The Commission’s main task is to settle disputes arising during divorces and concerning parents’ involvement in their children’s upbringing.
Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, visited France in 2010 to discuss setting up a bilateral consultative commission on family matters, something which both countries saw as very important. The agreement on establishing the Intergovernmental Commission on Family Dispute Resolution in Mixed Marriages was signed in November 2011.
The French authorities presented 10 cases at the Commission’s first session, which took place on January 18, and the Russian authorities five. One of the cases discussed was that of Natalia Zakharova, who has been fighting for the rights of her daughter Maria for more than 14 years now.
Brought to the Commission’s attention were a number of details that point to gross violations of one of the inalienable rights of children as enshrined in the 1989 UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and the relevant European conventions. The French authorities said that Ms Zakharova can demand the restoration of her parental rights at a court hearing that will take place in France on February 5, 2013.