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Annotated Bibliography: New Cold War

1). Debose, C. & DeAngelo, E. (2015). New Cold War: Russia’s Ban on Adoptions by U.S Citizens. Children’s Issues, 28(1), 63-76. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.scu.edu.au/HOL/Page?public=false&handle=hein.journals/jaaml28&page=51&collection=journals

This journal article discusses in detail, the proposed solutions for improving American and Russian inter country adoptions without specifically banning American adoptions. It also examines the controversy over the ban, the effect it has had, as well as providing arguments for supporting, and in opposition to the adoption ban.

This journal article evidently displays an un-bias view as it analyses both the positive and negative elements the adoption ban has had on not only both governments, but its citizens and orphans of Russia as well. An example of this is the mentioning of the Hague Convention in respect of inter country adoption, and how this can be used as a solution to the problem. This journal article is a scholarly reference, therefore, demonstrating to be very reliable in terms of its information attained.

This article also presents an extensive study by Russia’s ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, since 1992, providing that of 600,000 Russian children being adopted by American families, at least 19 of these orphans have died as a result of neglect, abuse, and no control due to adoptive parents. Although this study contradicts the argument in the rationale, most of the other information within this journal article will support both the suggested plan of action prescribes in the rationale and the defense for alternate suggestions.

2). Mazzarino, A. (2014, October 17). Russia Must Rethink Orphanage System. Retrieved August 03, 2016, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/17/russia-must-rethink-orphanage-system

This article conducted by the Human Rights Watch, focuses on the mistreatment of children with orphanages in Russia, and the consequences that the adoption ban is having on them.The authors intention in this article is to address the concealed truth behind orphanages in Russia, and provide information about the horrific treatment of orphaned children, ones with disabilities in particular. This article presents findings from a survey conducted by an international children’s advocacy organisation, involving 10 different countries, that Russia has the highest rate of children living in institutional care, with 50% of these children having disabilities.

Although quite a bias article as it only focuses on the negative impact the adoption ban is having, the description and findings gathered by the Human Rights Watch is very descriptive and discusses other alternatives the government has in implementing a stronger adoption system. This source is very reliable as it’s information and surveys, have been conducted by the Human Rights Watch. This article will most definitely help me with my rationale by allowing me to view the matter from the children’s point of view, and provide evidence with why the adoption ban isn’t sufficiently functioning.

3). Moscow, S. (2016). Why Has Moscow Passed a Bill to Ban U.S. Adoption of Russian Orphans? | TIME.com. TIME.com. Retrieved 2 August 2016, from http://world.time.com/2012/12/20/why-has-moscow-passed-a-law-to-ban-u-s-adoption-of-russian-orphans/

This article focuses on the causes and consequences behind Russian government passing the adoption ban as an act of retaliation to The United States Magnitsky Act. It examines the corruption within Russian government, contributing factors to why the United States enacted the Magnitsky Act, and the harmful consequences the adoption ban has had on Russian orphans. These claims are all supported by insight obtained from direct interviews conducted by the author, direct quotes from individual political’s and participating parties on December 11th, 2012, in Russia’s lower house of Parliament, as well as a survey conducted by Levada Center on December 7th, 2012.

The article recognises a a statistic suggesting the negative results Russian orphans have experience in American families, however the positives dramatically outweigh the negatives. This article presents significant findings, proving to be a reliable source for my rationale. This will also be a great source for me to incorporate into my rationale as It will provide me with a clear basis of what action needs to be taken.

4). Russian daily criticizes US adoption ban, local treatment of orphans. (2012, December 24). Retrieved August 3, 2016, from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.scu.edu.au/docview/1242960111/abstract/54222CD21BBB4663PQ/1?accountid=16926

This report aims to offer another perspective on why Russia’s adoption system lacks with encouraging young Russian mothers to give their unwanted children to orphanages. The authors intention is to educate us with an overview of why majority of children are sent to orphanages, what happens to the orphans once they leave and try live a normal life, lack of healthcare and education given to children with disabilities in orphanages, and the violence so children may experience in these institutions leading to severe consequences for the children.

This report doesn’t have much evidence to support it’s claims other than personal examinations made by the author herself, consequently swaying more towards personal opinion than the fatcual. This report also hasn’t presented us with any findings or data gathered other than her personal examination. However, direct citations have been used in order to inform the reader of a number of laws, rights and conventions that are being violated through the treatment of orphaned Russian children. The concept of this report will most definitely be useful in regards to writing my rationale, as an appropriate defense to alternate strategies.

5). Russia: Reject Adoption Ban Bill. (2012). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 28 July 2016, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/21/russia-reject-adoption-ban-bill

The author of the Human Rights Watch report attempts to provide an overview of the issues relating to Russia’s government banning the adoption of any Russian Children by United States citizens in response to the United States Magnitsky Act. The report presents private data, collected by the Human Rights Watch which was gathered from official figures supporting the reasoning behind why the adoption ban is a human rights violation.

