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/></td> <td> <p style="font-size:1.4em;">United Nations</p> </td> <td> <p> <span style="font-size:2em;">E</span>/C.12/RUS/CO/6</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td> <p style="font-weight:bold;font-size:2em;">Economic and Social Council</p> </td> <td> <p>Distr.: General</p> <p>16 October 2017</p> <p>Original: English</p> </td> </tr> </table> <div class="content"> <p style="font-weight:bold;font-size:1.2em;">Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights</p> <h2 style="font-weight:bold;">Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the Russian Federation *</h2> <p>1.The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of the Russian Federation (E/C.12/RUS/6) at its 60th and 61st meetings (E/C.12/2017/SR.60 and 61), held on 25 and 26 September 2017, respectively, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 78th meeting, held on 6 October 2017.</p> <h3>A.Introduction</h3> <p>2.The Committee welcomes the submission of the sixth periodic report of the State party and the submission of the written replies to the list of issues (E/C.12/RUS/Q/6/Add.1). The Committee appreciates the constructive dialogue that it had with the State party s high-level intersectoral delegation.</p> <h3>B.Positive aspects</h3> <p>3.The Committee welcomes the State party s ratification of the:</p> <p>(a)Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012;</p> <p>(b)Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in 2013.</p> <p>4.The Committee also welcomes the legislative, institutional and policy measures taken to promote economic, social and cultural rights in the State party, including the:</p> <p>(a)Amendments introduced to a number of federal laws through Federal Act No. 272 in 2016, which increased the liability of employers for violations of labour rights; </p> <p>(b)Adoption of Federal Act No. 58 in 2013, amending a number of laws aimed at preventing trafficking in, and exploitation of, children;</p> <p>(c)Amendments to Federal Act No. 167 on mandatory pension insurance, which extended the coverage of the mandatory pension scheme to foreign nationals and stateless persons with permanent or temporary residence status, as of January 2012;</p> <p>(d)Enactment of Federal Act No. 419 to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in 2014;</p> <p>(e)Appointment of human rights commissioners in all 85 constituent entities of the State party, as of 2016;</p> <p>(f)Development of a road map for the promotion of continuing adult education until 2025;</p> <p>(g)Adoption of the National Strategy for Women 2017-2022.</p> <h3>C.Principal subjects of concern and recommendations</h3> <h3>Applicability of the Covenant</h3> <p>5.While noting the information provided by the delegation on the application of the Covenant by national courts, the Committee is concerned about the small number of instances in which the provisions of the Covenant were invoked before, or applied by, such courts.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">6. The Committee recommends that the State party enhance training for judges, lawyers and public officials on the Covenant and undertake awareness-raising campaigns among them about the obligation to give effect to Covenant rights. The Committee draws the State party s attention to its general comment No. 9 (1998) on the domestic application of the Covenant.</p> <h3>Civil society organizations</h3> <p>7.The Committee is concerned about the legal provisions restricting the operation of non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding and engage in political activity, including those promoting Covenant rights. The Committee is also concerned about information concerning threats and persecution faced by human rights defenders who promote Covenant rights, including trade union activists and defenders of indigenous peoples rights.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">8. The Committee recommends that the State party repeal or amend any legal provisions that unduly restrict the activities of non-governmental organizations, including the provisions introduced by Federal Laws Nos. 121 and 129. The Committee also recommends that the State party take effective measures to prevent and investigate all forms of harassment, intimidation or threats faced by human rights defenders, and take other measures to ensure a safe and favourable environment supportive of those defenders work to promote and protect economic, social and cultural rights.</p> <h3>Crimea and the city of Sevastopol</h3> <p>9.Noting the fact that the State party exercises effective control over the territory of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and without prejudice to its legal status under international law, the Committee is concerned about the continuing difficult situation in the territory with regard to Covenant rights. While noting the information provided by the delegation on available language schools, the Committee is particularly concerned about restrictions faced by Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in exercising their economic, social and cultural rights, particularly the rights to work, to express their own identity and culture and to education in the Ukrainian language.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">10. The Committee recommends that the State party uphold Covenant rights in all areas under its effective control, without discrimination. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians, including those who have retained their Ukrainian citizenship, can exercise their economic, social and cultural rights, notably the rights to work, social security, health, education and culture, without undue restrictions.</p> <h3>Business and human rights</h3> <p>11.The Committee regrets that the State party has not adopted a national action plan on business and human rights, and is concerned that the regulatory framework for companies operating in the State party, and those domiciled under its jurisdiction acting abroad, does not fully ensure respect for economic, social and cultural rights (art.2.1).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">12. The Committee recommends that the State party: </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Strengthen the regulatory framework for companies operating in the State party, and those domiciled under its jurisdiction acting abroad, to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Develop a national plan of action on business and human rights to implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Take all necessary measures to ensure the legal liability of companies based in, or managed from, the State party s territory regarding violations of economic, social and cultural rights resulting from their activities conducted abroad.