Torture in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Russia]  [other countries]
 

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                            gvnet.com/streetchildren/Russia.htm

Russian Federation (Russia)

Russia ended 2008 with GDP growth of 6.0%, following 10 straight years of growth averaging 7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Over the last six years, fixed capital investment growth and personal income growth have averaged above 10%, but both grew at slower rates in 2008. Growth in 2008 was driven largely by non-tradable services and domestic manufacturing, rather than exports. During the past decade, poverty and unemployment declined steadily and the middle class continued to expand.

Description: Description: Russia

In mid-November, mini-devaluations of the currency by the Central Bank caused increased capital flight and froze domestic credit markets, resulting in growing unemployment, wage arrears, and a severe drop in production.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Russia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Life on the Streets

Joyce Man, Moscow Times, February 20, 2007 -- Issue 3600. Page 15

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

With their collected funds, Vladimir said, they will buy one meal, and use the remainder for butorphanol, an opiate analgesic that, at 50 rubles an ampule, is a cheap alternative to heroin. At night, they plan to return to sleep in an attic atop a building near the Timiryazevskaya metro station.

Killing Boys - Russia

journeymanpictures

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7gpeKDdGgY

[accessed 28 May 2013]

A gritty and absorbing film about a street gang of Russian ten year olds that cleans cars, begs, steals and sometimes even murders.

On 23rd February 1994, ten year old Vlodya Jacobs and his gang killed and mutilated a 50 year old man. Police records show that the gang was involved in at least four other killings. This film began as an investigation of homeless children. It became a report on Vlodya, his family, his friends and the reasons why he has committed such grotesque crimes. Popular with the sellers at his local market and generous to other homeless children, it seems inconceivable that he should have beaten a man to death. Sitting in her dirty, ramshackle flat, Vlodya's mother denies that her sons are criminals. Leafing through a shabby photo album, she recalls the days when they had enough food. Now, she's surviving on an inadequate pension, having undergone psychiatric tests. Outside in a leafy park, her two eldest sons tell of the money they have stolen from a kiosk stall and admit to pickpocketing and beating up drunks. They describe how they "beat the shit out of one who wouldn't cough up." In this vast country who will take pity on the Killing Boys?

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2006

www.ecpat.net/A4A_2005/PDF/Europe/Global_Monitoring_Report-RUSSIA.pdf

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Sexual exploitation of minors occurs in all regions in Russia, but more accurate data and research are only available on the situation in the northwest, especially in St. Petersburg, and in central Russia, particularly in Moscow. Engaging minors with learning difficulties or from rural areas or provincial towns in the sex industry is a growing trend. In Moscow, the prostitution of children is highly organised and mainly controlled by criminal gangs, facilitated by corruption on the part of law enforcers. Agents who recruit girls work in educational establishments, employment services, cafés, railway stations and marketplaces, and entice minors with promises of good jobs and ‘the high life’. Most of the child victims in the city live on the street either all or most of the time. In St. Petersburg, child prostitution is not controlled by criminal organisations, although some pimps do operate, and sometimes even children are used as pimps. In the northern region, a substantial number of children become victims of commercial sexual exploitation through their parents, who are often involved in prostitution themselves and involve their children directly or sell them to pimps or traffickers; children as young as eight are sexually exploited, and advertisements explicitly seek girls to engage in work of a sexual nature.

The root causes for the involvement of children in commercial sexual exploitation in Russia are poverty, family conflicts, alcoholism, drug abuse in the home, violence, neglect and poor living and housing conditions. In the north, most child victims are vagrants (due to the same causes), orphans or have no parental care. Their involvement in prostitution is also often linked to a dependency on alcohol and/or drugs.

UNICEF - Russian Federation

www.unicef.org/infobycountry/russia.html

[accessed 14 July 2011]

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/russia.htm

[accessed 20 December 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Economic downturn, the deterioration of social services, increase in domestic violence and the breakdown of family structures have led to an increase in the number of street children in the country.  Estimates of the number of street children range from 100,000 to 150,000, with possibly 4 million additional children at risk of living on the streets.  Homeless children often receive no education, are more susceptible to substance abuse, and frequently engaged in criminal activities, including prostitution, to survive.  Without educational opportunities or family support, youth form or join gangs or groups and turn to crime.  Children work in informal retail services, sell goods on the street, wash cars, make deliveries, collect trash, and beg.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61671.htm

[accessed 20 December 2010]

CHILDREN - Estimates of the number of homeless children ranged from 2 million to 5 million. According to the MVD, approximately 109 thousand vagrant minors were removed from the streets and public places in the first quarter of 2004 alone.

