Situation Analysis of Children in the Russian Federation: The Road to Equity

"We are all different - I am in a wheelchair, someone has sights and hearing disabilities, someone has cerebral palsy, and there are children with Down syndrome. But we are all kids, like everyone else, and sometimes we need help and support”, - Kirill Drozdkov, a 14-years old boy studying in Moscow school said at a press conference in Moscow, which was organised to present UNICEF and the Independent Institute for Social Policy (IISP) report titled "Situation Analysis of Children in the Russian Federation: the Road to Equity”. “From myself and all my friends with disabilities I would say: do not forget about us - build ramps, elevators, produce TV-programs with subtitles. Do not be afraid of us and do not hesitate to invite us to go along with you, and remember that we want the same things as all other kids!", - he added. 

Part of a global renewed focus on equity in UNICEF’s work, the report titled "Situation Analysis of Children in the Russian Federation: the Road to Equity” analyses barriers to inclusion and provides recommendation to make the Russian society more inclusive, starting with its children. The launch of the report echoes a recent article of Russian Prime-minister Vladimir Putin “The construction of justice- Social policy for Russia" where families and children get special attention. The Situation Analysis prioritises particular groups of children deemed to be at a greater risk of exclusion, such as– children at risk of abandonment or separation from their biological families, children in orphanages, migrant children, children with disabilities, and vulnerable adolescents. The report provides information on the following areas: poverty and social exclusion, health, education, and participation of children in decision-making that affects their well-being. 

"On every continent and in every country there are groups of children suffering from various forms of discrimination that do not allow them to develop to their full potential. The report provides specific and concrete recommendations for a more effective protection of children in the Russian Federation, proposes steps to achieve a society of equal opportunities, and to reduce risks of social exclusion", Bertrand Bainvel, Head of the UNICEF office in the Russian Federation said. 

"Every second family in Russia is poor”, Tatiana Maleva, director of the Institute of Megalopolis Humanitarian Development and former Director of the ISSP insisted. “Poverty exists in different countries. But it is important to remember that society pays different prices for the poverty of different demographic groups, and the highest price it pays is when its children are poor. When poor families cannot give quality education to their children, it puts their children later on in a disadvantage on the labor market and they may become marginalized. There is even a risk of untimely death". 

"The policy approaches to child and family protection and support have been significantly changed over the past decade”, Marina Gordeeva, chair of the Foundation to Support Children in Difficult Situations stressed. “It is clear today that support to children and families in need must be different from the past. This approach requires the development of new mechanisms, as was convincingly argued by the authors of the report", she added. 

According to Alexei Golovan, Advisor to the Chairman of the Council of Federation Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Information Policy, "The report is a timely and useful input to the development of a new national plan of action for children under the leadership of the Council of the Federation. The report clearly highlights key priorities for a Russian state policy for children and concrete steps to implement the Convention of the Rights of the Child". 

The development of a National Action Plan for children is one of the key recommendations called for by authors in the report, along with the need to review effectiveness of budget allocations and expenditures at federal and district levels, and the need to further disaggregate data on children. Children  in need of special support must be made more visible and data should drive the formulation of appropriate programmes and policies. 

UNICEF and the Independent Institute of Social Policy expect that the report "Situation Analysis of Children in the Russian Federation: the Road to Equity” will support Russian government efforts to focus on children while making key political and financial decisions. 

Full report and summary are available on the UNICEF (in Russian). 

For additional information please contact:

Anna Kochineva, Communication Officer, UNICEF

Tel.: + 7 495 937-4812, cell. +7 916-238-0154

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