Fwd: Russia: sacrificial lambs

Manfred Theis (manfredtheis@hotmail.com)
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 14:17:08 PST

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DATE: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 10:19:50
From: Blazing Star <sananda@hotmail.com>

Problems Related to Vagabond Children on Agenda of
round Table.


MOSCOW, November 19 (Itar-Tass) - Poor social
welfare of children, including problems related to
homeless and vagabond children making their living
by begging, has turned into a serious social and
state problem which is being discussed today at a
round-table conference at the Federation Council
devoted to prevention of vagabondage and juvenile
delinquency in Russia and ways of legislative
settlement of these problem.

Figures released by experts show that there are
two million homeless children in Russia,
approximately the same number of children of
school age do not study anywhere, and the death
toll among children caused by alcohol poisoning
has increased almost threefold in recent years.

The deplorable position of children in the country
is the result of an unsatisfactory situation in
this country in general, including declining
living standards, growth of unemployment,
negligence of laws, said Chairman of the Committee
for Social Politics of the Federation Council
Vladimir Torlopov.

He pointed out that are a good deal of unresolved
problems in the field of upbringing and educating
children and that " an impetus is needed to
commence work to resolve them".

Above all, the government shall take measures to
liquidate vagabondage among children. The
Committee chairman believes that when preparing a
draft budget for next year it is necessary to
envisage funds for realization of a federal
programme for liquidation of vagabondage among

Torlopov reminded of the fact hat in his Annual
Address to the Federal Assembly the Russian
president underlined that this problem should not
be left beyond the scope of attention of regional

Today's round-table discussion is being conducted
in accordance with a decision of the Federation
Council which acknowledged the importance of this
problem. The Committee chairman drew attention to
facts of mass violations of the rights of
children, adding that the number of such incidents
exceeds 50.000 now, according to the Interior

A serious threat is posed by the so-called "social
orphanage" which appeared as a result of growing
unemployment among parents. The number of homeless
children has been increasing as a result of a
growing number of divorces in this country.

For one year alone around 500.000 children have
been left without one of the parents. The Health
Service has been increasingly concerned over a
growing number of venereal diseases and drug
addicts among children.

Measures are being taken in the country to support
and defend the rights of children, However, the
service for prevention of vagabondage among
children has been in a stage of formation yet and
not enough funds have been allocated for this

The round-table meeting at the Federation Council
is being attended by Duma MPs, representatives of
the government and the public.

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