According to the Moscow Department of Social Security, 12 percent of street children who ended up in shelters have run away from orphanages or boarding schools. Law enforcement officials reportedly often abused street children, pinned the blame for otherwise unsolved crimes on them, and committed acts including extortion, illegal detention, and psychological and sexual violence against them. According to the Public Verdict Foundation, prosecutors refused to bring charges in 80 percent of cases of alleged police misconduct towards such minors. Homeless children often engaged in criminal activities, received no education, and were vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse. Some young girls on the streets turned to, or were forced into, prostitution to survive.

Local and international NGOs provided a variety of services for the homeless. Many Moscow charitable organizations established productive relations with the city government to address the needs of children with disabilities, as well as other vulnerable groups. In St. Petersburg, local government and police ran various programs for homeless children and cooperated with local NGOs; however, resources were few and overall coordination remained poor. In St. Petersburg, NGOs ran seven drop-in centers.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] Accepted social prohibitions against employment of children and the availability of adult workers at low wages generally prevented widespread abuse of child labor. Nonetheless, children working and living on the streets remained a problem. Parents often used their children to lend credence to their poverty when begging or had them beg. Homeless children were at heightened risk for exploitation in prostitution or criminal activities.

Human Rights Reports » 2004 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 28, 2005

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41704.htm

[accessed 5 March 2011]

CHILDREN - The status of many children has deteriorated since the collapse of communism because of falling living standards, an increase in the number of broken homes, and domestic violence. In Moscow, approximately 6,000 children per year were brought to the Center of Temporary Isolation of Minor Delinquents (COVINA). These children stayed in COVINA for no more than 30 days. During this period, a child's case was investigated, and his or her guardian was located; however, in 90 to 95 percent of these cases, the police simply returned the children to their families or to the institution from which they had run away. Many officials considered such domestic problems private affairs and preferred not to interfere. Ministry of Labor and Social Protection estimates indicated that approximately 1 million minors spend most of their time on the streets of big cities, neglected by their parents or caregivers. According to data of the Training and Research Center of the Ministry of Education, almost 130,000 new children are registered annually nationwide as lacking parental support and supervision. In St. Petersburg alone, the number of street children was estimated to be between 20,000 and 45,000.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2005

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/russia2005.html

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[74] The Committee expresses its concern at the increasing number of street children and their vulnerability to all forms of abuse and exploitation, as well as the fact that these children do not have access to public health and education services. The lack of a systematic and comprehensive strategy to address the situation and protect these children is also of concern to the Committee.

Killing Boys - Russia

journeymanpictures

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7gpeKDdGgY

[accessed 28 May 2013]

A gritty and absorbing film about a street gang of Russian ten year olds that cleans cars, begs, steals and sometimes even murders.

On 23rd February 1994, ten year old Vlodya Jacobs and his gang killed and mutilated a 50 year old man. Police records show that the gang was involved in at least four other killings. This film began as an investigation of homeless children. It became a report on Vlodya, his family, his friends and the reasons why he has committed such grotesque crimes. Popular with the sellers at his local market and generous to other homeless children, it seems inconceivable that he should have beaten a man to death. Sitting in her dirty, ramshackle flat, Vlodya's mother denies that her sons are criminals. Leafing through a shabby photo album, she recalls the days when they had enough food. Now, she's surviving on an inadequate pension, having undergone psychiatric tests. Outside in a leafy park, her two eldest sons tell of the money they have stolen from a kiosk stall and admit to pickpocketing and beating up drunks. They describe how they "beat the shit out of one who wouldn't cough up." In this vast country who will take pity on the Killing Boys?

Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb

Nicholas Eberstadt, World Affairs Journal, April 21, 2009

georgiandaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11213&Itemid=72

[accessed 14 July 2011]

School enrollment is sharply lower for primary-school-age children—99 percent in 1991 versus 91 percent in 2004. And the number of abandoned children is sharply higher. According to official statistics, as of 2004 over 400,000 Russian children below 18 years of age were in “residential care.” This means that roughly 1 child in 70 was in a children’s home, orphanage, or state boarding school. Russia is also home to a large and possibly growing contingent of street children whose numbers could well exceed those under institutional care. According to Human Rights Watch, over 100,000 children in Russia have been abandoned by their parents each year since 1996. If accurate, this number, compared to the annual tally of births for the Russian Federation, which averaged about 1.4 million a year for the 1996–2007 period, would suggest that in excess of 7 percent of Russia’s children are being discarded by their parents ...

