Russian kids rights czar claims US adoption ban in line with international law
MOSCOW, December 25 - RAPSI. Responding to charges reportedly asserted by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov declared that Russia's willingness to ban US adoptions of its children are in line with its obligations under international law, and that he's prepared to say as much to President Vladimir Putin, Astakhov told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
"Russia will not violate any international legal standards by withdrawing from the agreement unilaterally... According to the UN Convention, the state is obligated to do all it can for children living in foster families, and, first and foremost, must protect their rights. And we can see that children handed over to the United States are not protected," Astakhov said.
Earlier Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, who is responsible for federal social issues, sent the president a letter asking him not to sign "Dima Yakovlev Law," which bans the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
According to Forbes, Golodets stated in her letter that the law passed by the lower house of Parliament contradicts both Russian family law and international human rights law.
Astakhov vowed his willingness while speaking with RIA Novosti Tuesday to let Putin know that Golodets' concerns are wrong.
The Russian State Duma adopted the so-called Dima Yakovlev bill in the third and final reading on Friday. The draft law could take effect in January once it is approved by the Federation Council and signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The bill is named after a 21-month-old Russian child who died of heatstroke in July 2008 when his adoptive American father, Miles Harrison, left him unattended in a car for nine hours.
Several high-ranking Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have spoken against the adoption of the draft law.
The draft law was introduced in retaliation against the enactment of the Magnitsky Act in the United States, which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials deemed guilty of human rights abuses.