Violations of economic and social rights of vulnerable groups in Russia

New alternative report of ADC Memorial on the Russian Federation’s Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights submitted to the UN Committee

Alternative Report «The Russian Federation: Violation of the Economic and Social Rights of Roma and Indigenous Peoples; Employment Discrimination against Vulnerable Groups» was prepared by ADC Memorial for the List of Issues that will be sent to the Russian government by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Difficult social and economic situation of vulnerable groups, such as ethnic minorities (Roma), indigenous peoples, working migrants was aggravated with the general increase of poverty level in Russia, including among the employed population. This is connected with the global economic crisis, the sanctions imposed on the RF after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the counter sanctions imposed by the RF on other countries, which have all resulted in sharp rise in inflation and a general worsening in the country’s economic situation.

The report of ADC Memorial focuses on violations of Roma rights in the RF: deprivation of access to resources (water, gas, electricity), demolitions of houses and forced evictions of Roma, including children, often in winter; violation of the right to education (segregation of Roma children in so called “Gypsy classes” and even in “Gypsy schools”, very bad education that doesn’t allow children to enter secondary school); lack of state program on overcoming of structural discrimination of Roma, repressive anti-Roma practices all over Russia instead.

Violations of social, economic and cultural rights of indigenous peoples in Russia are also observed in the report: aggressive business of extracting companies that irreparably damages the territories of traditional living and natural use, eviction of indigenous communities from the land historically belonging to them, destruction of sacral places, ineffective measures on support of indigenous languages and cultures, persecution of activists who try to protest against violations of the rights of indigenous peoples.

Among the problems of discrimination of vulnerable groups in the sphere of employment there are the list of professions banned for women; dismissals of teachers and professors based on their SOGI and preceded by bulling campaigns against them; reprisals against school and kindergarten teachers due to their religious beliefs; violations of economic and social rights of working migrants.

The state periodic report and response on the List of Issues by the Russian government will be observed at the 62nd Session of the UN CESCR in September, 2017.