Russian Housing Care for Orphans: Equal Rights in Unequal Opportunities

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Sergey VINKOV , Technologies of Complex Systems Modelling, National Research University of Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
A great number of decrees, regulating various aspects of social security for orphans (including housing), have been adopted by the Russian government in 2013, which put Russian Orphan Care among the paramount issues of social policy.

This paper analyzes the housing care laws in relation to orphans in Russia, including federal laws, regional statutory documents and case law protecting the housing rights of orphans.

At present, the Russian government has a duty to provide orphans with housing regardless of their age, which is made at the expense of both the federal budget and the resources of local authorities. At the same time, orphans are unequally allocated in regions with various levels of economy, which collides with the variety of housing needs that orphans have at various points in their lives. For example, during the period of professional studies orphans are provided with a room in the university’s dormitory, thus their housing need is partly met by the funds of their educational establishment. However, after graduation orphans are required to have a permanent registration, i.e. living space of their own, in order to have a job and for other purposes.

In general, the paper combines the case study methodology with legal analysis of effective housing rights for orphans and young care leavers who are in need of housing. The study leads to the following key point: equally guaranteed rights to housing care are hampered by the lack of (i) a unified mechanism for different regions of Russia and (ii) appropriate economic resources to implement the rights.