</p> <p>13.The Committee draws the State party s attention to its general comment No. 24 (2017) on State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the context of business activities.</p> <h3>Right to freely dispose of natural wealth and resources</h3> <p>14.The Committee is concerned at new amendments in legislation further weakening indigenous peoples land rights in addition to the fact that, until today, protected territories under the Law on the Territories of Traditional Nature Use of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East have not been formally recognized at the federal level, despite 500 of them having been created at the regional level. The Committee is also concerned at the limited prior consultation with indigenous peoples, especially in the context of extractive activities carried out on lands owned or traditionally used by them. The Committee is concerned that the requirement of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples is rarely complied with in practice (art. 1.2).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">15. The Committee recommends that the State party:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Establish, without further delay, federally protected territories under the Law on the Territories of Traditional Nature Use of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, and repeal or amend any legal provisions that have the effect of weakening indigenous peoples land rights, while guaranteeing meaningful consultation in practice with the concerned peoples on any decision that affects them;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Take effective measures to ensure compliance with the requirement of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, notably in the context of extractive activities;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Improve the legislative and institutional provisions relating to projects for the exploitation of natural resources, in consultation with indigenous peoples, and strengthen the capacity of the State party to oversee extractive industries to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on the rights of indigenous peoples and their territories and natural resources;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Conduct social, environmental and human rights impact assessments prior to granting licences for extractive activities and during operations;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(e) Provide groups negatively affected by the extractive activities, including the Shor people, with fair and adequate remedies and reparation. In that regard, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to the recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August 2017 to the State party (see CERD/C/RUS/CO/23-24, paras. 23 and 26); </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(f) Consider ratifying the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) of the International Labour Organization.</p> <h3>Maximum available resources</h3> <p>16.The Committee is concerned that the flat-rate tax system, currently applied to both personal and corporate income, contributed to an increase in income and social inequalities in the State party, and may prove inadequate in maximizing the available resources for implementation of the obligations arising from the Covenant and ineffective in addressing tax evasion. The Committee notes that, despite the coercive economic sanctions, the State party was able to maintain the level of public spending to implement its obligations under the Covenant (art. 2.1).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">17. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that its tax policy is effective and socially just, with a view to maximizing the availability of resources for the realization of Covenant rights, and effectively addressing economic inequalities and tax evasion.</p> <h3>Corruption</h3> <p>18.The Committee notes with regret the lack of information on the impact of measures taken to combat corruption, which reportedly remains prevalent in the State party (art. 2.1).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">19. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its anti-corruption measures, adopt all necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure transparency in public administration, and ensure the effective protection of victims of corruption, whistle-blowers and their lawyers. The Committee also recommends that the State party provide detailed information in its next periodic report on the results achieved in the fight against corruption.</p> <h3>Official development assistance </h3> <p>20.The Committee regrets that the State party s official development assistance (0.08 per cent of gross national income) falls far below the internationally agreed commitment of 0.7 per cent (art. 2.1). </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">21. The Committee recommends that the State party progressively increase the level of its official development assistance, with a view to achieving the international commitment of 0.7 per cent of its gross national income, and to fully incorporate the rights contained in the Covenant and human rights impact assessments in its development cooperation policy.</p> <h3>Non-discrimination</h3> <p>22.The Committee is concerned about the continuous absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, despite the information provided by the delegation on existing anti-discrimination provisions, including in the State party s Constitution and Criminal Code. The Committee is also concerned about the prevalence of societal stigma and discrimination, in particular on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or health status (art. 2).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">23. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, encompassing all grounds of discrimination, including sexual orientation and gender identity, taking into account the Committee s general comment No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights. It also recommends that the State party:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Recognize that individuals in same-sex relationships are entitled to equal enjoyment of Covenant rights, including by extending to them benefits reserved to married couples, and repeal or amend all legislation, including Federal Law No. 135, that could result in discrimination, prosecution and punishment of people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Put in place a quick, transparent and accessible procedure for legal gender recognition, to facilitate the enjoyment of Covenant rights by transgender persons;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Take all the necessary steps to prevent and combat societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, persons with disabilities, stateless persons, persons belonging to minorities, including Roma, indigenous peoples, people working in the sex industry and drug users, and ensure the equal enjoyment of Covenant rights.