10/03/2005 15:27 - (SA)
Moscow - Russia has more than one million street children, and one crime in four involves underage youths, Russia’s chief prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov said on Wednesday.
‘Officially, the number of children without supervision is more than 700 000,’ Ustinov told members of the lower chamber, the Duma. However, experts believe the real figure ‘has long been over one million.’
The estimate includes a large proportion of homeless children, but also children of alcoholic parents who, although they have a home, are in fact left to fend for themselves.
Delinquency is also high, with one crime out of four either carried out by an underage youth or involving one, Ustinov said.
In 2001, Russia’s then deputy premier Valentina Matviyenko had already estimated the number of street children to over one million.
Russia’s overall population was estimated earlier this year by the United Nations to be around 143 million people. - AFP"