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UN envoy urges Russia to ratify protocol on child rights

November 18, 2011, 5:34 UTC+3

Out of 47 countries of Europe only five did not ratify the protocol and one of them is Russia

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MOSCOW, November 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, urged Russia on Thursday to ratify an optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

“Out of 47 countries of Europe only five did not ratify the protocol and one of them is Russia,” she told a meeting with the Russian Public Chamber.

She expressed hope Russia will ratify the protocol next year, as well as another optional protocol on the submission of complaints which the UN general Assembly is expected to approve in two weeks.

The protocol will give children the right to appeal to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. “Such a possibility will compel the governments to take measures to improve the situation of children without waiting until the complaint reaches the committee,” Pais said.

She also backed the efforts of Russian public organizations to have juvenile justice instituted in the country.

Public Chamber member Oleg Zykov said the Russian Supreme Court has resolved to amend criminal responsibility for minors. “It is a shift in judicial mentality and departure from repressive Soviet system to offense prevention,” he said.

“I congratulate you with the resolution of the Supreme Court which is a recognition of your merits,” Pais said adding she follows the “emotional discussions” related to juvenile justice introduction in Russia.


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