Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial participated in submissions to the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review on Russia (30th session, Third Cycle, May 2018)

On the problem of racism and discrimination in Russia ADC Memorial and the Russian LGBT Network made joint submission: the report focuses on discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, religious affiliation and health condition.

Another report was submitted together with Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and European Network on Statelessness, it shows that discrimination against stateless persons has become entrenched in all spheres of public life in Russia. Despite constitutional and treaty provisions which guarantee equality, non-discrimination and the enjoyment of human rights, in practice, government authorities are not guided by these constitutional and treaty protections of human rights and freedoms.

There is direct gender-based discrimination in Labor Code; discrimination in freedom of expression based on SOGI is clearly present in the ban of so-called „propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”; people belonging to visual minorities, like Roma, representatives of peoples from North and South Caucasus origin, working migrants coming from Central Asia and other ethnic groups face racial discrimination, become victims of hate crime and hate speech; since March 2014, Crimean Tartars and Ukrainians appear to be victims of discriminating policy, pressure and persecution.

All stateless persons experience difficulties exercising their rights due to their lack of citizenship and, accordingly, valid identity documents; since they do not have these documents, they are viewed as violators of current migration laws, they are considered to be “illegally staying in the RF” from the standpoint of the law and practice, expulsion/deportation rulings are issued even though there is nowhere to expel/deport them.  In some cases discrimination against stateless persons is aggravated by the factor of ethnicity – the peoples repressed during Soviet times have become more vulnerable to discrimination in the post-Soviet period in terms of access to citizenship and passports.

Both reports call Russia to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, with the definition of all forms of discrimination in accordance to international standards. ADC Memorial condemns structural discrimination faced in Russia by LGBTI persons, stateless persons, Roma, migrants, Crimean Tatars and peoples of Caucasus, some religious groups. The is urgent need in improving both law and practice concerning women-rights, as well as the rights of persons with disabilities. Special attention should be given to children from the vulnerable groups; their special needs have to be answered in order to ensure non-discriminating and inclusive access to personal documents, health, education, housing, family, self-expression and freedom of speech.