Maria Lvova-Belova in her speech emphasized the particular relevance of the topic raised, noting that it is well known to the Institute of Children’s Ombudsmen. According to the press service of the Ombudsman, since 2018, on behalf of the President of Russia, the Ombudsman has been repatriating children from Syria and Iraq.
She recalled that the regional children’s ombudsmen since 2014 “are actively involved in providing support to children and their families” evacuated from Donbass. Since February 2022, this work has noticeably intensified.
– The Institute of Ombudsmen literally stood at the forefront: they met, accommodated, engaged in targeted assistance, and so far the commissioners accompany all the children who arrived on our territory, – Lvova-Belova noted.
Today, in her opinion, it is necessary to pay special attention to the psychological support of minors.
– We conducted an integration shift for teenagers from Donbass, and the children had a huge demand for psychological counseling. 400 psychological sessions were conducted by our psychologists. This is a really serious challenge that needs to be addressed,” the children’s ombudsman noted.
In addition, social and socio-cultural rehabilitation is needed: it is necessary not only to help children adapt to society, but also society itself to adapt to them. According to Lvova-Belova, this primarily concerns school and student groups. And here, in particular, the respectful position of adults – educators, teachers, counselors – is important. In addition, it is very important to ensure the educational needs of children.
According to the Ombudsman, many of them have serious gaps in knowledge, and their complete absence is also common, especially when it comes to minors repatriated from Syria and Iraq.