presidential Administration was appointed coordinator of the group “Civil Society” on the Russian side and the presidential assistant Michael Makfoll was named coordinator on the American side.