</p> <h3>Equality between men and women</h3> <p>24.The Committee notes the adoption, in 2017, of the new National Strategy for Women 2017-2022. It remains, however, concerned about the persistence of the social perception of gender roles in the State party, whereby women continue to be underrepresented in senior and decision-making positions and concentrated in low-paid job sectors, leading to the perpetuation of the gender wage gap, to have a lesser role in political and public life, and to be perceived as the main caregivers in the family (art. 3). </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">25. The Committee recommends that the State party: </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Ensure the allocation of adequate financial and human resources to fully implement the National Strategy for Women 2017-2022, and establish an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure that the strategy is assessed against a clear set of indicators and has the desired impact;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Review all relevant legislation, regulations and policies with a view to eliminating any aspects of discrimination against women and take temporary special measures towards achieving their de facto equality;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Analyse the underlying causes of the underrepresentation of women in senior and decision-making positions and take appropriate measures to revise the social perception of gender roles, including those concerning employment and, to that end, promote training for women in non-traditional fields and in areas that will provide them with equal career opportunities;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Strengthen awareness-raising campaigns for both men and women about sharing responsibilities equally in the family and in society, and about reconciling work and family responsibilities; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(e) Take into account its general comments No. 23 (2016) on the right to just and favourable conditions of work (para. 36), and No. 16 (2005) on the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.</p> <h3>Unemployment</h3> <p>26.While noting the information on the decrease in the general unemployment rate in recent years, the Committee expresses its concern about the high rates among youth and those living in rural areas. The Committee is also concerned that measures taken to address these situations proved not to be very successful (art. 6).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">27. The Committee recommends that the State party take targeted measures to address unemployment more effectively, especially among youth and those living in rural areas. The Committee also recommends that the State party continue to assess the effectiveness of measures taken to increase employment opportunities in general and for specific groups and adopt other measures as necessary. The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No.18 (2005) on the right to work.</p> <h3>Women s right to work</h3> <p>28.The Committee is concerned about the continued existence of the list of 456 banned professions for women, and about the lack of scientific or medical assessment of the real impact these professions may have on women s reproductive health. The Committee is concerned that, in reality, these restrictions contribute to furthering inequalities between men and women. The Committee appreciates the information provided by the delegation that there is an ongoing discussion in the State party to review that list (art. 6).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">29. The Committee reiterates its recommendation (see E/C.12/RUS/CO/5, para. 16) that the State party review the list of restricted occupations and sectors for women, and ensure that it covers only restrictions necessary for the protection of maternity and is based strictly on medical considerations (see general comment No. 23, paras. 17 and 47(a)).</p> <h3>Minimum wage </h3> <p>30.While taking note of the information provided by the State party regarding the drafting of a bill to raise the minimum wage rate to subsistence level and the increase achieved, the Committee remains concerned that the minimum wage does not allow workers and their families to have a decent living, and that more than 5 million workers earn far less than the minimum subsistence level. The Committee is also concerned about the high number of complaints submitted to the Russian High Commissioner for Human Rights about wages below the minimum rate (art. 7).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">31. The Committee urges the State party to adopt the necessary legislative and administrative measures, including the draft bill on a minimum wage, to ensure that all workers receive a minimum wage that enables them to have decent living conditions for themselves and their families, consistent with general comment No. 23 (paras. 18-24). The Committee recommends that the State party take specific steps, including by means of labour inspections, to effectively enforce the minimum wage and that it impose appropriate penalties in cases of non-compliance by employers.</p> <h3>Just and favourable conditions of work</h3> <p>32.The Committee is concerned about the working conditions of migrant workers, which are characterized by long working hours, non-payment of wages, wage arrears, and absence of health and safety regulations in the workplace. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that migrant workers from countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union have limited access to social security and health-care services. The Committee is also concerned by the insufficient action taken by law enforcement and labour monitoring mechanisms to end exploitative practices in the labour market. While noting the positive impact of the measures taken to address the informal economy, the Committee is concerned that informal employment remains widespread in the State party (art. 7).