Partnership to Prevent HIV Among Vulnerable Russian Youth

U.S. Agency for International Development, 03-18-2009

www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/partnership-prevent-hiv-among-vulnerable-russian-youth

[accessed 14 October 2012]

Estimates indicate that there are up to 10,000 street children and youth in St. Petersburg, many of whom struggle with substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Studies demonstrate extremely high rates of HIV transmission (37.4%) among this group, who have limited access to clinical treatment and care.

Experts See Drop in Number of Street Kids

Irina Titova, The St. Petersburg Times, June 3, 2008 -- Issue # 1378

www.times.spb.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=26174http://www.times.spb.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=26174

[accessed 14 July 2011]

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

St. Petersburg has from 3,000 to 10,000 street children but their number is gradually decreasing, experts have said.  “It’s hard to count these children and hard to give exact statistics. However, we have noticed that the number is decreasing,” Vera Klimova, coordinator of work with neglected children at Innovations Center, said at a press briefing dedicated to the problem last week.  Klimova said that in the Nevsky and Admiralteisky districts where help for street children is available the number of street children has decreased significantly.  “However, you can still see quite a number of them at Prospekt Prosveshcheniya or in the Kupchino district,” in the north and the south of the city respectively, Klimova said.

Russia and U.S. are bound in the illegal cyber-trafficking of child pornography

Lou Michel and Susan Schulman, The Buffalo News, Moscow, 03/31/2008 -- Buffalo News reporter Dan Herbeck contributed to this report

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

These ragtag kids are Russia’s street children, most of them abandoned by alcoholic or drug-addicted parents. Many, proudly holding up the glue pots they sniff to get high, are drug addicts themselves. Some support their addictions by working for child pornographers, said Katharine Zaretskaja, a social worker with Stellit, the Russian organization fighting child exploitation.

It’s a similar scene in Moscow, where city police point to a group of youths hanging out at the Metro train station at Ilyinsky Square. They wait for the pornographers the same way the prostitutes wait for johns. “It’s a popular spot,” Police Investigator Sergei Sokolov said.

Stopping sexual abuse of Russian kids

Cesar Chelala M.D., The Japan Times, New York, Sept. 11, 2007

search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20070911cc.html

[accessed 20 December 2010]

St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.  Frequent recruiting targets are street children or children from dysfunctional families. Once they're entrapped, they may end up in brothels and red-light districts as they get older. Recruiters prey on these children's situations, deceiving them into a life of dependency.

Children engaged in prostitution frequently belong to families in extreme poverty, and characterized by alcohol and drug addiction or a hostile family atmosphere. In other cases, they are orphans who have made the street their home. – htsccp

Life on the Streets

Joyce Man, Moscow Times, February 20, 2007 -- Issue 3600. Page 15

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

With their collected funds, Vladimir said, they will buy one meal, and use the remainder for butorphanol, an opiate analgesic that, at 50 rubles an ampule, is a cheap alternative to heroin. At night, they plan to return to sleep in an attic atop a building near the Timiryazevskaya metro station.

Delivering hope to Russia's unwanted street kids

Rachael Hughes, October 14 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

While it was inconceivable in New Zealand to consider abandoning children, in Russia, where often three generations were crammed into one-bedroom apartments with alcohol their only solace, children were simply an inconvenience.  Many ran away, many were pushed out and some had never known a home, a warm bed or a hot meal.  Hot water in Vladivostok is piped around the city, creating an underground network of warm pipes that made a perfect winter home for the homeless.  While New Zealanders think their winter is cold, it is nothing compared to the endless, bone-chilling winter of Russia.

Maria's Children

Dr Jan Adams, MD, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 160 No. 5, May 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

This is a population that is undernourished, understimulated, underbonded, undereducated (both academically and in life skills), and abused in nearly every physical, sexual, and psychological way imaginable. There are exceptions of course, but the average government orphanage is a grim place indeed, understaffed with underpaid and overworked employees.

The result of this hopeless situation for these forgotten children who are anathema in their own country is a nearly 25% suicide rate and, without intervention, a life span that averages 25 years. The children, unprepared in any way for the challenging Russian life, are dumped out of the orphanages at age 16 years. They are offered few options in life—cannon fodder for the army, various criminal occupations such as drug trafficking and prostitution, or work in paint or shoe factories (which are highly toxic). They are lost to disease, drug and alcohol addiction, white slavery, and the military along with suicide and violent death.

Russian Runaways Find Few Willing To Help Them

Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, Moscow, December 19, 2001

www.csmonitor.com/2001/1219/p7s1-woeu.html

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Oleg Mukhin lives with several friends in a hollow beneath the platform of Moscow's Vikhino railway station. The thin, small and nervous 11-year-old insists that it's not a bad life. But sometimes, he says, the police try to round the kids up by spraying tear gas into their hiding places and hitting them with truncheons.

The Street Children Project in Vladivostok

V Rev Myron Effing, C.J.D., Vladivostok Sunrise, Issue Number 46, July 1, 2002

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Rachael Hughes from New Zealand was the first person who began to work with street children in Vladivostok. The problem was too big for her to handle all by herself, because there were too many children.  - SCCP

Assessment Mission To St Petersburg [DOC] -- Time frame: February 7th -12th 2001, Locations: Central St Petersburg, Northern, Southern and Western peripheries.

Hugh Griffiths, Médecins du Monde Sweden, February 2001

www.lakareivarlden.org/files/St%20Petersburg%20rapport%20eng.doc

[accessed 27 September 2011]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

St. Petersburg has approximately 5 million registered citizens within the municipal boundaries. There are an estimated 5000 to 7000 street children in St. Petersburg, with a greater number sleeping at home most of the nights but avoiding school and living on the street during the day. The general trend appears to substantiate the proposition that those sleeping at home but living on the street tend to graduate to sleeping outside the family residence within a period of 18 months.

HUMAN RIGHTS, LEGAL ISSUES & LAW ENFORCEMENT - One of the principle barriers standing in the way of street children accessing their right under the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child to medical care is the fact that many of them lack the correct documentation. The "Propiska" is the stamp in the internal Russian passport which notifies doctors, nurses, police and the health authorities that the holder of the stamp is registered in a certain city, town or village. If the person seeks state medical care in a region outside his or her "Propiska" area, then he or she will be denied it.

An ever increasing number of the children living on the streets of St Petersburg are not registered with the local authorities of that city. This makes state primary health and secondary care impossible for them.

Similarly, both street children and heroin users are subject to beatings and illegal detentions by certain police officers. Heroin users are often actively persecuted by police officers. Such persecution can be lawful when heroin users break Russian legal codes. However, drug users are subject to arbitrary arrest, police break new syringes and females are often exposed to sexual misconduct on the part of the police.

Letter from Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative in Russian Federation and Belarus

Carel De Rooy, UNICEF Representative, Russian Federation and Belarus

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

However, life in the street was not an easy one either. “You can not survive in the street unless you are a member of some group of loitering youngsters”, he says. “And you need to make your own contribution to the group’s income by means of begging or stealing. Otherwise, you’ll stay hungry or can even be beaten”. Dima had to do all these terrible things in order to survive. He was only eight years old at that time!

Aid Group Alleges Massive Child-Trafficking in Russia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL, October 21, 2004

www.rferl.org/content/article/1055450.html

[accessed 26 June 2013]

An aid group says more than 30,000 children and teenagers go missing every year in Russia, and that at least 500,000 children are living on the country's streets.

Sergei Komkov, president of the Russian Fund for Education, blamed Russian politicians for addressing the problem of street kids only during election campaigns. He said government aid to help street kids this year has dropped by 15 to 20 percent.

Komkov said the majority of homeless youngsters in Russia are not orphans but have fled broken and violent homes.  htsc

Kids struggle to survive - Prefer homelessness to cruel treatment in shelters

Douglas Birch, Baltimore Sun, Moscow, January 20, 2002

articles.baltimoresun.com/2002-01-20/news/0201200244_1_railway-station-subway-begging

[accessed 11 Aug  2013]

They flutter through the Kursky railway station like flocks of dirt-smudged pigeons, sniffing glue fumes out of plastic bags, begging for money from strangers and scattering as police approach waving nightsticks.  These are Russia's lost children, part of an army of millions of homeless boys and girls who have fled unhappy homes or escaped from the harsh discipline in state orphanages. Mobs of them, some as young as 5, haunt the capital's subway stations, highway underpasses and railroad terminals.

