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Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Anna Kuznetsova met with her Finnish counterpart

November 2, 2016

Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Anna Kuznetsova met with her Finnish colleague Tuomas Kurttila.

The delegation led by Finland’s Children’s Ombudsman Tuomas Kurttila that visited the Presidential Executive Office included representatives of Finland’s Ministry of Justice and Ambassador to Russia Mikko Hautala.

Anna Kuznetsova thanked the Finnish delegation for their willingness to cooperate on the most important issues of child protection. She regularly receives complaints from Russian citizens residing in Finland who had their children taken away from them.

”During our first month of work, we ran into four cases of children being taken away from Russian families. We are working on each case individually. My lawyers keep in touch with the petitioners and representatives of the Russian consulate in Finland. This suggests that there is an ongoing dialogue, and we can take further steps to establish systemic cooperation,“ Ms Kuznetsova said, adding that significant progress was achieved by the Russian-Finnish contact group.

”We cannot achieve success in this area without an open and trust-based dialogue,” Ms Kuznetsova said. “We call on the Finnish side to work with us in the interest of children and in order to develop a flexible response mechanism.”

Finland's Ambassador to Russia Mikko Hautala noted that relations between Finland and Russia have reached a new level and it is important to step up this work.

Topics of discussion at the meeting with Children’s Ombudsman Tuomas Kurttila included the integration of Russian families in Finland, youth suicide, internet safety, and the role of children in decision-making.

The sides agreed to continue cooperation, and decided to make such meetings regular. They also discussed the possibility of signing a Protocol Agreement between the Russian and Finnish Commissioners for Children’s Rights.

November 2, 2016