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Intercountry adoption: children as hostages of international relations

Written declaration No. 536 | Doc. 13113 rev. | 29 January 2013

Ms Marlene RUPPRECHT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Karin ANDERSEN, Norway, UEL ; Mr Fernand BODEN, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Sílvia Eloïsa BONET PEROT, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Jim DOBBIN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Erich Georg FRITZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Margus HANSON, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliane MAURY PASQUIER, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Michael McNAMARA, Ireland, SOC ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr René ROUQUET, France, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Marina SCHUSTER, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Ionuţ-Marian STROE, Romania, ALDE ; Mr Björn von SYDOW, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Katrin WERNER, Germany, UEL
1. We are worried about the situation of Russian children who are taken as hostages of transatlantic diplomatic tensions following the interruption by the Russian Federation of intercountry adoption procedures involving the United States of America as a "receiving country".
2. On the pretext of protecting Russian children against violence, the State Duma, in December 2012, adopted a new law prohibiting the intercountry adoption of Russian children by American families. This may affect numerous children, given that about 650 000 Russian children are currently estimated to be growing up without parental care and about 60 000 were placed in American families in the past 20 years.
3. We reaffirm our commitment to the fact that the child's best interest must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies", as provided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). We call upon the Russian authorities to revoke the above-mentioned decision.
4. Especially in times of economic crisis, children as a vulnerable group (including many children with disabilities) must not be further victimised by short-sighted political decisions, but be given the widest range of care options possible.