Leading international rights organization Human Rights Watch has condemned Russian schools for turning away foreign children illegally.
The group said that children of asylum seekers, migrants and other foreign citizens were being expelled from Moscow schools if they couldn’t provide proof that they were registered with Russia’s Federal Migration service.
Russia’s Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that it was illegal to bar unregistered children from classes. The practice however is still widespread, with refugee charity Civic Assistance handling 82 complaints on the issue since 2014.
“This has to stop,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on their website. “Russian authorities should send an unequivocal message to school officials at all levels that proof of registration is not a requirement and cannot be used as an excuse for denying children access to education.”
Seven-hundred and seventy people have been granted official refugee status in Russia since 1991. Others have been granted temporary asylum, which must be renewed on a yearly basis. Many of those moving through the asylum process are unable to formally register in Russia, restricting them from accessing basic services.