12 October 2018

Children's rights get a boost in Russia and Vietnam

Russian ombudsman supports bill extending powers of children's rights commissioners, while Vietnam opens consultation process with children.

A bill extending powers of Russian child rights ombudsman has reached the state Duma, while Vietnam has commenced a regulatory drafting process which includes children seven years and up being consulted on their rights.

Ombudsman powers

Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova has said a presidential bill granting child rights ombudsmen a power to challenge officials’ actions or inactions in courts to protect minors as useful and timely. Ms Moskalkova believes that new powers will let children’s rights ombudsmen assert minors’ rights more efficiently. President Vladimir Putin submitted the bill concerning powers of child rights ombudsmen in Russia to the State Duma on October 3. The bill stipulates that the ombudsman would be able to file lawsuits with various courts asking them to determine legality of certain decisions, actions or inactions of state and municipal bodies. The ombudsman would also be able to visit detention and penitentiary centers holding underage persons, pregnant women and women, who have children in special facilities for children in prisons and penal colonies.The draft law also envisages punishment for interference with actions of the children’s rights commissioner and non-compliance with the ombudsman’s legal requests.

Draft consultation

The Vietnam ministry of labour, invalids and social affairs is working on a circular guiding the consultation of children in the process of drafting regulations on or related to children. The draft consultation includes children aged seven or older selected appropriate to age, sex, ethnicity, family circumstance and personal maturity. An array of means are stipulated for consultation, including surveys, forums, conferences, meetings, workshops, telephone and online consultations. Participation in the consultation process is voluntary and proactive. After receiving opinions and feedback from children, agencies and organizations in charge of organizing the consultation will make and send a report on the consultation result to the drafting agency for study and feedback before finalising the draft document before publication.