Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Amid proposed adoption ban, UNICEF asks Russia to focus on best interests of children

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 26 December 2012
Cite as UN News Service, Amid proposed adoption ban, UNICEF asks Russia to focus on best interests of children, 26 December 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50eab7e12.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Responding to the proposed adoption ban being considered by Russia, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today asked the Government there to be guided solely by the best interests of children in determining its policies and actions.

"We ask that the Government of Russia, in its design and development of all efforts to protect children, let the best interests of children – and only their best interests – determine its actions," the UN agency's Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said in a statement.

According to media reports, the Russian Parliament approved a bill today to ban adoptions of Russian children by United States citizens, sending the measure to President Vladimir Putin, who has voiced support but not yet said if he will sign it. The ban was reportedly developed in retaliation for a US law punishing Russians accused of violating human rights.

While welcoming the call for improving Russia's child welfare system, UNICEF urged that the current plight of the many Russian children in institutions receives priority attention.

"We encourage the Government to establish a robust national social protection plan to help strengthen Russian families," Mr. Lake said. "Alternatives to the institutionalization of children are essential, including permanent foster care, domestic adoption and inter-country adoption."

"All children deserve an environment that promotes their protection and well-being," he added. "Russian children – indeed all children – need to be in protective and loving families or family-like environments.

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