The Commission includes ombudspersons for children and representatives of the authorised bodies of six countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia. They exchange successful practices and support partnership relations to protect children.
Talking to her colleagues about support for children with a migration background, Maria Lvova-Belova noted that the Russian institution of Commissioners for Children’s Rights has been dealing with the problems faced by migrant workers and their children.
She said her office had received over 30 reports on the integration of migrants into society. The same number of reports has arrived since the start of this year. They focus on housing rights, places at schools and kindergartens, migration issues, citizenship and passport applications, assistance in the departure of Russian minors from a foreign country, social insurance, hospitalisation and emergency medical aid, allowances, benefits and the legal aspects of family relations.
Maria Lvova-Belova pointed out the key issues – children with a migration background speak poor Russian; children living in Russia without Russian citizenship face problems with healthcare because they are not covered by voluntary medical insurance. Another problem is claiming parentage fraudulently to receive Russian citizenship.
At the same time, the commissioner expressed concern over Russian children living abroad, especially now, during the special military operation in Ukraine when Russian schoolchildren are bullied in many European countries and in the US. In this context, she asked her colleagues to protect children from political games, ethnic harassment, pressure and provocation.
Other participants also shared their experience in child protection. During the meeting, the participants discussed the protection of children’s rights in Armenia, especially those that were affected by the hostilities. They also reviewed assistance for children living in difficult conditions in Russia’s new regions.
The Commission of Commissioners for Children’s Rights in the CIS countries is striving to intensify international cooperation on ensuring children’s rights in the CIS and draft effective interaction processes based on international law and respective national legislation. The next meeting will take place in Moscow in June 2024. The agenda will include children’s education in boarding homes and internet security.