Homeless Children -- Helpless Victims Of Collapsing Welfare, Family Systems

Francesca Mereu, June 20, 2002

www.rferl.org/content/article/1100041.html

[accessed 14 October 2012]

Dmitriy, who has been living in the Way Home shelter for four years, fled Tajikistan with his mother in 1994, two years after the outbreak of civil war. He said he and his mother made their way to the Russian capital in hopes of finding better living conditions, but things only grew worse. "I came here [to Moscow] with my mother. We thought we could find some place to live, but we didn't. We moved from place to place around Moscow for about a year. Then we lived in the country [not far from Moscow] with an old woman. After that, my mother went to prison again," Dmitriy said.

Russia's Ruined Youth – 3

The Photographic Portfolio of John Kaplan

www.johnkaplan.com/pages/russia3.html

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Sergei: A Loss of Freedom. He is again a helpless little boy as shelter workers give him a bath and check for lice. Sensing a loss of freedom, Sergei refuses to sleep in the shelter for more than a few nights at a time.

Russia's Ruined Youth -1

The Photographic Portfolio of John Kaplan

www.johnkaplan.com/pages/russia1.html

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Sergei: The Airport is His Home. Sergei Mayorov, 8, has been alone on the street in St. Petersburg, Russia for nearly three years. He insists on smoking American Marlboro cigarettes, which cost the equivalent of two days average Russian wages. He steals or begs to gather money to buy them, then gives them away.

Ivanovo YMCA Social Rehabilitation of Street Children

Consortium for Street Children 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

This organisation aims for social rehabilitation of street children through a centre that responds to their physical needs and offers various programmes for their support. Youth leaders are identified among the street children and invited to participate in a leadership process through training and joint activities with social workers.

Children face street curfew in Moscow

Michael Binyon, The Times (UK), Moscow, January 24, 2002

www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/6038-11.cfm

[accessed 14 July 2011]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

Moscow is considering a curfew on all children aged under 16 as a way of dealing with the 50,000 homeless children roaming the capital’s streets, many of whom are criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts by the age of 11.

Kaladze is mother to Russia’s street children

Erik Tryggestad, The Christian Chronicle, Molodozhnoe Russia, September 2002

www.christianchronicle.org/article1434736~Kaladze_is_mother_to_Russia&#146%3Bs_&#145%3Bstreet_children%27

[accessed 14 July 2011]

They’re not alone. Research from a university in St. Petersburg shows that the number of street children in the city of 4.2 million is at least 16,000, according to a local newspaper.  And 77 percent of these children — some as young as 9 — work exploitative and dangerous jobs, according to the newspaper.  Many are addicted to chemical substances. Model glue, squeezed into plastic bags and sniffed, is especially popular.

Street Children

www.copris.com/sgroup/street/kids-e.htm

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

There are about 2 million street children in Russia. Every summer, this number grows to as many as 4 million. Russian authorities recognize a minimum of one million street kids, but this number represents only those children who have come to the attention of police department juvenile divisions.

On this page you can see some organizations which really help to homeless kids in different regions of Russia.

Love's Bridge - Empowering Russian Street Children to Become Productive Members of Society

Love's Bridge 2009

www.lovesbridge.org/

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Welcome! Love’s Bridge is an organization dedicated to empowering street youth in Russia to overcome their addictions, resume studies and become self-reliant. We currently run two centers for street children and underprivileged young people in the city of Perm, which is situated near the border of Europe and Asia.

MSF Opens Day Center For Moscow Street Children

Medecins Sans Frontieres MSF, 20.04.2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

"These teenagers need a place to turn to", explained MSF project coordinator Gabriella Muretto. "They come from all over the former Soviet Union and have ended up on Moscow streets, where they face harsh conditions and are vulnerable to abuse.

Voice of the Children

Voice Of The Children

votc.org/history

[accessed 11 Aug  2013]

That cold morning in 1993 was the beginning of Alex's journey into the world of St. Petersburg's street children.  Thousands of abandoned children from 5 to 18 years old live in the basements, sewer systems and attics of the city.  Lonely, cold, sick and hungry, many try to escape the pain by sniffing shoe polish,  using alcohol or even heroin.  Many sell their bodies for survival.

