Supreme Court allows children to study in schools without residence registration

posted 21 Sept 2015, 06:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Sept 2015, 06:08 ]
17 September 2015

Source: (info
The Supreme Court has allowed children who do not have any residence registration to attend school. Therefore any child, including the children of migrants and refugees, now have the right to study in educational institutions in the capital and in Moscow region on condition of the availability of free places, Svetlana Gannushking, chair Civic Assistance Committee, member of the board of the International Memorial Society, reports, presenting the full text of the decision of the Supreme Court.

Earlier some families experienced problems because of Decree No. 32 of the Ministry of Education and Science. This concerned the documents parents should produce to place a child in the reception class.

The ruling of the Supreme Court states that Decree No. 32 does not contain any recommendation not to permit children from families who have no such documents to attend school. The only legal basis for refusal of enrolment is the absence of places in the educational institution. However this also frequently appears to be a deception, said the project coordinator of Civic Assistance Committee, Anastasia Denisova.

According to Denisova, migrants are frequently told that they cannot send their child to school because there should be a maximum of 25 pupils in a class, and, they say, there are already more than thirty. The human rights activist remarked that in such cases it is reasonable to ask how “extra” pupils have ended up in the class, and why, for the sake of some children it is possible to exceed the permitted number, but not for the sake of others.

A refugee from Syria attending the press conference related that a school had demanded a vaccination certificate for the children. The director of the institution refused to accept that all the family’s documents had been lost in their country of origin when their home, which was in the conflict zone, had been burnt down.

Misfortunes do not cease even for those who have already started school. Children who are not registered are regularly threatened with expulsion. According to the human rights activists, the directors of the educational establishments are intimidated by the Federal Migration Service and are afraid to take on the responsibility of educating a child without residence registration. Some children who have not been able to attend school attend the Centre for Rehabilitation of Refugee Children; this is a project run by the Civic Assistance Committee.

Not accepting children in schools is an extremely irrational policy, says Svetlana Gannushkina. “Children are already here and it is best if they are educated.” Gannushkina explained that without supervision children will wander the streets and become easy pickings for criminal gangs. She pointed out that even in the USSR children entering school were not asked about their residence registration.

Summing up the situation, Gannushkina said: “These are our children and they should be made to feel at home here. And it’s strange that not everyone understands this.”

Chair of Civic Assistance Committee and member of the board of International Memorial Society,
Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina


Civic Assistance Committee has been entered on the short list for the Dutch Human Rights Tulip award, established by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands and awarded to courageous human rights activists who advance and stand up for human rights. You can vote for Civic Assistance Committee HERE.

Source: Open Russia

Translated by Frances Robson