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Russia Intervenes in Finnish-Russian Custody Case

Russia's commissioner for children's rights on Wednesday met with social workers in Turku as well as with the family of the boy in the middle of the custody dispute.

Turun peruspalvelujohtaja Riitta Liuksa ja Venäjän lapsiasiainvaltuutettu Pavel Astahov.
Turun peruspalvelujohtaja Riitta Liuksa ja Venäjän lapsiasiainvaltuutettu Pavel Astahov. Image: YLE

“We’ll have a new round of negotiations about the future of the family,” said Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s commissioner for children's rights.

The boy who was taken into protective custody has been reunited with his parents after escaping from the children’s shelter. The boy's parents say he is happy. Confidentiality rules meanwhile prevent Finnish officials from commenting on the boy’s emotional state.

While Finnish officials say the case isn’t anything out of the ordinary, they point out that it is unusual for foreign officials to intervene. Finnish social workers emphasise that child welfare cases are carefully resolved and not decided on a whim.

“Our way of working is quite different than that in Russia. We’re not used to children’s affairs being spread across the media. It’s just the parents’ arguments being put forward regarding the case," says Maria-Kaisa Aula, Finland's ombudsman for children.

Finnish and Russian officials both say their main concern is the best interest of the child.

Slapping Landed Boy in State's Custody

The boy was taken into temporary protective custody when he revealed that his parents slap him. This reason has been viewed with disbelief in Russia, where slapping children is still largely considered part of normal discipline.

Rumours Circulate in Russia over Custody Case

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