Strasbourg ordered Russia to pay compensation according to the “law of Dima Yakovlev”


The European court of human rights acknowledged that “the law of Dima Yakovlev” discriminare Americans the right to adopt Russian children. The decision for 16 complaints posted on Tuesday, January 17, on the website of the Strasbourg court.

Citizens of the United States awarded compensation in the amount of €75 million — €3 thousand for each family. Russia also has to compensate court costs — a total of $14.5 thousand, that is $600 every family, except one applicant (he costs compensated in the amount of $186). The ECHR found that the applicants ‘ rights were violated because they were denied the right to adopt children into the family, when they have already established contact with them. In addition, the “law of Dima Yakovlev” was not supposed to apply to adoption proceedings that have been commenced by the time of its entry into force.

Complaints filed 45 U.S. citizens from different States (Utah, Montana, Georgia, Nebraska, Illinois, etc.). Many families already living adoptive children. The Americans were planning to adopt 27 children from the Russian regions. In materials it is noted that they began to execute all necessary documents from 2010 and 2012. Most of the children who had to adopt the Americans suffer from serious diseases, causing disabilities and require special medical care. Among the children there are HIV-infected.

American family in most cases received confirmation from the authorities that they are suitable for adoption and that children it is impossible to convey in Russian families. Also, the applicants spent a few days in the orphanages and met the children. Orphans had become attached to foster families, according to the materials of the ECHR. In addition, in one case we are talking about the adoption of a child whose brother already lived in the same foster home.

By the end of 2012 the applicants have fulfilled all the conditions and has almost completed the adoption process, the adoption of the “law of Dima Yakovlev”. Attempts to challenge the act in the Russian courts failed, then the plaintiffs decided to appeal to the ECHR.

The complaints stated that the Russian authorities violated the right to respect for private and family life (article 8 of the European Convention on human rights). Also violated the prohibition of discrimination and on torture (article 3 and 14 of the Convention).

The court excluded from the judgment the reference to article 3 of the Convention and unanimously agreed with the other claimants. A dissenting opinion was made by the Russian court judge Dmitry Dedov. He noted that the reason for the complaint is a “technical” interpretation of the Convention on human rights, as the adoption process was not completed at the time of the ban. Awards Grandfathers considered symbolic compared to the amounts that typically appear in the judgments of the ECtHR.

“In Russia there is a more serious problem. The Russian government informed the court that in a country there are 66 thousand children abandoned by their parents and placed in orphanages. The total number of such children over the past 25 years could reach 300 thousand of Course, it is the result of structural social problems caused by the collapse of value system and lack of social responsibility. This problem cannot be resolved with the help of intercountry adoption, political pressure”, — concluded Grandfathers.

The ECHR issued a decision, which involves appealing not just “law of Dima Yakovlev” and specific complaints, draws the attention of the managing partner of the law company “Business fairway” Roman Terekhin.

Russia will appeal the decision of the ECHR, said the Deputy head of the Ministry of justice Georgy Matyushkin in an interview with radio station “Echo of Moscow”.

“The Grand chamber may refuse to make a decision under its jurisdiction, then the current decision will enter into force within three months. After that, given that we are talking about the rights of young children, we will require that the Cabinet of Ministers is immediately obliged to execute this decision,” — said the lawyer Karinna Moskalenko, representing the interests of the applicants.

The procedure of adoption of Russian children by foreigners has changed after the entry into force on 1 January 2013, the “law of Dima Yakovlev”. The document imposed a ban on adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens. In early July 2008 adopted by US citizens Dmitry Yakovlev died because of what was left in the heat in a closed car.

The document, as suggested by the deputies of the state Duma, was to be a symmetrical response to the Magnitsky act, which forbade entry into the United States a number of Russian officials and have assumed the freezing of their accounts. The “law of Dima Yakovlev” was criticized by the public and human rights activists, and senior officials.

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