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Children returned to parents

04 July 2016

On 28 June, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation received a letter of gratitude from a large family living in Belgorod Region. The interference of the High Commissioner contributed to the saving of the family: on 8 April, the Volokonovsky District Court cancelled restrictions of their parental rights.

Having studied the case, the High Commissioner concluded that the court decision as of 27 August to limit parental rights of a father and a mother of five children had been taken in violation of the court procedure. Such decision had been probably caused by biased approach of guardianship bodies. Although in the past the parent had questionable reputation, by the time of the court proceedings they stopped taking psychoactive substances, which was confirmed by an expert opinion. Testimony of psychologists, doctors, and teachers proved that the family situation was good enough, children are on friendly terms with each other, psychologically safe, and they attended school.

Being guided by the principle of keeping the blood family and understanding the need to provide all possible assistance to large families, the High Commissioner supported the appeal to restore the parents in their rights. The Belgorod Region Commission on Protection of Rights of Minors, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Volokonovsky District, the Department of Social Protection of the Population were requested to take into consideration the positive changes of the parents’ behaviour, close and friendly relations between them and children, and the wish of all the children to live with their own mother and father.

The relevant authorities of Belgorod Region reckoned the High Commissioner’s opinion, legally assessed the arguments given in the appeal, and in the spring of 2016 the decision to limit parental rights of appellants was reversed and the rights of the large family restored.

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