Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Seventh periodic report submitted by the Russian Federation under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant, due in 2022 * , **
[Date received: 17 October 2022]
Follow-up response to paragraphs 14 and 15 of the Committee’s concluding observations (E/C.12/RUS/CO/6)
1.The concept of the federal State in the Russian Federation is based on a balance of the interests of the Federation’s constituent entities, which have equal rights, taking into account their ethnic identities, territorial characteristics and other specificities. Among these constituent entities holding equal rights are 22 republics, 1 autonomous province and 4 autonomous areas, which were established according to the principle of ethnic territories. The right to self-determination is realized through ethnocultural and ethno-territorial autonomy of various forms.
2.The Federal Act on Ethnic and Cultural Autonomy recognizes ethnic and cultural autonomy as an expression of ethnocultural self-determination, which manifests itself as a grouping of citizens who identify with a particular ethnic community and as an ethnic minority in a given territory. Such groups voluntarily organize to independently address issues of identity, language, education and ethnic culture and to strengthen the Federation’s unity, harmonize inter-ethnic relations, foster inter-religious dialogue and conduct activities for the social and cultural adaptation and integration of migrants.
3.As at 31 December 2021, there were 21 federal, 290 regional and 941 local ethnocultural autonomous areas or entities in the Russian Federation, for a total of 1,252.
4.The Advisory Council for Ethnocultural Autonomy under the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs has been in operation since 2015 and includes the heads of 21 federal ethnocultural autonomous entities. The heads of federal voluntary organizations such as the Assembly of Peoples of Russia, the Association of Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, the Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples and the Russian Cossack Society participate in the Advisory Council’s meetings.
5.Since 2020, the federal ethnocultural autonomous entities have received subsidies from the federal budget on a competitive basis for the implementation of the State’s ethnic policy. In 2020, 12 federal ethnocultural autonomous entities received subsidies amounting to 54 million roubles, and in 2021, 13 received subsidies amounting to 43 million roubles.
6.Ethnocultural autonomous entities have the right to receive support from the State and from local government bodies; they may participate, through their authorized representatives, in the activities of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs); they may, without any discrimination, establish and maintain humanitarian contacts, for example with foreign persons and organizations, on the basis of the laws of the Russian Federation.
7.Federal Act No. 82-FZ of 30 April 1999 on Guarantees of the Rights of Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Federation establishes the legal basis for guarantees of the distinctive socioeconomic and cultural development of the numerically small Indigenous Peoples and the protection of their native habitats and traditional way of life, economic activities and trades.
8.Article 1 of Federal Act No. 49-FZ of 7 May 2001 on Territories of Traditional Resource Use by the Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East gives a special protection status to the territories traditionally used by those peoples for their natural resources in order to maintain their traditional natural resource use and their traditional way of life.
9.Article 4 of the Act sets out the purposes of this law: to protect the native habitat and traditional way of life of the numerically small peoples, to preserve and develop their original culture and to preserve biological diversity in the territories where they traditionally make use of natural resources.
10.Article 11 stipulates that land parcels and other distinct natural objects located within the territories of traditional resource use are to be handed over to persons from the numerically small peoples or to their communities, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation. Lands and land parcels in places of traditional residence or traditional economic activity may also be used by such individuals and communities when authorized by a State agency or local government body.
11.Taking into account the specificities of the legal regime applicable to territories of traditional resource use, article 5 of the Act establishes that such territories are specially protected territories of federal, regional and local significance.
12.The Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs has drawn up a draft federal law to amend the Act and article 97 of the federal Land Code. On 19 March 2021 the Agency duly submitted them to the Government; they are now being finalized.
13.It is pointless to establish territories of traditional natural resource use of federal importance before these amendments enter into force.
14.Article 13 of Act No. 49-FZ establishes that, to protect the traditional way of life, the natural resources located in the territories designated for traditional natural resource use are to be used by persons from the numerically small peoples or by their communities, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation and the customs of the numerically small peoples.
15.Also, to protect the native habitat, traditional lifestyles, economic activities and trades of the numerically small peoples, Government Decision No. 1488 of 18 September 2020 approved a procedure for compensating their losses, or those of their associations or individuals, incurred as a result of damage to their native habitat caused by the activities of physical persons of by organizations of any form.
16.There has also been the positive experience of Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), which was the first company to launch a free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) procedure for the numerically small Indigenous Peoples, and which proposed the relocation of the Tukhard settlement. While the FPIC procedure is not specifically called for in the domestic legislation of the Russian Federation, Nornickel has expressed its will to move ahead with it. On 4 March 2022, a third round of consultations was held and consent was obtained for a resettlement programme and for further development of the settlement.
