About 300,000 Russian Children Live in the Streets

About 300,000 Russian children live in the streets, the State Committee on Statistics reports. 32,000 homeless children pass annually through the capital, deputy of the Moscow City Duma /municipal legislative assembly/ Yevgeny Balashov said at a press conference on Wednesday in Moscow.

There are two priorities today to be solved in the near future, the deputy believes, one is to set up a separate ministry on homeless children and the other is to increase wages for social workers. Today there are about 10 organisations tackling problems of homeless children, including Duma committees and the Youth Committee of the Ministry of Education, Balashov specified. "There is too much talk and little action," he added.

On the average, about 2,600-2,700 homeless children arrive in Moscow every month, equivalent to 80-90 children per day. 80% of them are not Moscow residents. There are 20 orphanages in Moscow ready to admit 2,000 children. However, they are only a quarter full, which is mostly due to "a long red tape a homeless child has to pass through before he is admitted," the press conference said.

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