UN to Review Russian Federation's Report on Discrimination in the Country, with Alternative Report by NGOs including SOVA Center
On February 12, 2013, at the 82nd Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Committee held an interactive dialogue with non-governmental organizations about the situation in the Russian Federation. Representatives of ADC Memorial, SOVA Center, the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) who had compiled a non-government report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Russia took part in the discussion.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations in the Russian Federation raised a number of issues concerning discriminatory practices in the country, including the lack of definition of discrimination in Russian legislation, racial discrimination against migrant workers from Central Asia, the poor housing conditions of Roma persons, and the violation of indigenous peoples’ rights.
Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation said that on the whole, the situation was much better than in previous years. Incidents of vandalism, football hooliganism and hatred against religious leaders and minority groups had indeed been reported but in certain cases those were used by politicians and other groups to incite racial tension.
Russian Association of Indigenous People of the North, Siberia and Far East (RAIPON) spoke on the reduction of the access of indigenous peoples to traditional activities such as fishing and hunting as one of the major problems.
The Russian Federation's official report and reports by other NGOs are available for download on the 82nd Session's web page.