17.To protect the ancestral habitat, traditional lifestyles, economic activities and trades of the numerically small Indigenous Peoples, the authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation have the right to create, at their own initiative, councils of representatives of the numerically small Indigenous Peoples to work under the constituent entities’ executive branches for the protection of their rights and lawful interests. The Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs is working together with the Association of Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East and the authorities of the constituent entities to improve the normative framework and legal regulation of these councils.
18.By way of example, the authorities in the Republic of Khakassia adopted Decision No. 340 on 29 May 2012 establishing a council of representatives of numerically small Indigenous Peoples, and the council has, as a good practice, entered into agreements with economic actors.
19.In 2021, the Zolotodobyvayushchaya limited liability company (LLC) (a gold mining company) signed a cooperation agreement with the council, and on 1 January 2022 additional agreements were prepared with the numerically small Indigenous communities and the administration of the Balyksinskoye village council, in Askizsky district of Khakassia. The signature of an agreement with the Khakassia Lesozavod LLC timber company is also in preparation, and there are draft additional agreements with the administration of the Matursky village council in Tashtypsky district of Khakassia and with the numerically small Indigenous Shor communities active in the jurisdiction of the Matursky village council.
20.In Kemerovo Province-Kuzbass, coal mining companies operating near the traditional places of residence or sites of economic activities of numerically small Indigenous Peoples have concluded agreements with the provincial administration. These set out economic actors’ social responsibility measures aimed at strengthening the infrastructure in traditional places of residence of the numerically small Indigenous Peoples (for example, by means of the construction and repair of roads, social service facilities, street lighting, snow removal and the financing of public activities). In addition, there is a practice of concluding private arrangements to support the entrepreneurial and farming activities of the numerically small Indigenous population of Kuzbass, and also of concluding agreements to support the activities of their voluntary organizations.
Follow-up response to paragraphs 20 and 21 of the Committee’s concluding observations
21.As a donor, the Russian Federation maintains an active and targeted official development assistance policy within the limits of its available resources in order to stabilize the socioeconomic and political situation in partner States.
22.In practical terms, the country’s official development assistance focuses on the national development priorities of the recipient countries, emphasizing an improvement in the well-being of the population (primarily in rural areas), skill enhancement, job creation and employment, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, resilience to climate change in various sectors, food security, the creation and modernization of economic, trade and industrial potential (including through the development and introduction of various solutions involving digitalization of the economy), a strengthening of public infrastructure (including for health and education) and good governance. Particular attention has been paid to overcoming the negative socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The federal Ministry of Finance reports that in 2020, federal budget expenditures classified under the methodology of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as official development assistance amounted to $962,890,000.
23.Debt relief remains an important part of Russian assistance to developing countries. The amount of debt cancelled by the Russian Federation on State loans previously granted to African countries is estimated for the period from 1 January 2000 to 31 May 2022 at some $20 billion, including:
Approximately $11.4 billion in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
About $352.5 million as part of the G8 initiative for additional debt relief for the poorest countries (using debt obligations to finance development projects in the countries in question that hold debts to the Russian Federation)
24.In accordance with Government Orders No. 381-r of 29 March 2007 and No. 1539-r of 30 August 2013, Russia makes annual voluntary contributions to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to fund technical assistance projects, mainly in Central Asian countries.
25.Between 2018 and 2021, 13 ECE technical assistance projects with a value of $2.6 million and 14 ESCAP projects valued at $3 million were implemented. The main areas of cooperation have been energy, transport, trade, statistics, environmental protection and sustainable development.
26.The Russian Federation attaches a great deal of importance to projects carried out through ECE and ESCAP and will continue to use the tools of the United Nations regional economic commissions to support interested countries, in line with the priorities of the Government’s official development assistance policy. The expert support of the country’s highly qualified specialists for projects in the field guarantees the effectiveness of the Russian Federation’s technical assistance provided through these commissions.
27.The Russian Federation also participates in official development assistance for developing countries through the programme activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the fields of education, natural and social sciences, culture, information and communication. In addition to making mandatory contributions to the Organization’s regular budget and providing expert advisory support, the Russian Federation implemented a number of specific humanitarian projects during the reporting period. Specifically, from 2018 to 2021 the Russian Federation made annual voluntary contributions of €150,000 to the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, which carries out educational projects, provides policy advice and promotes capacity-building in countries in need of international assistance to combat doping in sport.
