Russian children are hostages of transatlantic diplomatic tensions, says PACE General Rapporteur on Children

Strasbourg, 22.1.2013 - Reacting to the interruption by the Russian Federation of intercountry adoption procedures involving the United States of America as a ‘receiving country’, Marlene Rupprecht (Germany, SOC), General Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on Children, said that she was worried about the situation of Russian children who are taken as hostages of transatlantic diplomatic tensions and called on the Russian authorities to revoke the law.

According to the General Rapporteur, the law adopted by the State Duma in December 2012 may affect numerous children, given that about 650 000 Russian children are currently estimated to be growing up without parental care and about 60 000 were placed in American families in the past 20 years.

“Especially in times of economic crisis, children as a vulnerable group, including many children with disabilities, must not be further victimised by short-sighted political decisions, but be given the widest range of care options possible,” she stressed.

Recalling the recent PACE Resolution on Intercountry adoption, for which she had been the rapporteur, Mrs Rupprecht reaffirmed the importance of the Assembly’s commitment to the need for the primary consideration of a child’s best interest in all actions concerning children whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, as provided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).