MOSCOW, September 24 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Children Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova has noted a negative trend towards a rise in the number of crimes against minors and urged to take measures aimed at prevention of such crimes.

This Thursday, the Children Ombudsman took part in a coordination meeting of heads of Russia’s law enforcement and other relevant agencies convened to discuss prevention, detection, suppression, and investigation of crimes committed by and against minors.

The meeting was chaired by Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov. The participants discussed certain issues regarding prevention of crimes against children; countering involvement of juveniles in criminal activities and in destructive movements; measures aimed at decriminalization of the youth environment; creation of positive content for young people, proposals in the sphere of protection of childhood.

The number of crimes against minors has increased by 8.6% in the period from 2017 through 2019, Kuznetsova said addressing the audience. She expressed her grave concern with respect to the growth in the number of sexual crimes against children (9.4% over three years).

The Children Rights Commissioner urged adoption of a bill envisaging improvement of mechanisms aimed at countering offences against the sexual inviolability of minors and better state safety guarantees calling to as soon as possible resolve differences of opinion braking the adoption of the document; Kuznetsova said that she had already requested relevant structures to provide information about their respective positions on the matter.

The bill was submitted to the State Duma yet in 2018; it has been approved in the first reading, backed by a number of relevant ministries and contains certain proposals by the Children Ombudsman Office, among them those abolishing limitation periods as to crimes against minors.

The Children Rights Commissioner backs all measures as to more serious punishments for crimes against minors, according to Kuznetsova.

As to prevention of juvenile delinquency and preservation of security of minors, the Children Ombudsman believes an answer is the involvement of minors in creative activities; nevertheless, the statistics demonstrate a downward trend in this sphere as the number of children visiting free hobby centers and sports clubs declined by 7.7%.

Implementation of a law on attitude development in the sphere of education can help to improve the situation, the Children Rights Commissioner observed.

Kuznetsova also spoke on the problem of orphan delinquency citing the data provided by the Federal Penitentiary Service. Thus, the statistics demonstrate that over three years (2016 through 2018) the number of persons aged from 18 to 23 from orphaned children and minors left without parental support increased by 19.1%.

Among the measures to be undertaken in order to improve the situation the Children Rights Commissioner cited attitude development programs in orphanages, early detection of violence against children is these facilities, revision of self-education methods in pretrial detention centers and so on.

The Children Ombudsman also told the audience about the project Quality of Childhood developed as an instrument for analyzing the situation in this sphere across regions, especially as concerned the safety of minors.

In conclusion of her speech, Kuznetsova stated that it was necessary to develop and adopt a concept of safety of children in Russia and thanked representatives of law enforcement agencies for their cooperation in the sphere of protection of minors.