Validity Foundation - Mental Disability Advocacy Centre

Help reunite Yuliya with her father

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Photo: The Kocherov family. Source: Sky News.

Yuliya lives in Leningrad Oblast in Russia. She is 29 years old and was placed under guardianship in 2011. In August 2016, her guardian placed her in a social care institution. Two months later, Yuliya asked if she could go on “home leave” to visit her father. Although she is an adult and clearly knows what she wants, and although her father also wants to see her, the institution refused to let her leave because she is under guardianship.

Yuliya and her father took their case to court in Russia, and Validity and our Russian lawyer, Dmitri Bartenev, have helped them fight it all the way to Constitutional Court. But the Russian courts refuse to recognise Yuliya’s right to leave the institution, even temporarily.

Validity and Dmitri have already won a similar case at the European Court of Human Rights. In 2016, the Court said that people with disabilities should not be separated from their families. The Court found that our client, Vitaliy Kocherov, was allowed to live with his daughter, Anna. Having a disability is not a reason to keep fathers apart from their children. You can read about Anna and her family here.

Now we want to take help Yuliya take her case to the European Court as well. If we win there, it will change the law for every person in Yuliya’s position in Russia and across Europe. Any donation you can make to help get Yuliya’ case heard in Europe will make a real difference.

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