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">33. The Committee urges the State party to:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Adopt the measures necessary to ensure that all migrant workers enjoy the same conditions as other workers as regards remuneration, protection against unfair dismissal, rest and leisure, limitation of working hours, medical insurance coverage and social security protection;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Improve the complaint mechanisms and legal assistance provided to migrant workers; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Ensure effective inspection mechanisms for monitoring the conditions of work of migrant workers, with a view to bringing exploitative employers to justice and compensating victims;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Step up its measures to gradually regularize the status of workers engaged in the informal economy, and in the meantime ensure that they are covered by labour and social protection laws;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(e) Take into account its general comment No. 23.</p> <h3>Right to strike</h3> <p>34.The Committee is concerned about the wide legal restrictions on the right to strike by workers of municipal services, civil servants who do not exercise authority in the name of the State and railway workers (art. 8).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">35. The Committee recommends that the State party amend its legislation, including the Laws on Municipal Service, State Civil Service and Federal Rail Transport and the Labour Code, to ensure that workers can exercise their right to strike, without undue restrictions.</p> <h3>Right to social security</h3> <p>36.The Committee is concerned that the State party s social security system does not completely cover various population groups, in particular workers in the informal economy, sex workers, migrant workers from countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union, minorities and indigenous peoples and some categories of stateless persons (art. 9).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">37. The Committee recommends that the State party develop a universal social security system, with a view to providing full cover to all segments of its population. In that regard, the Committee recommends that the State party consider the establishment of a social protection floor as defined in the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) of the International Labour Organization. The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 19 (2007) on the right to social security and its statement, adopted in 2015, on  Social protection floors: an essential element of the right to social security and of the sustainable development goals .</p> <h3>Domestic violence</h3> <p>38.The Committee is concerned about the amendment of the Criminal Code that decriminalizes the first offence of domestic violence that does not lead to physical injury, and the prevalence of domestic violence in the State party (art. 10). </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">39. The Committee recommends that the State party repeal the amendment of the Criminal Code that decriminalizes the first offence of domestic violence with a view to protecting all victims of domestic violence, bringing perpetrators to justice and preventing impunity. The Committee also recommends that the State party step up its efforts to combat domestic violence, including by (a) strengthening awareness-raising campaigns, (b) providing support to victims, and (c) training law enforcement officers to sensitize them to all forms of domestic violence.</p> <h3>Children in alternative care</h3> <p>40.The Committee notes the significant reduction in the number of children living in institutions. It continues, however, to be concerned that many children with disabilities remain placed in institutions (art. 10). </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">41. The Committee recommends that the State party redouble its efforts to further reduce the number of children living in institutions, while paying particular attention to children with disabilities. The Committee recommends that the State party prioritize strengthening support provision to parents to meet their obligations towards their children, in particular children with disabilities, and intensify its efforts in developing family- and community-based care options. </p> <h3>Climate change</h3> <p>42.The Committee is concerned that the process of climate change might affect the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by persons living in the State party. In particular, the Committee notes that climate change in the arctic region will also affect other parts of the territory of the State party and have an impact on persons and groups, including indigenous peoples, living in that region (art. 11).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">43. The Committee encourages the State party to monitor and provide information on the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by persons living in the State party. It also recommends that the State party increase its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set national targets with time-bound benchmarks.</p> <h3>Poverty</h3> <p>44.The Committee expresses its concern about the rise in both relative and absolute poverty in the State party, and about the high poverty levels in rural areas and among children. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the lack of disaggregated data concerning poverty prevalence among ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, despite its previous recommendation (art. 11).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">45. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to combat poverty, in particular among households with dependent children and in rural areas. The Committee reiterates its recommendation to adopt and effectively implement a national strategy integrating economic, social and cultural rights to combat poverty, in accordance with the Committee s statement on poverty and the Covenant, adopted on 4 May 2001. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that t he State party improve its data- collection system, and collect data on poverty prevalence disaggregated by, among others, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples. </p> <h3>Right to housing</h3> <p>46.The Committee notes the measures taken by the State party to increase the availability of affordable housing, including through the family housing programme. It remains, however, concerned about the shortage of social and affordable housing. The Committee is also concerned about the poor housing conditions of Roma, most of whom live in illegal settlements lacking access to basic services. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the punitive approach taken by the State party towards Roma illegal settlements, manifested by house demolitions and forced evictions, carried out in many instances without guarantees for due process and resulting in homelessness (art. 11).