28.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, every year approves an admission plan for foreign citizens and stateless persons, including compatriots living abroad, to study at educational institutions in the country, within quotas established by the federal Government. In the 2019/20 academic year, about 2,000 candidates were sent to institutions of higher education. Owing to limitations on international air travel, the enrolment plan for the 2020/21 academic year was adjusted. Also, in 2021 a system awarding grants to talented international students was initiated.
29.During the reporting period, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation also conducted a qualification programme for teachers of the Russian language. In 2021 there were 312 participants from the Baltic States and 273 from Kyrgyzstan. During the same year, the Agency provided 169,138 copies of textbooks and teaching aids, popular science books and magazines on the Russian language, Russian literature and Russian culture to countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Abkhazia and South Ossetia (94,693 copies) and to other countries (74,445 copies).
30.All citizens enjoy full rights and freedoms in the Russian Federation and bear equal duties under the Constitution (art. 6 (2)).
31.The State guarantees equal human and civil rights and freedoms regardless of a person’s sex, race, ethnicity, language, origin, wealth, official position, place of residence, attitude towards religion, beliefs, membership of voluntary associations and other circumstances (Constitution, art. 19 (2) and (3)).
32.The country’s labour law establishes the equality of men and women in labour relations, including in respect of hiring and the setting of wages, working hours and rest periods. Articles 2 and 3 of the Labour Code establish equal rights and opportunities for workers, including the opportunity for both women and men to occupy managerial positions.
33.In view of women’s specific physical characteristics, the labour law includes a number of additional protections for women who work (Labour Code, chap. 41).
34.At the same time, article 264 of the Labour Code states that the protections and benefits established for women in connection with motherhood also apply to fathers raising children without a mother and to the guardians of minors. Such provisions restrict night work and overtime, work during days off and public holidays and work-related travel, and extend entitlements to additional leave, preferential working hours and other protections and benefits established by laws or other enactments.
35.Under article 136 of the Criminal Code (Violation of the equality of human and civil rights and freedoms), discrimination, or violation of human or civil rights, freedoms or legal interests, including on the basis of sex, constitutes a criminal offence.
36.Accordingly, in view of the aforementioned constitutional principle of the equality of all before the law, which is guaranteed inter alia under the criminal law, there is no need for a dedicated law on gender equality or non-discrimination on the basis of sex.
Articles 4 and 5
37.Specific social and psychological rehabilitation techniques are actively being developed for victims of violence in the Russian Federation. This process consists of research and practical activities involving psychologists and key personnel at specialized medical institutions. These activities are being carried out at both the regional and the federal levels with the use of mobile health-care and telemedicine techniques and capabilities.
38.Work is being done in the following areas:
Young people’s and women’s access to effective mechanisms for the prevention of violence and the provision of support and protection for victims is being expanded. A second hotline was set up during the pandemic. Young women who had been subjected to violence called the new hotline and received mental health care from trained professionals.
The current situation with regard to the abuse of women, children and older persons is being monitored and reviewed. Throughout 2020, activities were carried out to monitor the work of regional psychiatric services in providing medical care and counselling to victims of domestic violence in the context of the restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
At the international level, the Russian Federation is cooperating and exchanging experiences with European and other countries on such issues as the role of the health sector in mounting a response to the abuse of women, children and older persons.
Inter-agency cooperation mechanisms are being developed to address this issue, and interregional workshops and conferences are being held. These activities are carried out by professional associations, in particular the women’s mental health unit of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists. The unit was set up in 2015. One of its current priorities is to partner with non-profit organizations, including the Consortium of Women’s Non-Governmental Organizations, to address the mental health of women, domestic violence prevention and psychological recovery strategies for victims of domestic violence.
Programmes are being developed and implemented to train professionals in this area. The fine-tuning of existing forms of support for victims of domestic violence and the introduction of new ones are coupled with training and coaching for professionals. For example, a programme entitled “Women who are victims of domestic violence: Identification, clinical profile and assistance” has been developed and launched to train psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers and nurses at primary care and psychiatric institutions. The programme supplements an existing one entitled “Medical care and counselling for victims of crime at rehabilitation (crisis) centres”, adopted in 2014. The new programme sets out various approaches for assessing situations and for identifying and assisting women who are victims of domestic violence, taking into account age and individual and social factors. Professionals are trained to recognize victims of violence and assist them. The first step involves learning the standard procedure for asking patients about violence and victimization. This procedure should be incorporated into routine clinical patient assessments and be based on an understanding and recognition of the role that violence plays in the development of many mental illnesses. In this context, the professional competencies of medical personnel are enhanced by practical skills, including the ability to provide emergency mental health care to women who have experienced violence; to make use of trauma-focused and non-trauma-focused therapies; and, in caring for victims of domestic violence and others, to apply the LIVES principles, where “L” stands for “listen”, closely and without judgment, “I” for “inquire”, about needs and concerns (emotional, physical, social and practical), “V” for “validate”, to show that you believe the victim and understand her situation and the problems that she is facing, “E” for “enhance safety”, by discussing methods and options for preventing further violence, and “S” for “support”, to connect the victim of domestic violence to the relevant social support services.
