The idea to introduce video surveillance in psycho-neurological boarding schools caused a protest among their employees
Recently, the State Duma proposed equipping boarding schools for children with serious illnesses, neuropsychiatric dispensaries and nursing homes with round-the-clock surveillance systems. This, according to the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education, Yana Lantratova, will help prevent cases of ill-treatment and bullying of patients and pupils. At the same time, only a tiny part of such cases becomes public, and one can only guess about the true scale of the phenomenon. "MK" found out the attitude to video cameras from experts and the employees of such social institutions themselves. Opinions were divided.
“I met the manifestation of cruelty in boarding schools and nursing homes while still working in the HRC, and therefore I am well aware of this problem,” Yana Lantratova told MK when we turned to her for details. – In my human rights practice, there were several facts of initiating criminal cases in PNI (psycho-neurological boarding schools) and nursing homes. I even have photos of some terrible moments in my phone. How grandmothers were locked up with mops, they stole their linen, food, they were treated cruelly. Proceedings were initiated regarding violence against children, facts of bullying against them. Even now, “for good measure” I receive such appeals. And we learn about this thanks to the videos made by the pupils themselves. In those institutions where cameras are installed, it was possible to record such crimes, and, on the basis of video evidence, deliver convictions.
- Do you think that the introduction of video cameras will eradicate such cases?
“They can help control the situation and become an additional barrier for those who want to commit a crime. It is clear that this will not provide 100% protection, but so far this seems to be the only possible way to prevent such crimes. In some cases, this still works and then helps to prove the guilt of the aggressor.
The deputy believes that there will be no problems with the implementation of such a large-scale project: “It is technically possible, and we were convinced of this both by the example of video surveillance at elections and in schools. The main thing is that the government should make an appropriate decision.”
We asked for the opinion of a member of the Council under the Government of the Russian Federation on issues of guardianship in the social sphere Anna Bitova.
– Moscow has installed such video surveillance systems everywhere. At the same time, in a number of regions we also offer the leadership to organize video surveillance in the wards in order to control the situation; especially where people cannot protect themselves,” says Anna Bitova. – We are concerned that somewhere in such institutions there is insufficient material and technical support, somewhere the regime is not observed - people do not walk or, for example, those who suffer from serious illnesses are not taken out of bed for days. And you can't prove it in any other way than video recording. If, for example, an accident occurs, then on the video camera you can understand how everything happened. But at the same time, the person living in this institution must give consent, and if he does not want, he has the right to refuse. If the mental state allows you to find out, then he should be asked. Not every person wants to have video surveillance of him every minute in the room where he lives.
- Do you also need to ask permission from employees and staff?
- When hiring employees, they sign a contract, permission to carry out video surveillance of them. It seems to me that they themselves should understand that they are getting a job in a place where everything should be transparent, where everything should be controlled.
However, the employees of social institutions themselves, with whom MK spoke, do not welcome this idea, and explain why.
- This topic is sensitive; For example, I think that it is categorically impossible to do this, - a teacher of additional education at one of the regional boarding schools for children with mental retardation shared with us. - Firstly, in our orphanage among the pupils there are teenagers 16, 17, 18 years old, and it seems to me that this is an elementary violation of personal space. And, secondly, and most importantly, the camera does not always reflect what is happening in reality. On a video recording, a person may not see the background, may not understand, say, the true reason, but only see the finale.
What will all this lead to in practice? In my opinion, to a huge number of unsubscribes and explanatory notes from educators addressed to the director. We have already gone through this. Moreover, understand that in institutions such as ours, where there are children with mental disorders of varying degrees, what may appear on a video camera as a manifestation of cruelty, aggression in the interaction between children or between children and caregivers, in fact, will not be such, and this will only make the situation worse.
Yes, perhaps this will somehow protect the children, but I assure you that in our orphanage the security is at the highest level and it is unnecessary to back it up with a video camera. In my opinion, the idea is not very successful, and instead of spending money on video cameras, it would be better to use them to introduce an additional number of educators, nannies, to improve the conditions for children in orphanages and boarding schools, to purchase new beds, furniture ...