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">47. The Committee recommends that the State party continue, and step up, its efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing, paying particular attention to low-income families, and allocate the necessary resources for the effective implementation of the family housing programme. The Committee urges the State party to pursue a comprehensive and human rights - based approach for the development of adequate housing conditions for Roma. In that regard, the Committee recommends that the State party:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Engage in an open and meaningful dialogue with Roma representatives with a view to significantly improving their housing conditions; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Prioritize efforts towards finding lasting solutions for Roma settlements, including through legalization, where possible, and extension of the coverage of basic services to Roma settlements;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Take legislative and administrative measures to provide for legal safeguards against arbitrary forced evictions, while incorporating provisions for compensation and alternative housing, and ensure that house demolitions and forced evictions are only used as a last resort;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Take into account the Committee s general comments No. 4 (1991) on the right to adequate housing and No. 7 (1997) on forced evictions.</p> <h3>Land expropriation</h3> <p>48.The Committee is concerned about the amendment of April 2015 to the Land Code that empowers authorities to confiscate land at the request of third parties, particularly extractive industry companies, thereby potentially placing business interests above people s right to an adequate standard of living (art. 11).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">49. The Committee urges the State party to take the necessary legislative and administrative steps to guarantee the availability of effective legal safeguards against arbitrary land expropriation infringing on Covenant rights. The Committee also recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that such safeguards are known by, and accessible to, the public at large, and ensure that alternative housing and compensation are provided to the affected population, including Roma and indigenous peoples, with a view to preventing loss of access to productive resources and homelessness. </p> <h3>Drug policy</h3> <p>50.The Committee is concerned about the high level of drug use in the State party and that the State party essentially applies a punitive approach to address drug problems. The Committee is particularly concerned that drug users tend to refrain from seeking medical treatment under the policy of criminalization, which contributes to increased incarceration of drug users. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of harm reduction programmes, such as the distribution of syringes, and about the prohibition of opioid substitution therapy. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the spread of HIV, and the prevalence of hepatitis C and tuberculosis in the State party, especially among drug users (art. 12). </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">51. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation to apply a human rights - based approach to drug users (see E/C.12/RUS/CO/5, para. 29). In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) A dopt a comprehensive policy to combat drug problems, including fighting against drug trafficking , and consider decriminalizing drug possession for personal consumption;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Conduct awareness-raising programmes about the serious health risks associated with drug use; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Address discrimination against drug-dependent persons, including with regard to their access to health-care services;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Provide appropriate health care, psychological support services and rehabilitation to such persons, in particular by legalizing effective drug dependence treatment, such as opioid substitution therapy; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(e) Adopt harm reduction programmes, such as needle and syringe exchanges, while ensuring their coverage, particularly in prisons with a view to combating the spread of tuberculosis, and support non-governmental organizations that provide such services, as indicated during the dialogue;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(f) Address more effectively the underlying causes for the rapid increase in HIV/AIDS and the prevalence of tuberculosis and hepatitis C, including by legalizing measures, as recommended by the World Health Organization, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, for HIV prevention among injecting drug users, and by increasing the coverage and availability of medication and medical treatment, such as anti-retroviral therapy; </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(g) Take into account the Committee s general comment No. 14 (2000) on the right to the highest attainable standard of health.</p> <h3>Access to health-care services</h3> <p>52.The Committee is concerned that sex workers face obstacles in accessing health-care services owing to the criminalization of sex work, and are vulnerable to police violence, increased occupational risks, and HIV infection, among other diseases (art. 12).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">53. The Committee recommends that the State party consider decriminalizing sex workers, and ensure that they can fully access health-care services and information, including treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS , without discrimination. The Committee also recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to punish and prevent police violence against , and exploitation of , sex workers and fight trafficking and traffickers who exploit sex workers. </p> <h3>Reproductive and sexual health services</h3> <p>54.The Committee is concerned that abortion is still used as a de facto contraceptive measure, especially in rural areas and among women living in poverty. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of comprehensive age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health in school curricula (art. 12).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">55. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the accessibility, affordability and availability of sexual and reproductive health services, including modern contraceptives, for all, especially in rural areas and for persons on low incomes. The Committee also recommends that the State party incorporate into the school curricula, comprehensive, non-discriminatory, evidence-based, scientifically accurate and age-appropriate education about sexual and reproductive health. The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 22 (2016) on the right to sexual and reproductive health.