A wide range of issues was discussed during the meeting, particularly cases of children being taken away from Russian parents living in Finland and Norway, trans-border family disputes, violation of rights of Russian children adopted abroad, the enactment of the law On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development, and others.
The Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner asked in detail about the system for protecting children’s rights in Russia. Pavel Astakhov explained that each Russian region has its own Human Rights Commissioner and each federal district has created a coordination council of Commissioners. At the same time, the federal Commissioner personally performs inspections in Russia’s regions; to date, 82 regions have been inspected.
Nils Muiznieks said that the work of the Council of Europe also involves visits to EU nations to identify the most problematic aspects of defending human rights. As for children’s rights, issues pertaining to the effect of the crisis on children and problems for refugees’ and migrants’ children are particularly relevant in the European Union at this time.
The two sides agreed to continue cooperating in the future. Mr Muiznieks announced his intention to revisit Russia on a longer trip to study the nation’s problems in protecting human rights in detail.