Empowering Marginalised Children in the Russian Federation

HomeCurrent Projects – Empowering Marginalised Children in the Russian Federation

The United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Article 12, specifies the right of the child to freely express his or her opinion on all issues concerning the child’s interests. It is especially difficult to have this right observed for marginalized children. That is why Empowering Marginalised Children in the Russian Federation Project supports children without parental care and children and young people in conflict with the law.

Project specialists will help children and young people develop and prove leadership qualities so in future they could present and assert their rights on their own (Articles 9, 18, 40 of the UNCRC). 
First, the project supports children without parental care. The Russian Family Code says that opinion of children above 10 years old should be taken into account when making decision on his or her fate. However, in practice children aren’t often present at the court when a decision on removal of parental rights is being made.

The project also helps adolescents and young people in conflict with the law which implies the testing of alternatives to custodial sentencing for minor offences. This will help decrease the percentage of re-offences and give the best chances for rehabilitation and socialization of young people (for example, restorative justice, mediation, electronic bracelets, etc). In one of the project regions a new social service – foster care family for children in conflict with the law – is to be introduced.

Project activities:

• trainings for children and young people;
• analysis of European best practice evidence of child participation in court processes to remove parental rights and application of alternatives to custodial sentencing;
• consultation with decision-making authorities;
• exchange forum with European children with support of IFCO youth committee;
• publications, information campaigns, etc.

Authorities making decisions on children’s fates at the Regional and Federal levels are to consult children and adolescents and study best international practices. Children are to make proposals on administrative procedures improvement.
At the end an active youth movement of children without parental care and adolescents in conflict with the law will be established.



Non-Profit Organization “Center of development of innovative social services
“Partnership for Every Child” (Saint-Petersburg)


Regional Non-Government Organisation “Center for Prison Reform” (Moscow)


The International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO)



European Delegation to the Russian Federation

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