РОО ПРАВО РЕБЕНКА » 21.09.2013 - Эти дети не должны быть забыты: двойное предательство Павла Астахова
21.09.2013 - Эти дети не должны быть забыты: двойное предательство Павла Астахова

21.09.2013 - These children must not be forgotten: double betrayal by Pavel Astakhov - possibly in cooperation with the U.S. Administration.

Boris Altshuler,
Chair of the “Right of the Child”, Moscow (http://www.right-child.ru
Member Moscow Helsinki Group,
Member Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Double betrayal of Russian children by Russian Child Rights Commissioner.
Does he cooperate in it with the U.S. Administration ?

On 9 September Reuters published report on illegal  re-homing of children adopted to US from abroad, including Russia:

Yes, U.S. social system needs improvement, like social systems of Russia and of many other countries. Pavel Astakhov, child rights commissioner under President of Russia, in his interview from 19 Sept referred to this Reuters report as one more justification of the Russian Dima Yakovlev law which put a ban for all adoptions from Russia to U.S. and which main advocate was Pavel Astakhov himself. However Mr. Astakhov ignored the fact that with his support of this law he personally perpetrated double betrayal of Russian children:

Firstly he betrayed Russian children already adopted to the U.S. because the ban law cancelled the Russia-US Agreement on adoption (“specifically we have exited the agreement with the USA. It is valid till January 1, 2014 in the reporting part and the monitoring. But beginning with January 1, 2014 it becomes absolutely null”, - said Pavel Astakhov in the above named interview). When this agreement was negotiated in 2010-2012 I not a once proposed to include in it the so called “social umbrella” approach for adoptive families (this approach is called “patronat” – in Russia, and “safety plan” – in U.S.) - as a tool for raising responsibility of social authorities for the adopted child, which as it is evident would make impossible the illegal ‘re-homing’. It was not included in the agreement earlier. But now – after Reuters report – the agreement could be strengthened in this way. However there is nothing to strengthen now because Russia, and Pavel Astakhov in particular, chose a ‘new Cold War’ instead of fruitful international cooperation – sacrificing with it the best interests of Russian children adopted to the U.S..

Secondly Pavel Astakhov personally is responsible for tragedy of about 100 Russian disabled orphans who were totally prepared in December 2012 for adoption to American families and who instead of are ‘buried alive’ in Russian institutions by the adoption ban law. Totally ignoring these children Pavel Astakhov in his above named interview gives drastically false number (1175) of disabled children taken to Russian families from Russian children’s institutions in 2011. About  Pavel Astakhov’s inhuman position I wrote back in January 2013 in my Appeal to President of France, and recently in my pre G-20 Open Letter to President Obama and U.S. Congress, and in my comments to President Putin’s 9 September Article in New York Times.

Paradoxically we see the situation when representatives of BOTH administrations – of Russia (Pavel Astakhov) and of  the U.S. (Susan S. Jacobs - Special Department of State Advisor for International Children's Issues and Daniel A. Russell - Deputy Secretary of State) do their best to FORGET these children, to hush up the problem. In particular the Russian-American top level Forum on protection of children which will be opened on Monday, 23 September, in Khanty-Mansyisk will serve a political smokescreen ‘suffocating’ these children.

As to the Reuters shocking report on re-homing of children via social networks, I hope the United States will resolve the problem. The great concern is already expressed by a number of Governments, and also in the USA. I was impressed to see comments by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa who said: "It exposes the enormous potential for danger, abuse and exploitation involving these children", and who promised to explore "possible options for federal action" .

The point is that in 1984 Senator Grassley saved me from arrest for my dissident activities and for my assistance to Andrei Sakharov with short (and funny) telegram addressed to Chief of KGB of USSR: “Dear Mr. Chebrikov, I heard that physicist Boris Altshuler is persecuted in the USSR. Please take into consideration that Iowa State provides 10% of wheat and 6% of soybeans purchased by the Soviet Union in the U.S.”  I take a chance to express my gratitude to Senator Chuck Grassley for his non-indifference 30 years ago, and hope that the same non-indifference will help children now. 
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