Moscow schoolchildren begin drinking young

Moscow schoolchildren begin drinking young

7 Apr, 12:22 PM

A report issued Monday by Moscow Ombudsman for Children’s Rights Alexey Golovan says over 90 percent of Moscow schoolchildren have tried alcohol, Rosbalt information agency reports. Furthermore, the children are having their first experiences of alcohol at a younger age and in ever greater numbers, experts add. They come from all economic backgrounds.

There are 11,457 juvenile criminal cases open in Moscow at present, and 4,608 of them involve public drunkenness or the consumption of alcohol or drugs. The information agency cites police statistics that there were 14,094 arrests for underage drinking in Moscow last year. It also notes, however, that the number of crimes committed by juveniles under the influence of alcohol fell 5.4 percent to 106. More than half of those were serious crimes. Last year, 5,865 people, including 19 parents, were arrested for providing alcohol or other intoxicants to minors. That figure is up by more than 1,000 from the previous year.

Attempts have been made to keep alcohol out of the hands of the young. In 2004, the drinking of hard liquor in public was banned, and a ban on drinking beer in public was added later. A crackdown on underage drinking was initiated at the same time. The steps taken were largely toothless, however. A ban on alcohol ads on television before 10:00 p.m. was the main measure. The popularity of beer has risen sharply in Russia during its modern history, and it is now one of the world’s largest beer markets.


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