Mr Ivanov pointed out that more support should be given to non-commercial organisations carrying out family and children support programmes. Mr Ivanov also noted the need to bring family policy legislation into order, make legal amendments, and propose new legislative provisions if required. Quality of life standards for children also should be drawn up and approved, Mr Ivanov said.
The Coordinating Council’s chairperson, Speaker of the Council of Federation Valentina Matviyenko, noted the need to improve policy regarding financial incentives for child birth. In particular, Ms Matviyenko spoke in favour of federal co-financing for child benefits paid to large families in regions with low birth rates. Ms Matviyenko also mentioned the possibility of expanding the uses to which maternity capital can be put, for example, paying for costly health treatment for the child, setting up a farm, opening a family business, and other purposes of social importance.
Ms Matviyenko also raised the issue of preventing children’s protection authorities from ungrounded intervention in the affairs of families without problems. Children must be protected from parental cruelty and violence, but at the same time, normal families should be protected from unjustified action by state and municipal authorities that limits their parental rights. Children’s rights must be respected, but parents’ rights also are to be respected, Ms Matviyenko said.
Ms Matviyenko asked Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to head the work on drafting a clear legal definition of the concept of ‘child pornography’ in order to fight this kind of crime more effectively. Ms Matviyenko also asked Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov, as well as State Duma and Council of Federation representatives, to take part in these efforts.
A draft law on voluntary testing of students for drug use is currently before the State Duma. Coordinating Council members raised at the meeting the idea of making the tests compulsory. Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev suggested that the tests’ results could possibly be supplied to the Interior Ministry for crime preventive use.