</p> <h3>Right to education</h3> <p>56.The Committee notes the progress made in increasing access to quality education by the general population and the substantial level of public spending on education. The Committee remains, however, concerned about the:</p> <p>(a)Persistence of regional and rural/urban disparities in school enrolment, attributed to uneven distribution of resource allocations;</p> <p>(b)High number of children with disabilities attending special schools or out of school, and the absence of reasonable accommodations to facilitate children s access to inclusive education;</p> <p>(c)Instances of harassment in schools, including against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender children or children of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender families;</p> <p>(d)Instances of obstacles faced by child asylum seekers and child refugees in access to education owing to a lack of identity or registration documents;</p> <p>(e)Continuing practice of placing Roma children in special classes or special schools, coupled with limited access to quality education and high dropout rates, especially at secondary school level (arts. 13 and 14).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">57. The Committee recommends that the State party pursue its efforts towards achieving universal access to quality education. In doing so, the State party should ensure just and fair distribution of resources across the regions and pay particular attention to rural areas. The Committee also recommends that the State party:</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(a) Take effective measures to facilitate access by children with disabilities to inclusive education, including by allocating resources for the provision of reasonable accommodation and any additional support needed, and training teachers;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(b) Implement a zero-tolerance policy against harassment in schools, paying particular attention to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender children or children of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender families, and ensure effective protection of victims of bullying and their families;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(c) Take steps to ensure that admission to school is not subject to administrative conditions, and draw the attention of school principals to the ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, according to which the absence of registration cannot serve as the basis for non-admission to school;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(d) Put an end to de facto school segregation of Roma children, and take effective and targeted measures to increase access to quality education by all Roma children with a view also to raising the secondary school completion rate by Roma children;</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">(e) Take into account the Committee s general comment No. 13 (1999) on the right to education.</p> <h3>Cultural rights</h3> <p>58.The Committee is concerned about the risk of extinction of many indigenous languages. It is also concerned at arbitrary restrictions imposed on indigenous peoples means of livelihood, such as hunting and fishing (art. 15).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">59. The Committee recommends that the State party step up its efforts to promote and preserve indigenous languages. The Committee also recommends that the State party repeal or amend any restrictions that could result in hampering indigenous peoples from sustaining their means of livelihood, including hunting and fishing. </p> <h3>D.Other recommendations</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">60. The Committee encourages the State party to consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">61. The Committee recommends that the State party consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">62. The Committee recommends that the State party take fully into account its obligations under the Covenant and ensure the full enjoyment of the rights enshrined therein in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the national level, with international assistance and cooperation when needed. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals would be significantly facilitated by the State party establishing independent mechanisms to monitor progress and treating beneficiaries of public programmes as rights holders who can claim entitlements. Implementing the Goals on the basis of the principles of participation, accountability and non-discrimination would ensure that no one is left behind.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">63. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to progressively develop and apply appropriate indicators on the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights in order to facilitate the assessment of progress achieved by the State party in complying with its obligations under the Covenant for various segments of the population. In that context, the Committee refers the State party to, inter alia, the conceptual and methodological framework on human rights indicators developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (see HRI/MC/2008/3).</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">64. The Committee requests that the State party disseminate the present concluding observations widely at all levels of society, including at the federal, regional and territory levels, particularly among parliamentarians, public officials and judicial authorities, and that it inform the Committee in its next periodic report about the steps taken to implement them. The Committee encourages the State party to engage with non-governmental organizations and other members of civil society in the follow-up to the present concluding observations and in the process of consultation at the national level prior to the submission of its next periodic report.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">65. In accordance with the procedure on follow-up to concluding observations adopted by the Committee, the State party is requested to provide, within 18 months of the adoption of the present concluding observations, information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee in paragraphs 8 (on civil society organizations), 15 (a) (on indigenous peoples land rights) and 51(d) (on health care for drug users), above. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">66. The Committee requests the State party to submit its seventh periodic report, to be prepared in accordance with the reporting guidelines adopted by the Committee in 2008 (E/C.12/2008/2), by 31 October 2022.</p> </div> </body> </html>