“While welcoming Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s call for the improvement of the child welfare system, UNICEF urges that the current plight of the many Russian children in institutions receives priority attention.

“We ask that the Government of Russia, in its design and development of all efforts to protect children, let the best interests of children – and only their best interests – determine its actions. “We encourage the government to establish a robust national social protection plan to help strengthen Russian families. Alternatives to the institutionalization of children are essential, including permanent foster care, domestic adoption and inter-country adoption.

“All children deserve an environment that promotes their protection and well-being. Russian children – indeed all children – need to be in protective and loving families or family-like environments.”



Note to editors:

For more information, please contact:

Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York, Tel. + 1 212 303 7984/Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188, psmerdon@unicef.org

John Budd, Chief of Communication, CEE CIS Region, Tel. +41 229 095 429/Mobile: +41 794 311 537 jbudd@unicef.org



UNICEF is the world's leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk