Addressing the Issue of Racial Discrimination, Intolerance and Inequality
Stemming from the continuous widespread of incomplete information, biases and stereotypes against diverse race on the ground of: skin color; ethnicity and nationality in countries of origin and residence, faith and religion; language and immigrant status, the phenomenon of racial discrimination, including its multiple forms and manifestations, has been prevalent within the fundamental values of such host Member States and neighboring States. This societal issue has been causing such prejudices and hostilities among those host states’ populace against the minorities and refugees resulting into further trends of national isolationism and ethnic exclusion. The Russian Federation believes that these rampant issues of racial discrimination and other intolerance-related treatment has been posing political threat in upholding democratic principles and human rights to defend and preserve the nationalistic doctrines of those aforementioned States.
In line with the 1963 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Russian Federation has been consistent in combating attempts and practices that have been encouraging and justifying all forms of contemporary racism, xenophobia and related intolerance and inequality, which includes glorification of Nazism, in accordance to the Article 29.2 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Following the 1996 Federal Law No. 114-FZ, Russia has been outlawing propagandization of Neo-Nazism, as well as other supremacist ideas and theories, based on race, ethnic, social and religious origin, under Articles 282-282.3 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In relation, the Russian Government, through the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs, has covered all manifestations of extremism, as part of its definition of racial discrimination, through its adoption of Strategy for Countering Extremism to 2025, in 2014. According to Igov Barinov, Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs, as of 2016, the Russian law enforcement agencies were able to identify 1,450 cases of extremist activities, of which 251 cases were on grounds of racial hatred and 704 cases were on grounds of ethnic hatred. Correspondingly to the statistics report, 1,207 cases were successfully investigated and more than 1,000 cases had been brought to administrative liability. In pursuant to preventing these trends of racial intolerance and extremist manifestations, these are continuously practiced by the domestic judges, who have been subjecting civil cases to law courts, since 2013, in order to directly apply the provisions of other pertinent Conventions, aside from the ICERD, in accordance with the Article 6 of the Civil Procedure Code of Russian Federation. These would include the: 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the 1994 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), which Russia ratified. In addition, Russia has been giving emphasis in creating an environment free from racism and extremism particularly in the context of major international sporting events, such as the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018, that Russia hosted. The Russian Federation has always regarded that sports are necessary to develop not just physically and intellectually, but also its moral values of fostering inter-ethnic peace and inter-ethnic harmonization most especially among sports fans.
Recognizing the recurrence of stigmatization and racial prejudices surrounding the issues of identity and migration among the indigenous populace, ethnic minorities and the refugees, which is a clear reflection of the prevalence of polarization and ethnocentrism, the Russian Federation believes that it is important that Member States sharing the majority of responsibility must collaborate with one another in combatting racism and related discrimination. As such, Russia would like to remind the importance of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), adopted during the 2001 World Conference against Racism (WCAR), as the embodiment of the firm commitment made by the international community in resolving the issues of racial discrimination, xenophobia and related inequality at the national, regional and international level. Likewise, Russia would like to propose that the ICERD should be ratified universally and this should be implemented by the State Parties to the Convention effectively. The Russian Federation believes that racism is a major global concern that needs to be tackled on a universal basis in order to create a stable and sustainable world order based on the principles of equality, mutual respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and non-discrimination at the core of democratic human rights values.
Chapter 2. Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Constitution of the Russian Federation: http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-03.htm
Civil Procedural Code of The Russian Federation No. 138-Fz Of November 14, 2002. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/ru/ru081en.pdf
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination examines the report of the Russian Federation. (2017, August 4). Retrieved from United Nations Human Rights: Office of the High Commissioner: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21942;LangID=E
Durban Declaration and Program of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from World Federation of United Nations Association: http://www.wfuna.org/durban-declaration-and-program-of-action
McDermott, R. (2014, November 25). Putin Approves Draft Strategy for Countering Extremism in Russia to 2025. Retrieved from The Jamestown Foundation: Global Research ; Analysis: https://jamestown.org/program/putin-approves-draft-strategy-for-countering-extremism-in-russia-to-2025/
Prina, F. (2012). Power, Politics And Participation: The Russian Federation’s National Minorities and their Participatory Rights. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 66–96.
