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Russian Federation

‘I have the right’: UNICEF Russia launches child rights campaign

© UNICEF/NYHQ2004-0687/Pirozzi
A five-year-old Russian girl who was abandoned by her father and neglected by her mother. now lives with an older couple who have started proceedings to adopt her. In Russia, strengthening family-style care arrangements as an alternative to institutionalization is a priority.

In the run-up to 20 November 2009, the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF is featuring a series of stories about this landmark international agreement on the basic human rights of all children – including progress made and challenges that remain. Here is one of those stories.

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, 4 November 2009 – UNICEF Russia has launched a series of public service announcements dedicated to protecting child rights. The campaign underlines the importance of considering the interests of the child in all important decisions, whether at the family or state level.

The municipal government of Moscow is supporting and participating in the campaign.

Since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 20 years ago, a generation has come of age and much has changed for their betterment in Russia. In recent years, significant funding has been allocated for social programmes, new laws have been adopted and family systems have been improved.

Too many children still unprotected

But there are still many areas where child rights are weak:

  • Child mortality rates in Russia are still four times higher than in Western Europe
  • Many Russian children still live outside of the family unit, despite progress in developing family-style alternatives to institutionalization; 156,000 children are currently housed in orphanages or boarding homes
  • Many of the country’s 500,000 children with disabilities are without access to quality education
  • Of particular concern are the children most in danger of falling off the radar of state and social authorities – including migrant children, street children, children with HIV and children in crisis.

Social responsibility

How these children fare depends not just on the policies and measures taken by the state, but the actions and attitudes of society.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2004-0686/Pirozzi
An eight-year-old boy and his mother, both living with HIV, embrace at home in the western Russian port city of Kaliningrad. Discrimination against HIV-positive people persists despite the disease's increasing prevalence there.

Under principles of the CRC, every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a family, receive a good education and take part in society free of discrimination.

To advance this message, UNICEF Russia has commissioned public service announcements for video, billboard and magazine display. The announcements, launched this week, will be displayed and broadcast nationally and regionally through 1 March 2010.

As part of its child-friendly city partnership with UNICEF, the government of Moscow makes many city billboards available to the organization to spread its messages about child rights.



CRC @ 20

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