Dialogue with High Commissioner. Saving a family

14 August 2017
Dialogue with High Commissioner. Saving a family

Helping people is a top priority for the High Commissioner. Whichever difficulties a person faces, regardless of his/her social status and financial situation, it is our duty to help him/her. Fortunately, in some cases we manage to help whole families.

With our assistance it was possible to protect the rights of resident of the Moscow Region S., who wanted to officially become the guardian of her grandson, a citizen of Ukraine. The mother refused to fulfill her parental duties and keep in contact with her son. During the past ten years, S. raised the child on her own. She took care of the child, bought food, clothes and educational games for him.

And what is strange about this story, is that all of S.’s appeals to the tutelage and guardianship authorities had no effect. The last straw was the threat of deportation of the boy to Ukraine due to the absence of his legal representative on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The armed conflict in Ukraine, of course, has made its sad adjustments to the lives of Russians. But, unlike many other countries, Russia has opened its doors and provided shelter, food, and work for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians. And, of course, when it comes to the fate of children, bureaucratic delays and a soulless formal attitude are not appropriate.

Since there were no grounds for doubting the sincerity and responsible attitude towards the child on the part of the applicant, I sent an appeal to the Ministry of Education of the Moscow Region with a request to assist S. in the preparation of the necessary documents.

On June 2, the Office of Tutelage and Guardianship of the Noginsk District of the Moscow Region issued an order appointing S. as a guardian of her minor grandson.

Another appeal came from resident of Samara S. She reported that her family’s housing rights were being violated. S. together with her three daughters (one of them is a disabled person) was forced to live in a room that was declared unfit for habitation. Local authorities did nothing to resettle people and restore their rights to decent living conditions.

I sent a request to the Samara Region prosecutor’s office. According to the response received, S.’s family was provided with a two-room apartment from the municipal housing stock with an area of 49.7 square meters. In addition, given the difficult life situation, a woman received a one-off benefit from the budget.

Another appeal came from citizen of Yaroslavl O. Her family is poor and there are many children in it. They are supported through benefits and pensions.

According to the applicant, in 2015 the electricity was cut off in her flat due to the arrears accumulated. The woman was concerned about the health of her sons, two of whom were disabled and thus required constant care, which can hardly be provided in the dark.

As is often the case, all social subsidies were retained by the bailiff service in full to cover utilities payment debts.

Having studied the situation, I sent appeals to the administration and the prosecutor’s office of the city of Yaroslavl.

According to the reply, in 2017, two disabled sons of O. received targeted social assistance from the city budget. All the other benefits the family was entitled to were paid monthly.

However, according to the results of the audit, there was a violation of the requirements of Federal Law No. 229-FZ «On Enforcement Proceedings». According to Russian law, no more than 50% of wages and other incomes can be withdrawn from the debtor. The Yaroslavl Prosecutor’s Office decided to reduce the amount of withholding from O.’s pension and partially return the money.

In addition, the woman was recommended to apply to the «Center for Social Payments of the City of Yaroslavl» for the appointment of a subsidy for housing and utilities.

The protection of human rights is a daily and painstaking work. Only in June 2017, more than 5 families were assisted in the provision of housing and the preservation of their housing conditions; places in the kindergarten were provided for children; children were also provided with free vouchers to visit a camp.

But most importantly, we managed to preserve the family ties of a number of families, and the well-being of each family individually is of tremendous importance for the welfare of the whole society.

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