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Debate rages in Siberia over what age is OK to leave your kids home alone

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 June 2014

Call for severe punishment for parents who leave children to fend for themselves aged under seven.

'I believe that the Western experience of punishing parents who left their children alone is not applicable to Russia'. Picture: The Siberian Times

The Investigative Committee in the Sakha Republic - Siberia's largest region - is urging it to be made illegal for children to be left alone below seven.

'We want some legislative moves on this issue. The reason is the very sad statistics about victims of fires in our republic, notably recent examples when children tragically died,' explained Nadezhda Dvoretskaya, of the republic's Investigative Committee - equivalent of the FBI -  in an interview with Echo Moscow radio.

Some support came from the Kremlin's children's tsar Pavel Astakhov, who admitted that the problem was very serious. 

Several countries deprive parents of their rights to raise children if the leave them home alone, he said. 

Dr Boris Altshuler, head of 'Child's Right' public organisation, said the proposal was prompted by a natural feeling of worry for children's safety.

But the social implications 'must be worked on more'. 

He warned: 'I believe that the Western experience of punishing parents who left their children alone is not applicable to Russia'.

Olga Batalina, deputy chairman of the State Duma Family Committee, said that a whole complex of different measures had to be taken in order to deal with the issue. Prominent Russian actor and musician Alexey Kortnev said that this initiative had no future, as it was 'impossible to control whether parents actually followed the law'. 

Comments (3)

Olga - I totally agree. Even though I and my siblings were born to DP's in England we were also left alone and myself being the firstborn and alone for 8 years before my next sibling came along, I too was left alone in a three storey huge house. I also went to school on my own, went wandering around the deserted train track and was taught how to dress myself and get off to school. My parents had to go to work to earn a living and as we had no relatives in England only in Ukraine and Russia there was no choice. Even my relatives in Ukraine/Russia have children going to and from school - walking there and back. My siblings, our children and grandchildren have all been brought up with the Ukrainian/Russian cultural richness - all of us scattered from UK and to Australia.

So so grateful.

..and Margret, Sweden - what do you mean my "...simples".
Valentyna, Perth, Scotland
06/06/2014 12:18
Margret, life in Russia is different. Kids go to grocery store at 5 y.o, at 6-7 they may go to school to another district using public buses. Most people just can't afford having a nanny even several hours a week, and to say more the just won't leave their kids with some random people, only with relatives.
Olga, USA
05/06/2014 13:02
I think it must not be a matter of debates - you must not leave children that young at home alone... simples
Margret, Sweden
05/06/2014 12:15

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