MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - Russia has reached the sixth place on suicide rate in the world, Head of the Russian consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, and chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, said.
Russia has become one of the world's leaders in child suicide rate with its regions of Tuva and Buryatia holding the first positions in the country, Onishchenko said.
"Unfortunately, Russia currently takes the first place on suicide rate among children and teenagers in Europe. It is sixth for suicides in the world in general," Onishchenko said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Friday.
The official said that the child suicide and attempted suicide rate had soared 37% in the recent years in Russia. "A total of 260 teenagers took their lives in 2009. The next year, 2010, had a 20% gain, up to 20 suicides on 100,000 teenagers. This is three times higher than the world rate," Onishchenko said.
"The Republic of Tuva is leading with 120 cases for every 100,000 teenagers. Buryatia follows with 87, then Yakutia with 74. The Trans-Baikal territory, Khakasia and Kalmykia have high rates as well," Onishchenko said.
The watchdog chief said that Russia had the highest suicide rate in the age group of young people aged 15-35. Annually one in twelve teenagers between 15 and 19 years old attempts to commit suicide, he said.
The law to protect children from information damaging their health and development, including limiting their access to inappropriate online information, came into effect in Russia on November 1, 2012. The law makes it possible to block websites by their IP-addresses, in particular websites containing information banned by a court. The list of banned web pages will be renewed by authorized bodies.
Onishchenko told Interfax on March 12 that two hundred websites and web pages containing child suicide propaganda had been closed after an inspection.
"Over 1,200 websites have been inspected. Around 200 have been closed. There's a lot of work ahead," Onishchenko said.
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