MOSCOW, July 30 (RAPSI) – The institute of jurors on family matters needs to be introduced as an additional mechanism protecting rights of parents in cases their children have to be removed by social workers, according to Chair of the Civic Chamber Commission on Demography, Protection of Family, Children, and Traditional Family Values Sergey Rybalchenko.

This important issue relating to the protection of parents’ rights was urged by Rybalchenko, who, among the respective initiatives discussed at the public hearings the Civic Chamber hosted on July 24, also backed the proposal to let parents have an additional public defender. The jurors, the Commission Chair says, are to be representatives of NGOs, who are to judge if such a measure is necessary prior to trials.

The rights activist cited the example of Scotland, where he said public representatives had the right to decide on feasibility of removal of children from families without trials adding that this measure was probably premature in Russia; at the same time, his initiative was necessary to achieve a significant decrease in the number of unjustified removals, Rybalchenko observed.

Earlier, a bill setting restrictions on removals of children from families has reached the State Duma; the document envisages that such removals are to be carried out exclusively by court orders with the only exception for cases, where a child is facing death in a matter of hours.