Best practices are being followed to ensure that young people and women play an effective role in efforts to protect them from violence. Initiatives have been launched and are now under way to raise awareness of violence against women and girls through the media. In the future, online video courses advocating a mental health approach to domestic violence prevention will be created for different target audiences in order to instil in the public consciousness the idea that violence against women is a global health and human rights issue.
Efforts are being made to identify cases of violence and signs of ongoing violence. When the victim is first seen, the incident is recorded, and the necessary assistance is provided with the support of interdisciplinary teams composed of psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses.
Follow-up information relating to paragraphs 26 and 27 of the Committee’s concluding observations
39.Under article 2 of the Labour Code, freedom of labour is recognized as one of the fundamental principles of the legal regulation of labour relations and other directly related matters. This freedom includes the right to work, which all persons may freely choose or accept, the right to dispose of one’s capacity for work and the right to choose an occupation and career.
40.Article 132 of the Labour Code prohibits any discrimination in the setting or changing of wages or other conditions for the remuneration of work.
41.Under article 64 of the Labour Code, it is prohibited to unjustifiably refuse to conclude an employment contract. In employment contracts, it is prohibited, unless specified by law, to restrict rights directly or indirectly or to grant direct or indirect privileges on the basis of sex, race, skin colour, ethnic background, language, origin, wealth, social status, official position, age, place of residence, including registration status at the place of residence or stay, or other circumstances unrelated to the occupational skills of the worker.
42.Federal Act No. 352-FZ of 3 October 2018 amended the Criminal Code with the introduction of article 144.1 (Unjustified refusal to hire or dismissal of a person nearing retirement age).
43.In accordance with Act No. 1032-1 of 19 April 1991, the Employment Act, the State policy to foster employment is aimed at facilitating the employment of citizens who encounter difficulties in finding work.
44.In accordance with article 7.1-1 of the Employment Act, the authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation are responsible for taking measures to foster employment. This includes assisting citizens in their search for suitable employment and helping employers to find the necessary workers.
45.In the constituent entities, assistance in finding suitable work is provided by the bodies of the public employment service (employment centres), which offer their services free of charge. Citizens may approach any of these bodies when seeking suitable work.
46.The employment centres help citizens find suitable work by matching the work placement options indicated in their files with the job openings in a database of vacancies. Employers notify the employment service of vacancies in a prescribed manner.
47.In addition, information on workforce demand and employment vacancies sent by employers to employment service offices is made publicly available and is posted on “Work in Russia”, a single digital platform for matters relating to employment and labour relations.
48.According to preliminary data, there were some 75,320,000 people in the workforce (aged 15 years or over) in 2021. Of these persons, 71,720,000 (95.2 per cent of the workforce) were economically active and 3,630,000 million (4.8 per cent) were without paid work but were actively seeking it (they were classified as unemployed). The data are collected in accordance with the methodology of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
49.The number of persons aged 15 years or over in employment had increased by 1,118,000, or by 1.6 per cent, up from 70,601,000 in 2020. The number of unemployed persons aged 15 years or over had decreased by approximately 691,000, or by 16.0 per cent, down from 4,321,000 in 2020.
50.In 2021, 4.8 per cent of the workforce aged 15 years or over was unemployed, reflecting a reduction of 1 per cent since 2020.
51.In 2021, on average, 1,326,400 citizens were registered with offices of the employment service. This represents a reduction of 1,047,400 persons (44.1 per cent) since 2020, when 2,373,800 persons had been registered on average.
52.In 2021, the average registered unemployment rate as measured in accordance with the ILO methodology was 1.8 per cent of the workforce aged 15–72 years, compared with 3.2 per cent in 2020.
53.In 2021, in the context of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, vocational training and further training were provided for specific categories of citizens. Government Decision No. 369 of 13 March 2021 provided subsidies for non-profit organizations that organized such training, under a federal employment promotion project entitled “Fostering Employment”. The project was implemented as part of the national project on demography.
