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Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on the proposed Russian adoption ban

NEW YORK, 26 December 2012 – “While welcoming Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s call for the improvement of the child welfare system, UNICEF urges that the current plight of the many Russian children in institutions receives priority attention.

“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.

“We encourage the government to establish a robust national social protection plan to help strengthen Russian families. 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. Russian children – indeed all children – need to be in protective and loving families or family-like environments.”

For more information, please contact:
Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York, Tel. + 1 212 303 7984/Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188, psmerdon@unicef.org

John Budd, Chief of Communication, CEE CIS Region, Tel. +41 229 095 429/Mobile: +41 794 311 537 jbudd@unicef.org




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