Nov 15, 2017

Involving children in sects should result in revocation of parental rights – Supreme Court

November 14, 2017

MOSCOW, November 14 (RAPSI) – The Supreme Court has ruled that parental rights should be revoked if parents make their children members of sects prohibited in Russia, the court’s plenum has stated.

According to the court, involvement of children in religious or public organizations, which were liquidated or prohibited by Russian courts definitely constitutes abuse of parental rights.

Similar measures should be taken when parents induce children to participate in gambling, vagrancy, begging and other similar activities. At the same time, the court notes that poor financial condition of a family is not a reason for breaking it apart.

The Supreme Court reminds that taking a child away from a family is a measure of last response and may be enforced only when there is a clear danger to a child’s life or health. Evaluation of such danger is to be made case by case.

Revocation of parental rights is also a drastic measure and is to be taken only if there are no other ways to protect rights or interests of a child, the court stated.

The court notes that opinion of a child holds a great value when his or her rights are considered. A child may participate in court hearings after reaching an age of 10 and even younger children may be brought to proceedings if a judge believes that a child may formulate his or her own opinion on the matter. Restoration of parental rights for a child above age of 10 may be completed only if a child agrees. In cases involving multiple children courts must hear opinions of all of them.

It was also noted that courts should not ignore cases when social services failed to take timely measures to protect rights of children.

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