The list of issues and problems regarding the rights of indigenous peoples in Russia

For the UN Human Rights Committee session 129

The list of issues and problems regarding the rights of indigenous peoples in Russia

Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial is a human rights organization focusing on protection of the rights of vulnerable minorities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including indigenous people. Myski local civic organisation “Revival of Kazas and the Shor people” is an NGO of the indigenous Shor people protecting their rights and interests. The current submission presents brief information and tendencies regarding the situation of the indigenous people in Russia.

Around 200 indigenous peoples live in Siberia, the Far East and the North of Russia. Together, they number about 260,000 individuals. Many indigenous people live in the territories rich with mineral resources, including coal (Kemerovo Oblast), oil and gas (Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug), and biological resources like fish (Kamchatka, Khabarovsk Krai, Sakhalin, Murmansk Oblast and others). Nowadays these territories have become places of active industry operation directed at extraction of raw materials and production of minerals. However, the operations are performed with numerous violations of the rights of indigenous people. The Russian legislation regarding the indigenous peoples does not correspond to the international Human Rights standards, namely the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and first of all, does not provide the procedure and guarantees for free prior and informed consent to all decisions affecting indigenous peoples.

The current submission provides a brief overview of three important issues regarding indigenous people in Russia that we would like the Committee to address to the Russian government:

  1. violation of the right to healthy environment (right to life);
  1. violation of freedom of religion and cultural development;
  1. persecution of Human Rights defenders and activists protecting rights of indigenous peoples.