Programs in Russia

Russian Children’s Welfare Society

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

HOMELESS SHELTERS - For hundreds of thousands of children in Russia's cities, homelessness is a way of life.  International medical organizations estimate that there are 250,000 homeless children in Moscow alone.  The Russian Children's Welfare Society has given grants to shelters and soup kitchens to help alleviate this serious problem.  During 2001-2002, RCWS was able to assist the "Way Home" shelter in Moscow thanks to the generous contribution of Raisa Scriabine.  This facility is run by a top notch staff of professionals who attend to the physical, emotional and psychiatric needs of children rescued from life on the streets.  The shelter's comprehensive services include medical care, therapy sessions for children, and training for foster parents and for biological parents who wish to be reunified with their children.  RCWS will continue to help such organizations to battle homelessness.

Moscow's Street Kids Army

Sarah Rainsford, BBC News, Moscow, 25 January, 2002

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1780436.stm

[accessed 14 July 2011]

"My stepfather's an alcoholic. He used to shout at me and hit me. So I left. Now I live here, at the station. I sleep on central heating pipes, or on a train. The police sometimes pick us up, but they always let us out again."  Russia is perhaps the only country in the world where a policeman, when he sees a child in the street, tries not to notice him

No Help For Chechnya’s Street Kids

Amina Visayeva in Grozny, Caucasus Reporting Service CRS No. 261, 10-Nov-2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 14 July 2011]

As a result of traditional Chechen attitudes, the children are ashamed to beg, but try to earn their money by finding jobs.  Children have suffered terribly from the decade of war in Chechnya and there has been a sharp rise in the number of recorded cases of children living on the street or otherwise uncared for.  It used to be the job of the Inspectorate for Underage Children to find runaways and deliver them to a children’s refuge or reception center.  But because of the destruction of the last ten years, the city has no such institutions catering for minors.

North Ossetia: Lost Street Children

Yana Voitova, Caucasus Reporting Service CRS Issue 285, 17 Nov 2005

iwpr.net/report-news/north-ossetia-lost-street-children

[accessed 14 July 2011]

Fifteen-year-old Diana looks like a child, but before she arrived at the Vladikavkaz Center For Young Offenders, she was making a living from prostitution. The street girl’s services were extremely cheap: just one dollar for oral sex.  The Center, in the capital of the North Ossetian republic, will not provide a permanent home to Diana and other street children like her. After a month, unless she is sent on to a unit for more serious offenders, she will be sent back home – or back onto the street.

Few Choices for Moscow's Homeless Children

Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor, 16 November 1999

www.csmonitor.com/1999/1116/p7s2.html

[accessed 14 October 2012]

Fourteen-year-old Oksana Smirnova is a recent recruit to Russia's growing army of abandoned children. Experts say the numbers of these kids, trapped between a precarious street existence and official institutions that are sometimes worse, have swollen to crisis proportions.

Group Raises Alarm For Russia's Street Children

Reuters North America, Moscow, 12 March 1997

pangaea.org/street_children/russia/russia3.htm

[accessed 14 July 2011]

A million children are homeless in Russia and the nation's youngsters suffer an indifference symptomatic of a grave sickness in society.

Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Case of the Russian Federation [PDF]

Prepared for the International Organization for Migration IOM by Prof. Donna M. Hughes, June 2002

www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/russia.pdf

[accessed 20 December 2010]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - For others, such as the new groups of street children and orphans which did not exist in Russia ten years ago, they are recruited at an early age, virtually sold into slavery, and may never know another way of life. This is true for countless young Russian girls and boys, some as young as 12 years of age, who may later become a part of criminal syndicates themselves and perpetuate this phenomenon. In this way, more and more people without options are lured into sub-human and degrading conditions, often for the rest of their lives.  - htsccp

Street children in Russia: steps to prevention [PDF]

Balachova TN, Bonner BL, Levy S. - Int J Soc Welfare 2009: 18: 27–44 © 2008 The Author(s), Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare

moldovaresearch.wikispaces.com/file/view/Russia+2.pdf

[accessed 7 October 2012]

This article examines the historical evolution of the development of social policy toward street children in Russia and makes recommendations for prevention. The historical examination begins with the Soviet period, when statistics on social problems were not publicly known. It continues through the post-Soviet period when there was an emerging awareness about the increasing number of abused, abandoned children and children living on the streets. Etiological factors, such as child maltreatment and parental substance abuse, are then discussed. Based on these etiological factors, the article then proposes a model in which existing institutions and professionals are supported in facilitating an integrated system of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. This includes improving child protection services and interventions to prevent children leaving their homes, early identification of children who are becoming involved in street life and a continuum of care for children who cannot return home.

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Torture in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Russia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Russia]  [other countries]