Ryazan: Human rights defenders help orphans

posted 15 Jan 2017, 13:13 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Jan 2017, 13:16 ]
26 December 2016 

Source: HRO.org

Over 40 orphans who have been helped by Memorial in Ryazan are to receive housing by the New Year.

Young people who have left children’s homes have told lawyers at Ryazan Memorial that Ryazan city government has invited them to have a look at their future accommodation.

This year 64 apartments are planned to be made available to Ryazan's orphans. More than 40 of these will be granted by decisions of the courts in which Memorial’s lawyers defended the interests of young people from children’s homes.

The new occupants include Vitaly Stepanov, a former member of the Bolkhov Children's Home and Boarding School for Disabled Children. His personal record was lost back when he was at the boarding school, so he was not allowed to be put on the register of orphans in need of housing.

In order to prove in court that Vitaly Stepanov had a right to housing, Ryazan Memorial lawyer Aleksandr Zarutsky had to spend two years compiling Stepanov's lost information in the archives. In March 2016 the Sovetsky district court of Ryazan ordered the city government to provide Vitaly with the housing as required by law.

In December a former member of the Sheremetev Children's Home, Aleksandr Nikitin, will also get keys to an apartment. On being sent to a children’s home Aleksandr was reserved non-existent housing at the vague address 'Sidorovok village, Rybnovsky District'.

Despite the fact that no house or apartment number was given in the address, because the housing officially 'existed' he did not have the right to receive any subsidised living accommodation.

Together with lawyer Pyotr Ivanov of Ryazan Memorial, Aleksandr went through three protracted lawsuits. In the end, the court recognised the young man's right to be provided with living accommodation.

In June 2015, Sovetsky district court ordered Ryazan city government to grant Nikitin the prescribed housing. It took Aleksandr Nikitin almost 11 years to be provided with an apartment.

This information is being made available as part of the project Legal Aid for Children's Home Leavers. The project will use State support allocated as a grant, pursuant to Russian Presidential Decree No. 68-pd of 05/04/2016, and on the basis of a bidding process run by the Civil Dignity Movement (http://civildignity.ru).

Ryazan Memorial Society has been designated by the Russian Ministry of Justice as an 'NGO performing the functions of a foreign agent'. According to the organisation's management, the said decision is contrary to the Russian Constitution, and Ryazan Memorial is appealing it in court.

Translated by Lindsay Munford