Illegal, But Humane: In Russia Again Argue Over Baby Boxes

Health 2023
Illegal, But Humane: In Russia Again Argue Over Baby Boxes
Illegal, But Humane: In Russia Again Argue Over Baby Boxes

Video: Illegal, But Humane: In Russia Again Argue Over Baby Boxes

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There is no federal law regulating the installation and operation of baby boxes, which has become a powerful argument for opponents of these devices. For the other side, which, as a rule, is represented by employees of medical institutions and charitable organizations, the indisputable factor is saving the lives of children who could potentially end up in the dumpster. RIA Novosti correspondents interviewed representatives of specialized structures and organizations in those regions where baby boxes are installed, and tried to understand the problem.


Baby box is a special place for anonymous child abandonment. Since 2011, baby boxes have been installed at medical institutions and religious organizations in Krasnodar, Perm, Kamchatka, Stavropol Territories, Vladimir, Kaliningrad, Kursk, Leningrad, Moscow, Pskov, Sverdlovsk Regions, Tatarstan.

The case of the discovery of a girl in a baby box in the Kuban, which took place in mid-November, caused a wide public outcry. A note was found with the child: "I'm sorry, baby, I love you", and the age was also indicated - one month and three weeks.

A month earlier, the State Duma rejected a bill proposing to give the regions the right to independently determine the need to create baby boxes, their number, location and procedure for their installation. Prior to that, parliamentarians rejected Senator Elena Mizulina's bill on fines of up to 5 million rubles for installing baby boxes.

Now in Russia there is a discussion on the ban of devices for the anonymous abandonment of children. According to a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), more than half of Russians, members of the public and doctors oppose the ban on baby boxes.

Trash can alternative

"Baby boxes" have one door on the street, the second opens inside the medical facility, in the wall of which it is mounted. In fact, it is an incubator with a special cradle bed, with optimal temperature and humidity. There are no cameras near the "baby boxes" The mother has a little time to change her mind and pick up the baby, otherwise the automatic lock is triggered, and the doctors receive a special signal, "- told RIA Novosti in the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory.

It was in the Kuban that the very first baby box in Russia was installed, in 2011 in Sochi. A month later, according to the regional Ministry of Health, thanks to this equipment, the life of a newborn girl was saved.

At the moment, two devices have been installed in the region in Krasnodar (on the territory of the emergency hospital and on the territory of the MBUZ Maternity hospital), one each in Sochi (at the Perinatal Center of the City Hospital 9), Novorossiysk (Ambulance Station) and Armavir (Hospital of the Children's City Hospital).

"They decided to install such devices not because of a good life. After all, cases when babies are found in garbage containers or in landfills, alas, are not so rare. And the devices will help save more than one small life. This experience is already used in many Western countries", - representatives of the Ministry of Health of the region note.

Most of the children thrown into the baby boxes were left in Krasnodar. All in all, according to the regional authorities, thanks to these devices, 23 babies were saved in the Kuban. Foster families are found for abandoned babies, however, there have been cases when mothers returned to pick up babies thrown into the receiver.

A must have in every city

According to the "Cradle of Hope" charity foundation, baby boxes have existed in the Perm Territory since 2011.

"In Perm since 2011, in Dobryanka - since 2012, and in Berezniki - since 2014. Over the entire period of existence, 11 children have been left in baby boxes of the region. One girl was left in Dobryanka, now she is adopted by foster parents, in Berezniki they found two children in the baby box: one was adopted, the fate of the second is taken care of by the guardianship authorities. In Perm, one child returned to his biological family, and the rest live in foster families, "the president of the foundation Elena Kotova told the agency.

"Such boxes should be in every city, because we are talking about human life. How many cases throughout the country when newborns are disposed of by throwing them into garbage cans, leaving them to die. And baby boxes are the hope that a child will be saved and find a family for himself, "- shared his opinion of the city hospital Dobryanka.

There is also a baby box in Kamchatka. It was installed in 2012 at the Kamchatka Regional Children's Hospital. Since then, only one baby has been left there, and later the parents returned and took the child.

“We believe that the presence of at least one baby box in the region is good. In this case, the child, whom the parents abandoned, is not somewhere on the street, but immediately goes to the medical staff. years, as it was with us, someone will leave a child in the baby box, we can say that it is not installed in vain, and justifies its presence, "- said RIA Novosti Minister of Health of the Kamchatka Territory Tatyana Lemeshko.

Nikolai Novopashin, a deputy of the Stavropol Territory Duma, also has no doubts about the need for baby boxes.

“I stood at the origins of all this, we came up with an initiative and that's why. I will give a few examples. In my neighborhood in the village of Donskoy, my mother threw the child into the toilet. They dragged the dog around the market. They threw the baby to the regional hospital, we managed to save him. We told that there is such statistics that in seven out of ten cases an abandoned child dies, businessmen responded and helped. Three baby boxes were purchased, they were installed in Budennovsk, Pyatigorsk, Stavropol, "Novopashin explained.

