126,000 children molested in Russia in 2008 - ombudsman
Gleb Ageyev   /  Photo: www.life.ru

126,000 children molested in Russia in 2008 - ombudsman

24 Apr, 01:44 PM

According to rights activists’ statistics, 126,000 children were molested in Russia in 2008 alone, and 2,330 of them suffered grievous bodily harm, Moscow ombudsman Alexei Golovan says.

Speaking Friday at a Moscow conference dedicated to the UN convention on children’s rights, Golovan lamented the current situation in Russia.

“A serious problem in Russia is the issue of violence against children. Last year, 126,000 children were victims of abuse by adults,” he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

He added that next to nothing was being done to eliminate violence against children, and said Russia needed at least rehabilitation centers for children victims, or a crisis line.

“We only raise this issue one in a while… We boil over it, we get distressed, and then we forget about it,” Golovan said.

A series of widely-publicized parental brutality cases has rocked Russia in the past few months. In March, the media brought public attention to the story of Gleb Ageyev, a 4-year-old boy taken away from his adoptive parents who regularly beat him up and recorded the wounds on the camera. In early April, a young woman was jailed for badly beating up her two stepchildren, aged 7 and 9, and burning their skin with a hot iron. On Thursday, the adoptive mother of a 4-year-old girl admitted beating the child to death and hiding her body in a bog.

Speaking at the same conference, Thomas Hammerberg, the European Council’s commissioner on the rights of children, said that violence against children was more frequent in poor families. In times of financial crisis, he said, most governmental funds tended to be allocated to the support of banks, while welfare programs suffered cutbacks.

“Not even in crisis times should the government cut children’s programs, the priority should be given to children,” Hammarberg said.

Tags: children, human rights, crime

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