Roudik, P. (2014, April). Legal Provisions on Fighting Extremism: Russia. Retrieved from The Law Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/fighting-extremism/russia.php
Ensuring the Rights of Children in Refugee Camps
Facing the omnipresent threats of mass exoduses and internal displacement by those refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in countries of origin, transit and destination, children have been accounted as the greatest victims of the horrors of those recurring wars, armed conflict, fractional migration and political violence. Within the given context of these refugee situations, this involves the confinement of refugees, emphasizing the children, on refugee camps, where they have been suffering from the casualties of these traumatic events. As they are situated in those refugee camps, those refugees have been facing repetitive domestic violence that includes: family separation and isolation along the borders of such host states; arbitrary arrest and detention; torture and other inhumane treatment and punishment during the process of seeking asylum; intrafamilial refugee violence, that includes all common multiple forms of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV); and early and forced child marriage. These human rights violations continuously affect the physical, moral and psychological growth of these children. Therefore, the Russian Federation would like to reiterate the utmost urgency of the international community to reinforce its actions in ensuring the protection and security of the fundamental rights of those refugee children.
Throughout the course of violations against those refugee children’s rights, the Russian Federation, a state party to the 1989 International Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), has been remaining in progress to meet the international standards and obligations in the field of children’s rights protection. Based on the Article 1 and 2 of the CRC, Russia has been interpreting that in upholding children’s rights mechanisms, this should apply to every child, regardless of his status either as a refugee, migrant or as a citizen of his country. Reiterating all the provisions of the CRC, on the domestic level, Russia implemented these primary and pertinent laws in securing and defending these children’s rights: 1995 Family Code No. 223-FZ and the 1998 Federal Law on Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child No. 124-FZ. Under the Chapter 12: Parents’ Rights and Duties of the 1995 Family Code, Russia is dedicated to protect the welfare and rights of these minors in equity to the parental rights as family law is among the most revised areas of legislation in regards to the care and the development of the children. In relation to that, the Russian Government authorities have been responsible for assisting these children, in ensuring their rights, into the hands of their parents as well as ensuring that when exercising parental rights and obligations are done so constitutionally, and monitoring their implementations, through education, health and youth affairs authorities and interagency bodies such as guardianship and trusteeship committees and commissions on affairs of the minors. In line with that, the Russian Federation has established the Children’s Rights Ombudsman, the regional office that supports children’s rights, allows those children to access government authorities and courts, in the absence of their legal representation or when they have experienced mistreatment, and coordinates the activities of other government and public services involved in the protection of the children. In addition, Russia has also implemented the National Children’s Strategy 2012-2017, considering the Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights on the Child 2012-2015, that aimed to promote the social and economic rights of the children, eliminate all forms of violence against them and ensure that their rights will be protected, most especially in times of their vulnerabilities. In line with that, Russia has been regarding the importance of the right to health care and social welfare for children. Through the Fundamentals of Russian Federation Legislation on Health Care, Russia has been establishing federal guarantees of receiving free medical assistance by children in all state and municipal health care establishments. In addition, the Russian Federation has been providing a system of social medical and psychological support to children who find themselves in these different circumstances like being: orphaned; homeless; with disabilities; victims of armed conflict, natural catastrophes, and domestic violence; involved in drug use, international sale and trafficking and prostitution, and as juvenile criminals.
In accordance to the Principle 8 of the 1959 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child that states: “The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief”, the Russian Federation agrees that there is an ever pressing need to address the complexity and variousness of the dynamically large-scale refugee situations, which involves identifying and meeting the special needs of the refugee children in particular, and to children in general. As such, Russia calls on to the Member States to strengthen international cooperation in the field of promotion and protection of children’s rights in accordance to the well-established primacy and principles of the international law and respect for the sovereignty and sovereign equality of States. In relation to that, Russia recommends the practical implementation of the CRC in creating a safe environment, where these children can freely exercise their basic rights, as part of the main responsibility of the State in safeguarding and advancing human rights. The Russian Federation will continually work on enhancing the protection of rights and legitimate interests of the children.
Children’s Rights: Russian Federation. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Law Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/russia.php
Concluding observations on the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of the Russian Federation. (2014, January 31). Retrieved from United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/RUS/CRC_C_RUS_CO_4-5_16305_E.pdf
Declaration on the Rights of The Child. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/malaysia/1959-Declaration-of-the-Rights-of-the-Child.pdf
Russian National Children’s Strategy for 2012–2017. (2012, June 1). Retrieved from http://childhub.org/sites/default/files/library/attachments/1466_Summary_of_Russian_National_Children_s_Strategy_2012-2017_original.pdf