In his opinion, lawmakers should direct their efforts not to fight against baby boxes, but to search for opportunities to help socially vulnerable categories of citizens.

"Today we need to pay other attention, to single mothers, large families, we need to work with women, some of them, for example, give birth, and children are from different fathers, and where are these fathers, a disabled child, and why, the mother is abusing alcohol, you need to conduct conversations, including, follow, "- said the deputy.

"Such baby boxes should be placed in cold regions. If a child is left in the cold for more than an hour, he will not survive," Novopashin added.

According to the "Cradle of Hope" charity foundation, there are three baby boxes in the Stavropol Territory - in Stavropol, Pyatigorsk and Budennovsk.

"For the entire existence since the fall of 2014, three children have been left, and all in Stavropol. Two boys and one girl. For the boy, the mother returned the next day. The girl was given to be raised by her grandmother, under guardianship. The second boy was taken care of by the guardianship authorities, we do not know its further fate, there are confidentiality conditions, "a representative of the fund told RIA Novosti.

Refused to dismantle

Two baby boxes were installed on the territory of the Kursk region at the expense of charitable funds. One at the Regional Children's Clinical Hospital, the second at the City Clinical Perinatal Center. Since the installation of the baby boxes, two cases of abandonment of children have been recorded.

Despite the plans to liquidate the baby box at the children's clinical hospital in Kursk, which the head physician of the medical institution Igor Zorya announced to RIA Novosti a little over a year ago, the device was not dismantled, it works to this day.

“He remained, the only problem that starts to press us a little - he is close to depreciation, the equipment is depleting its resource. In five years we have had two children. They were not thrown into a trash can, they were not buried in the forest. in a blood family, custody has resolved the issue with my mother, "- said Zorin.

According to him, the maintenance of the baby box itself is not costly, and the hype around this issue about the need to close the baby boxes is only political statements.

Need federal law

According to Nikolai Petropavlovsky, deputy chairman of the Kuban Legislative Assembly's committee on health and social protection, baby boxes in the region operate on the basis of an order from the regional health ministry.

"As for the law, it must be federal. There must be a federal standard. But there is still no such law. Well, the order of our Ministry of Health is enough for us to operate baby boxes in the region," Petropavlovsky said.

“One saved child already justifies the idea of ​​creating baby boxes. And in our region, thanks to them, more than 20 children have already been saved,” the deputy noted, adding that he personally supports the idea of ​​creating baby boxes. According to Petropavlovsky, "this is a good cause," which is billions of times better than a dumpster, which is a "monstrous alternative."

"The discussion about baby boxes and their very existence pushed some regions to create Crisis Centers for women in difficult life situations. As practice shows, children are not carried into baby boxes by killer mothers, but by women in despair. for the anonymity of the refusal becomes impossible ", - said the chairman of the committee on social policy of the Legislative Assembly of the Kamchatka Territory Tatyana Tkachenko.

"The main question - what is baby boxing? An effective means of saving children's lives or a phenomenon that provokes mothers to abandon newborns? Everyone has their own opinion on this matter. But this issue should be legally settled only at the state level," Tkachenko stressed …

Are children encouraged to abandon them?

Opponents of installing baby boxes have their own arguments.

"The devices are unambiguously installed illegally, they need to be certified. Baby boxes encourage abandonment of children. These cases are rare - cases when children are thrown away, thrown up - in order to refer to them and arrange a whole machine to collect unnecessary children," - said the co-founder of the public organization "Parent Committee of the Stavropol Territory "Alexander Dzhambatov.

"They (baby boxes) are dangerous. They left the child. Are there any regulations that determine how long a child should lie before they take him away, how is this child registered, who is personally responsible for him? This is not regulated. If something happens to the child, where is the guarantee that someone will be held accountable? These systems are illegal. There are state standards. Who standardized baby boxes? " - Dzhambatov insists.

Dmitry Shakhov, Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Pskov Region, noted that "the issue of creating baby boxes at medical institutions in Russia today is more a question of the moral side than of the legal side."

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child unequivocally consider this (the installation of baby boxes) to be a violation of international law. Moreover, in Russia, the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the Russian authorities, are even higher than the force of federal law. in the Russian Federation, Pavel Astakhov previously even sent out his official opinion on the illegality of such an event as the opening and operation of baby boxes in the regions, "he said.

According to Shakhov, during his work the child rights ombudsman analyzed such experience in neighboring Latvia, where baby boxes were also actively introduced.“In my opinion, benevolent work with mothers themselves, their material and social support is more effective, so that the state unambiguously confirms by its laws that the country needs every child not in words, but in deeds., especially psychological, in order to change the situation in the minds of our citizens, "Shakhov said.

According to a representative of the State Committee for Health and Pharmacy of the Pskov Region, the baby box was installed in the regional children's hospital in December 2012. The only child abandoned by his parents appeared in baby boxing in January 2013. According to the committee, the parents did not hide their names and stated that they did not have the material opportunity to raise the child.

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