Schoolchildren in Moscow and their Rights

The results of a study on the rights of schoolchildren in Moscow and how they can defend them was presented by Evgeny Bunimovich, children’s ombudsman in Moscow at the Interfax press centre. The study was undertaken by Moscow University with support from UNICEF and had already been started by Aleksey Golovan the previous ombudsman. The aim of the study was to determine the attitude of children towards their rights and hence improve the situation. The main conclusion from interviews and questionnaires was that children knew that they had rights but the degree of precise knowledge about them left much to be desired. Most forms of abuse of children’s rights exist in Moscow but the most common forms of abuse relate to freedom from insults and the right to a free basic education. An alarming finding was the fact that almost a quarter of the participants in the study said that they should not fight for their rights so as not to upset their studies. A passive reaction to abuse of rights was also typical for the parents.

Another study on the degree of knowledge of children’s rights amongst young Muscovites was carried out by the schoolchildren themselves. More than 100 young people were questioned and most said they knew about their rights but were surprised when they were asked about responsibilities.

According to Evgeny Bunimovich, the results of the main study will be discussed in detail with experts as part of the National Action Plan for Children in Russia.

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