Medvedev Favors Russian-Finnish Commission on Children’s Rights

MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed on Tuesday the need to establish a Russian-Finnish commission on children’s problems.

The commission should offer decisions on “improving some rules and on solving certain situations,” Medvedev said in an interview with Finnish media ahead of his visit to the country.

The premier stressed that the commission should primarily focus on “the interests of a child,” not parents.

Families in Finland with a Russian parent have been more likely to run afoul of a 2008 law that authorizes social workers to remove children from a suspected abusive situation immediately and keep them away pending a court resolution of the matter.

The last such case involved the four children of an ethnic Russian woman in Finland, Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya. Her three children – Veronica, and her two-year-old twins – were sent to a children’s home. Her newborn son – just one week old – was taken as well.

The formation of the commission was agreed during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Helsinki in August 2012.


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