GENEVA, June 6 - RIA Novosti, Elizaveta Isakova. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that Russia strengthen legislation to combat the sexual exploitation of children, as well as establish 18 years as the minimum age for marriage, according to an expert opinion published on Wednesday in Geneva on the Russian Federation's report on the implementation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol on trafficking in children., child prostitution and child pornography.
The minimum age for marriage in the Russian Federation is currently set at 18 years old, but the law allows marriage from 16 years old in exceptional cases and with the permission of the competent authorities. In their recommendations, UN experts proceed from the premise of preventing early marriages among children, primarily in the North Caucasus.
The UN Committee proposes to the Russian Federation to strengthen legislation in the field of surrogacy in order to prevent the sale of children in this way. Experts also consider it necessary to strengthen legislation in the field of preventing child sexual exploitation and sex tourism and to link the national base of crimes against children with the international base of Interpol. According to experts, criminal cases initiated in connection with crimes against children should not be closed if the victim withdraws his statement from the police. Among the recommendations there is also a proposal to strengthen efforts to identify children who may become victims of trafficking, child prostitution and pornography.
At the same time, the document contains a recommendation to make all the provisions of the Optional Protocol widely known to the public, especially children and their families, including through special programs at the federal and local levels.
Russia presented its report on the Optional Protocol at the 78th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which took place in Geneva from May 14 to June 1. Following the presentation of the report, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Zubov said that all the experts' recommendations would be carefully studied.