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Russia preparing to ban ‘extremist’ child-free ideology

The country needs tools to protects its traditional values, the deputy justice minister has said

Members of Russia’s parliament have prepared a draft law banning child-free ideology in the country, Deputy Justice Minister Vsevolod Vukolov has said.

The active promotion of childlessness has become increasingly common over the past decade, and is an “extremist ideology” that Russia should resist, Vukolov argued on Thursday in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

“We are now actively preparing bills to prevent the spread of child-free ideology,” he said. One should not be able to promote ideas that “nowadays girls, especially young ones, do not need to give birth, they can do without children,” the official added.

A legislative system should be created to counter such negative social trends in Russia and other countries that share the same traditional values, the deputy minister argued. “These laws must be worked out and promoted. And they must become the tools to protect our values. This is the main task,” he explained.

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Speaking to journalists after his speech, Vukolov said a bill banning the promotion of a child-free lifestyle has been put forward in the Russian parliament. The legislation will now be studied by experts in the field, he added.

The Justice Ministry will react when “concrete proposals” are presented, he stressed.

Vukolov also said the state should not only operate through bans, but also do more to create social conditions that encourage couples to have children.

In November last year, Russia’s Supreme Court outlawed the “international LGBTQ public movement” in the country, designating it an extremist organization. The move followed a law banning sex-change operations, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in 2024.

READ MORE: Russian deputy minister slams ‘gay nationalism’

In February, the state statistics agency Rosstat revealed that only 1.264 million babies were born in Russia in 2023, the lowest number since 1999. According to the agency’s forecast, birth rates will only start growing after 2028. By 2046, the Russian population is projected to decline to 138 million.

During an address to the Federal Assembly in February, Putin said that “a large family with many children should become the norm, the philosophy of social life, the guideline of the entire strategy of the state.” According to the president, over the next six years, Russia should achieve a sustainable increase in its birth rate.

June 27, 2024 at 08:21PM

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