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'Baby box' bill submitted to Russian parliament

August 14, 2015, 16:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the lawmakers, this will reduce significantly the number of children murdered by their mothers or reduce the risk of leaving them in danger
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Kimerling

MOSCOW/YEKATERINBURG, August 14. /TASS/. A bill on the so-called "baby boxes" where mothers can anonymously leave unwanted infants has been submitted to Russia's parliament.

This will reduce significantly the number of children murdered by their mothers or reduce the risk of leaving them in danger, deputy chairman of the Federation Council upper house Committee for Constitutional Legislation Konstantin Dobrynin said.

Dobrynin drafted the bill in consultation with the head of the upper house Regulations Committee, Vadim Tyulpanov. The initiative has caused huge controversy among Russians.

Children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov in March asked the Prosecutor-General’s Office to deal with the motion, judging that baby boxes contravened moral principles.

Head of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children Yelena Mizulina said passing the boxes law would "give rise to the spread of this practice".

But spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin has called the boxes an extra tool for protecting infants.

"The bill proposes to determine that the Russian government should define the requirements for the ‘baby boxes’, cases and procedure of their installation and operation," an explanatory note says. Control over their installation and operation will be given to Russian government agencies and local government authorities.

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