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Boris Altshuler: The most serious problems facing Russian families with children are housing, parental rights, poverty

posted 24 Feb 2014, 05:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Feb 2014, 05:52 ]
14 February 2014

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group

Boris Altshuler, a member of the Public Chamber of Russia, of the Moscow Helsinki Group and director of the NGO Right of the Child has asked the deputy prime minister of Russia, Olga Golodets, to direct her attention to the three main issues facing Russian families and children today: housing, parental rights, and poverty.

Boris Altshuler wrote an appeal to the deputy prime minister on the eve of the upcoming meeting of the State Council on government policy on the family, motherhood and childhood to be held on 17 February in Cherepovets.

In his appeal Boris Altshuler points out the importance of the government programme ‘Housing as a Lifebelt’ and proposes that a session be held devoted to the issue of the availability of housing on the rental market. Altshuler believes that this could help resolve the housing problems confronting many families.

In order to improve the situation of families who remain without опеки, Boris Altshuler proposes introducing an amendment to article of the the Family Law Code relating to the removal and limitation of parental rights. In his opinion this would ‘put an end to the purely formal administrative approach’ taken to the solution of these problems.

Altshuler appended to his letter a draft amendment to the Family Law Code that he has sent to the State Duma’s Working Group.

Boris Altshuler asks that special attention be paid to the issue of children lacking in nutrition because of poverty, based on low family incomes and high prices for the most important foodstuffs.

‘So far as I understand, in August 2012, you spoke of the need to implement a programme that would provide food to people in need, and the Minister of Agriculture announced his support. Perhaps the upcoming meeting of the State Council on 17 February will become the starting point for the implementation of such a programme?’ Altshuler writes in his letter to the deputy prime minister.