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Putin signs bill on children’s ombudspersons

Earlier, general principles streamlining the work of children’s ombudspersons, were set forth in a presidential decree

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a package of bills to streamline the rights and responsibilities of children’s rights commissioners in Russia, according to documents uploaded to the official online database of Russian legislative information.

Earlier, general principles streamlining the work of children’s ombudspersons, were set forth in a presidential decree.

Under the new law, the head of state appoints a children’s right commissioner for a five-year term. One person cannot hold the post for more than two consecutive terms. The president has the right to relieve the ombudsperson of his duties before the term expires. The appointment of a regional children’s rights commissioner will be determined by regional laws.

According to the new document, only citizens of Russia aged 30 years or older, with impeccable reputation, higher education and experience in protecting children’s rights or human rights can be appointed to the post of the federal children’s right commissioner.

The ombudsperson is to send a written report to the president about the results of his work at the end of each calendar year.

Powers of children’s rights commissioner

The federal children’s rights commissioner will have the authority to file suits to deem illegal the decisions of state agencies and municipal bodies, organizations, state officials and public sector employees if, in his opinion, they violate the legitimate rights and interests of children or contradict Russian legislation.

The ombudsperson also has the right to request the Russian Constitutional Court to give its assessment of legislative documents. He will also be entitled to send his legislative initiatives to members of the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament and other officials vested with legislative authority.

The commissioner will also have the authority to request disciplinary, administrative or criminal proceedings against persons, suspected of violating the rights and legitimate interests of children.

The federal children’s rights commissioner will have the right to take part in criminal proceedings on civilian cases and visit penitentiary facilities for children, pregnant women and female inmates with small children without requesting permission. Officials will be obliged to meet with the ombudsperson without delay and answer his written requests within 15 days.

The documents enter force once published.