HRW: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the Russian Federation

This submission highlights Human Rights Watch’s key concerns regarding the Russian government’s compliance with its international obligations since its last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2018. From that time through 2021, the government relentlessly attacked civic activism and independent journalism, suppressed criticism of the authorities and government policies, and sought to enforce social conformity.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russian forces committed a litany of violations in Ukraine, including those which should be investigated as war crimes or crimes against humanity,[i] and the authorities started a new, all-out drive to eradicate public dissent in Russia.

This submission is not intended as an exhaustive or comprehensive review of Russia’s human rights record. Rather, it outlines laws and measures that:

  • Curtail freedom of expression, including war censorship laws, and have resulted in the wrongful imprisonment or exiling of a growing number of government critics,
  • Curtail freedom of association and assembly,
  • Violate rights to privacy online,
  • Undermine the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment;
  • Discriminate against migrants.

Read the Submission

In their submission, HRW refers to ADC Memorial’s digest “The Year of War: Reporting on the Situation of Minorities and Migrants”:

“The Covid-19 pandemic, economic downturn and then the full-scale invasion of Ukraine supercharged these tendencies. The Russian authorities also actively lured and recruited migrant workers to fight in its armed forces;[lv] as well as to work on the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia.[lvi]