This report offers a credible, and comprehensive view of the issues surrounding the Russian adoption ban law, providing us with the flaws that are evidently surrounding the issue in regards to the best interest of the child. The report concludes with recommendations that the Human Rights Watch organisation has given to both the UN Committee and the Venice Commission to examine the shortcoming’s of the adoption law and how it is being challenged. This Human Watch report will most definitely be useful in identifying ways of improving the issue and alternative option plan within my Rationale.

Question: Is it reasonable for Russia to ban U.S citizens from adopting Russian children? Why / Why not?

Describe your action plan: Russia’s ban against any United States citizens adopting orphaned children is a global issue I most definitely do not support. A clearer understanding attained by the annotated bibliography, allowed me to come to the conclusion of what action needs to be taken to effectively make things within Russia’s adoption laws beneficial for everyone involved. The most effective means to improve Russia’s relationship with the United States, along with its orphans, is for Russia to extinguish the adoption ban and implement fundamentals to improve its domestic adoption conditions within society.

Non Governmental Organisations such as the United Nations, could also be used as a mechanism for improving how the orphans are being treated and reinforce the rights the children have as vividly stated by the Convention on the rights of the child. As described by the Human Rights Watch, “the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration” (Human Rights Watch, p. 6) also demonstrates the major violations the adoption ban already has on its orphaned community.

Recommendations for the Russian Government Time frame= three years Government to provide more support and services to families adopting Russian orphaned children, allowing the children with a supportive and nurturing environment to reach their fullest potential of living a normal life. Implement a national training program in order to educate staff more on treating children with disabilities more sufficiently with the right amount of resources provided by the Russian government. As well as increase the pay for staff working within orphanages in order to encourage them to take more pride and joy in their work in regards to adequately caring for the orphaned children, otherwise sufficient actions be taken further.

Improve health care, and adequate nutrition for orphanages supplied with a reimbursement by the government in order to prevent any physical underdevelopment or intellectual development in regards to children with disabilities, allowing them with the best chance of living a normal life when eventually adopted by a family. Improve support for domestic adoption arrangements by educating citizens of Russia about adoption, changing their cultural perspectives and attitudes. Simplify domestic adoption procedures within Russia to encourage society to adopt children with the same same country of origin. Reform the orphanage system to eliminate corruption, bureaucracy, and neglect in state-run institutions.

identify alternatives to your plan An alternative plan to improve intercountry adoption between Russia and the United States is for Russia to ratify the Hague Adoption Convention. As Debose, C. & DeAngelo, E. (2015) highlight in the bibliography;“The objectives of The Hague Adoption Convention are to establish safeguards to ensure that inter country adoption is in the best interests of the child and with respect of his/her fundamental rights” (Debose, 2015, page 73). However, as easy as the Convention sounds, the effectiveness of this to be used as a mechanism is lacked as it isn’t enforceable within Russian law.

The convention provides a clear framework and acts as a guide for intercountry adoption. If Russia were to ratify this convention, it would effectively make intercountry adoptions more beneficial for children and prospective parents. This adoption convention could also benefit Russian orphans as the government officials with procedural mechanisms could demand assurance from the United States that their children will be protected and treated right.

defend your plan With the alternate strategies provided appear to be extremely beneficial, the absence of enforcement within Russia is a shortcoming that must be changed. In comparison to my suggested plan of action, I feel that with starting at the root of the problem, being with ensuring that the staff of orphanages and Russian citizens, are being appropriately educated, is the first step in gradually amending the adoption ban, and eventually leading to intercountry adoption. This will then ultimately lead to U.S citizens being able to adopt Russian children again in a civil matter overtime.

Whilst the complete framework of intercountry adoption is clearly stated in the Hague Adoption Convention, demonstrated through statistics gathered by the Human Rights Watch(p. 9), “In 2011, nearly 120,000 children in Russia were eligible for adoption. Approximately 7,400 were adopted by Russian families, and, 3,400 adopted by families abroad.” These statistics prove that Russian families are adopting Russian children, however there is that room for improvement. If citizens of Russia are adequately being educated about their orphans by the government, especially those with disabilities, it will eventually increase awareness, leading to a more efficient domestic adoption system.

Thus, reduces the need for Russian government expenditure on the ratification of the Convention, as there would be an increase in domestic adoptions. This plan will only succeed however, if the Russian government puts aside all of its corruption and humility towards the U.S and focuses heavily on “the rights of the child”. The number of children living in orphanages after this project will hopefully decrease, increasing the numbers of family adopting Russian orphans.

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