25 January 2010, 18:16

Pavel Astakhov: "Main task of ombudsman for children's rights is to control and supervise"

Pavel Astakhov: "Main task of ombudsman for children's rights is to control and supervise"

A Children's Public Chamber will shortly appear in Russia. This is the initiative of the new Ombudsman for Children's Rights in the Russian President's Administration, Pavel Astakhov. The well-known Russian lawyer was appointed Ombudsman for Children's rights on December 30 th , 2009. "To control and supervise" - such is his main task, Pavel Astaakhov says.

A Children's Public Chamber will shortly appear in Russia. This is the initiative of the new Ombudsman for Children's Rights in the Russian President's Administration, Pavel Astakhov. The well-known Russian lawyer was appointed Ombudsman for Children's rights on December 30th, 2009.

"To control and supervise" - such is his main task, Pavel Astaakhov says. Russia's Ombudsman is of the opinion that numerous organizations, whose duty is to defend children, do this ineffectively:

"I've paid attention to the fact that there're many organizations and bodies, including state, public, and municipal bodies, which are engaged in the protection of children. According to different estimates, there're not less than 14 of them. And I understand perfectly well that as there're so many people, who are engaged in this process, there's a lack of coordination".

Despite a great number of officials, deeds are not numerous, the new Ombudsman for Children's Rights sums up. Therefore he is determined to strictly control the work of bodies, involved in the protection of children's rights at all levels:

"Children need protection, like all other citizens, continues Pavel Astakhov. When a child is born, this means that it needs physical and legal protection at the minimum. As soon as a child begins to grow, provisions should be made to guarantee it medical services, education and normal attitude on the part of adults, including the family, first of all. Who is responsible for it? The law-enforcement agencies should be first on that list - they should guarantee the rights of children as citizen. Of course, we agree that there're cases when police does not pay attention to youths who, by their behaviour, show that they want to blow something up or set something on fire, or are simply standing, smoking and drinking".

Russia's Ombudsman for Human Rights plans to actively get involved in the work of organizations working with children, dismiss unconscientious workers and bring to responsibility, including punishment by law, all those who demonstrate neglect of their duties. There will appear Ombudsmen in all regions, who will help the Chief Ombudsman for Children's Rights. For the time being Ombudsmen exist only in 25 Russian entities. At the moment we are working out detailed instruction of Ombudsmen's work in the regions, Pavel Astakhov says:

"As a lawyer I understand that there must be clear-cut instructions to explain to each Ombudsman in the Russian entities that a complaint has come in, which should be checked for its trustworthiness. If there's really something, attention should be paid to, then it is necessary to file a case. The work of any organizationever is subjected to control and supervision. This is allowed by the Russian President's decree".

For the time being, we can only give recommendations to various organizations but we'll do this insistently, Russia's Ombudsman says. Besides civil control over the work of organizations working with children, which the society must carry out, it is necessary to look at the problem through children's eyes, Pavel Astakhov says.

The new Ombudsman for Children's Rights plans to shortly visit the most problematic regions of the Russian Federation from the point of view of observance of children's rights. And first on that list is Irkutsk where the majority of alarming signals is coming from.

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