27 April 2020
Aleksei Golovan (left) is executive director of the ‘Souchastie v sud’be’ (Participation in Fate) charity centre, and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group
The President of Russia and the chair of the Government are working to persuade all citizens to show responsibility and solidarity, and are promising to give support both during and after the crisis, especially to socially vulnerable citizens.
The Ministry of Education is defiantly doing the opposite; they are preparing drafts of normative acts which will clearly reduce the legal guarantees of housing rights for orphaned children.
The Government of the Russian Federation has had a new draft resolution prepared. It proposes to amend the law to allow for the formation of a list of orphans who are to be provided with housing, the exclusion of orphans from the list in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation at their former place of residence, and their inclusion in the list in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation according to their new place of residence (hereinafter referred to as the Listing Rules).
The rules for the formation of the list were approved only a year ago, by the Government of the Russian Federation, and are dated 4 April 2019 and marked as ‘No. 397 in connection with the amendment from 1 January 2019 of the provisions of Article 8 of the Federal Law of 21 December 1999 No. 159-FZ ‘Additional Guarantees for social support for orphans and children left without parental care’ (hereinafter – the Federal Law of 21 December 1999 No. 159-FZ).
The explanatory note to the drafted government decree indicates that it was developed in order to streamline the creation of the list of orphaned children and minors who are entitled to housing provision.
Ministry of Education is lying.
The only real goal of the proposed changes is to artificially and arbitrarily reduce the number of orphaned minors, as well as individuals who have reached the age of 23, who are entitled to housing provisions.
What does the Ministry of Education propose to change in the Listing Rules?
And more importantly – why?
Firstly, they have proposed the removal from the Listing Rules the following provision: young persons classed as orphans and children without parental custody, as well as orphans who have acquired full legal capacity before they reach adulthood, in the event of a change of their place of residence before reaching adulthood, are subject to delisting in the region of the Russian Federation at the former place of residence, and are included in the list in in the next region of the Russian Federation at their new place of residence.
This novation will lead to situations whereby if guardians of children without parental care, whose place of residence has changed from one region of the Russian Federation to another before they reach the age of 18, have not promptly filed applications to exclude wards from the list at their former place of residence and to be included in the list at the new place of residence (or if the application was not accepted, or was refused consideration, etc.), then upon reaching adulthood, such orphaned persons will no longer be able to independently apply for exclusion from the list in entity of the Russian Federation at their former place of residence, and for inclusion in the list in the region of the Russian Federation at the new place of residence of the guardian.
The indicated novation not only does not correspond to the rights and interests of orphaned persons who were not promptly removed from the list of their former place of residence and were not included in the list of their new place of residence, but also clearly contradicts the provisions described in paragraphs 1 and 31 of Article 8 of the Federal Law of December 21, 1996 No. 159-FZ. […]
Translated by Alice Lee