Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin has held a briefing session on issues of the search for missing minors. The Committee has been always giving special attention to this matter, as well as to the protection of children from adverse actions. The briefing session was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Igor Krasnov, Head of the Main Investigations Directorate Eduard Kaburneev, Head of Directorate for Collaboration in Issues of International and Federal Search of the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Drozdov, Head of the Procedural Control Over Specific Types of Offences Evgenya Minaeva, Head of Media Directorate Svetlana Petrenko, and a number of heads of investigative directorates and main investigative directorates of constituents of the Russian Federation.
Statistical data of the Committee was announced during the briefing. According to them, in 2018, law enforcement bodies received 13,683 reports on missing minors and 8,383 such reports in H1 2019. Currently, the overwhelming majority of the missing persons under those reports have been located, 98 minors are still missing.
The largest number of missing minors is registered in Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Irkutsk, Nizhny Novgorod Regions, Krasnoyarsk and Stavropol Territories.
The data announced at the briefing prove that the main reasons for the disappearance of minors include lack of proper control in social institutions for children, conflicts between family members, asocial behavior of parents, cruel treatment of children, unfavorable living conditions, and others.
The existing regulative structure allows organizing a wide range of organizational, tactical, and technical tasks aimed to locate a child in the shortest possible time.
Investigators of the Investigative Committee of Russia locate children and check whether they had suffered from offences as part of procedural probes. This work is carried out in close interaction with EMERCOM, Ministry of Internal Affairs, media, volunteer organizations, and other federal executive authorities.
In August of this year, the legislation regarding search activities was amended to allow investigators to receive information on a missing child faster in case they have a mobile phone, with parental consent.
During the briefing, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia listened to reports of the Heads of Investigative Directorates of Moscow, Irkutsk, and Sverdlovsk Regions, Krasnoyarsk and Stavropol Territories on problems in the indicated area of work and on positive results they have already achieved.
The practice of engagement of psychologists for preventive measures and establishment of reasons that make children leave their families, social institutions and children’s homes and of the psychological condition of the children was noted as positive. The experience of work showed that it is important to establish psychological contact between relatives and teachers and children, that prevents children from leaving their families or social institutions.
Irkutsk Region accumulated experience of use of mobile applications for immediate notification of volunteers and coordination of their work. Particularly, the mobile application “Obereg. Search for children” allows notifying a lot of volunteers from different settlements in several minutes. Last year, five children were found using this program.
The participants discussed a highly important issue of return of children from terrorist camps located in different countries. According to available information, about 800 Russian children might be in such camps of the Middle East.
Summarizing the meeting, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia instructed to clarify the regulative structure of the Committee that arranges the interaction between the Central Office and regional investigative directorates in the area of search for missing children, and to consider the improvement of the interaction in this area with operative services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, EMERCOM, and other agencies.
Alexander Bastrykin instructed to consider the creation of a relevant section containing information on missing minors on the Investigative Committee website. This section will undoubtedly increase awareness about the missing children that might facilitate the search.
Along with this, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee emphasized the necessity to improve the qualification of the Committee officers in the organization of search activities. In this relation, the Committee will consider holding a scientific and practical forum on this matter in the Moscow Academy of the Investigative Committee of Russia and including a relevant specialized course in training programs.
The Head of the Committee assigned his subordinates to consider the creation of a DNA base of relatives of the missing children.
Taking into account the importance, efficiency, and significant experience of volunteer organizations, the Investigative Committee units have to improve the effectiveness of their interaction with volunteer organizations in search of missing children.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko