Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin took part in a working meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee Igor Krasnov and representatives of the Life Line Charity Foundation for saving seriously ill children and the ROC charity fund Poznanie also took part in the meeting.
The questions of providing help for children harmed in the course of military actions in Donbass region and in the Syrian Arab Republic were discussed at the meeting.
The participants noted that, during the period of the armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, international organisations reported more than 12,000 serious violations against children, the most common among them murder and grievous bodily harm as a result of using forbidden armaments inflicting excessive damage or having indiscriminate effect.
Alexander Bastrykin shared the working experience of the Investigative Committee in this area, told about the existing Coordination Council for providing help to children harmed as a result of humanitarian crises, natural disasters, acts of terrorism and armed conflicts, including in Donbass and Syria, who still needed help. According to him, the work in this regard must also be continued.
For instance, in the course of the Council’s work a representative of the Investigative Committee together with the doctors of the Emergency Children’s Surgery and Traumatology Research Institute went to Syria to provide consulting assistance and surgery for children harmed in the course of military action as well as possible assistance in the process of creating of a centre for treatment of heavily injured children at the Damask hospital. If necessary, Russian doctors would also work for it. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia evaluated the results of the joint work positively: “Recently, an injured child has been brought to Moscow from Syria for treatment. With our active support, the agreements were reached with the Syrian side on organising rehabilitation for children at the International Children’s Centre Artek.”
Metropolitan Hilarion, for his part, told about the project for helping children from the Middle East implemented with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. As part of the project, three children — a girl from Lebanon and a boy and a girl from Syria — were invited to Moscow, where they were treated with prostheses and complex rehabilitation.
Alexander Bastrykin thanked Metropolitan Hilarion and the Patriarchate of Moscow as a whole for participation and the important role of the Russian Orthodox Church in providing help for Syrian children: “Thanks to your efforts, injured minors are also brought to Russia, and simultaneously they are provided with psychological recovery.”
At the same time, stressing the immediacy of the discussed problem, the sides unanimously noted that a lot of issues concerning the provision of the children’s security, recovery in their educational process, quality medical care and rehabilitation, as well as transportation of injured and seriously ill children remained unsolved.
The sides agreed with the need to improve the cooperation in this regard, expressing willingness to take active part in solving discussed issues and assist with providing help for harmed children.