In her expert comment, Olesya Petrol noted the controversial aspects of the new law-making initiative, the originators of which suggest regulating the matters of supervision over children, whose parents were arrested or put in detention.
“On the one hand, the situation, in which a parent becomes unable to supervise his or her child due to an administrative penalty or criminal enforcement measures imposed on such parent, definitely requires legislative regulation. On the other hand, particularly taking into account Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the federal law-maker should provide for sufficient guarantees of non-interference with the family life, which do not allow even thinking that state bodies or officials may use child’s destiny as an argument for putting pressure on his or her parent, who is being subject to any enforcement measures”, Olesya Petrol specifies.
The expert believes that it is important to understand, which officials will make a decision on the temporary transfer of a child – a wide circle of such bodies and entities would hardly contribute to establishing the single practice to the best interests of the child. Referring such matter to the court, probably involving the prosecutor and a child protection body as mandatory participants, appears to be more appropriate in terms of the sense of social guarantees. “If we have ‘judges on duty’ considering the matters concerning measures of restraint, why don’t they also consider the matters of temporary transfer of children, which are at least equally important?” – Olesya Petrol asks.
She notes that the draft law postulates the priority of transferring children to their relatives, while failing to describe the measures to be taken to contact them. “I believe that this matter must not be governed by the law enforcement practice. I have concerns that these measures may turn out to be formal, resulting from which children will be transferred to the corresponding institutions – this scenario is often not the optimum one. The judicial procedure for transferring children suggested above may at least provide the minimum guarantees in this respect – the court will vet the measures taken to find the child’s relatives”, – Olesya Petrol summarises.