In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Maria Lvova-Belova held a meeting of the headquarters on integrating the legislation of the Russian Federation and the LPR on custody and guardianship as a co-chair on Russia’s behalf. Representatives from the relevant departments, legislative and executive government bodies of the two countries attended the meeting, some via videoconference. They discussed legal issues related to ensuring the rights of orphans to have a family and transferring minors from the LPR to the custody of Russian citizens.
Ms Lvova-Belova said that in accordance with executive orders signed by Vladimir Putin, children from the LPR, DPR and Ukraine that have been left without parental care may receive Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure. She described the experience of working with her colleagues from the DPR when 160 children were transferred to the custody of Russian families, including 133 children who already received Russian citizenship.
According to the Commissioner, professional foster parents from 11 regions are ready to receive children from the LPR. The process primarily provides for custody and guardianship rather than adoption, which subsequently will give children an opportunity to return home and socialise with close relatives. Ms Lvova-Belova suggested launching the procedure for receiving Russian citizenship simultaneously with the submission of documents for the transfer of orphans, which is the best way to meet their interests.
Following the meeting, the participants decided to begin preparing for the transfer of 104 minors from children’s social institutions in the LPR to the custody of Russian citizens.
Maria Lvova-Belova also visited the Lugansk Republican Children’s Home, where 12 children will soon go to new families in Russia; temporary accommodations in a dormitory at a city college; and two family-type children’s homes in the village of Luganskaya. As part of thehumanitarian mission, Into the Hands of Children, the Commissioner gave sports equipment and household appliances to social institutions and the temporary accommodation facility. On the eve of the new academic year, children received school supplies, stationery, backpacks, computers and notebooks in addition to toys, construction kits and brain games.
The Commissioner discussed the results of her trip to the LPR with Head of the LPR Leonid Pasechnik during a working meeting.
In the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Maria Lvova-Belova held a briefing session with the local headquarters of the mission, Into the Hands of Children, and met with Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin. During the meeting, they decided to create new sites for psychological support of teenagers similar to Russian centres. The first site will open in Donetsk. The Commissioner’s team has already brought furniture and equipment for the facility. In addition, it was decided to continue transferring children from care institutions to Russian foster families. Denis Pushilin supported the initiative on building a medical and social rehab centre for children exposed to the hostilities and minors with disabilities.
Concluding her visit to Donbass, Ms Lvova-Belova met with teenagers from the DPR. At her initiative, they went to a children’s health camp in the Krasnodar Territory to attend The Day After Tomorrow integration programme.