54.In 2021, such training was delivered to citizens aged 50 years or over, citizens nearing retirement age, women on leave to care for a child under 3 years of age, women who were not in employment and had preschool-aged children and citizens seeking work who had contacted the employment service, including unemployed persons.
55.Training activities have been carried out to make citizens more employable, reduce the time that it takes them to find work and provide employment of the highest quality. The occupations and specialties in which training was provided were determined in accordance with economic demand and the needs of specific employers offering guaranteed work placements.
56.The measures taken to improve the effectiveness of the employment service under the national project on demography’s “Fostering Employment” project led to improvements in the employment service’s infrastructure. This helped introduce new organizational and technological techniques with the use of digital and platform solutions.
57.Under the project, the Labour and Employment Service is the agency responsible for certain specific measures that have a bearing on whether a sustainable population growth indicator can be achieved. That indicator is a component of the national objective of maintaining the population level and preserving the public’s health and well-being.
58.Despite the achievements made in supporting youth employment, Russia continues to have youth unemployment problems, a shortage of jobs for graduates of vocational education institutions, casual employment and a high level of youth involvement in the informal sector, among other problems.
59.In this connection, the Long-term Programme to Promote Youth Employment for the period up to 2030, which was developed jointly by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and interested departments and organizations, was approved by Government Order No. 3581-r of 14 December 2021.
60.The aim of the Programme is to enable young people to realize their professional, vocational and entrepreneurial potential against the backdrop of a changing labour market. The Programme has four goals and includes 32 actions.
61.There are plans to subsidize work placement services, skills reviews and vocational training for various categories of young people, including those with disabilities or special needs, to help them find work in the long term. There are also plans to enhance the work placement support provided by career centres at educational institutions and help young people to relocate from regions with a surplus of workers to those with a shortage.
62.In addition, there are plans to pilot an integrated approach to career support for young people and ensure that the offices of the employment service provide targeted work placement support for those in difficult circumstances.
63.The Programme’s implementation should increase the percentage of graduates who find placement from 57 per cent in 2020 to 85 per cent as early as 2024 and 92 per cent in 2030.
64.The proportion of minors aged 14–18 years who have completed work experience, including as part of a temporary work placement, should increase from 5.9 per cent in 2020 to 15 per cent by 2024 and 35 per cent by 2030.
65.A federal project is being implemented to promote employment in rural areas within the framework of the State Programme on the Comprehensive Development of Rural Areas, which was approved by Government Decision No. 696 of 31 May 2019. The project lays the groundwork for the creation of jobs in areas where projects are being implemented for the comprehensive development of rural areas and small towns. Such projects concern the construction, reconstruction and renovation of social and utilities infrastructure and the procurement of vehicles and equipment. Infrastructure is thus being created alongside jobs, with the aim of maintaining the population in rural areas.
Follow-up information relating to paragraphs 32 and 33 of the Committee’s concluding observations
66.Under article 37 of the Constitution, everyone has the right to remuneration for their labour without any discrimination.
67.Article 2 (7) of the Labour Code recognizes the right of all workers to timely payment in full of just remuneration, ensuring for themselves and their families an existence worthy of human dignity in an amount not less than the federally established minimum wage as one of the fundamental principles of the legal regulation of labour relations.
68.Article 21 of the Labour Code establishes the right to timely payment of wages in full as a fundamental right of workers.
69.Article 132 of the Labour Code states that wages depend on a worker’s skills, the difficulty of the work performed and the quantity and quality of the work done, and there is no upper limit. No discrimination of any kind is permitted in setting and changing conditions of remuneration.
70.Article 2 (7) of the Labour Code establishes that one of the fundamental principles of the legal regulation of labour relations is equality of opportunity for workers without any discrimination in access to promotion, taking into account their productivity, skills and length of service in their occupation, and to training and further vocational education.
71.Under article 65 of the Labour Code, workers may not take up a post requiring special knowledge or training unless their special knowledge and documentation of their education and/or skills have been checked.
72.Workers with higher qualifications enjoy greater protection than others in certain situations. For example, when workforce or staff redundancies are made, workers with higher productivity and qualifications have priority for retention (Labour Code, art. 179).
73.Article 2 of the Labour Code establishes the principle that all workers have the right to fair working conditions, including working conditions consistent with health and safety requirements, and the right to rest, including limitations on working time and an entitlement to daily breaks, days off, public holidays and paid annual leave.
74.A worker may not normally work more than 40 hours per week (Labour Code, art. 91 (2)).
75.Russian labour law establishes reduced working hours for certain categories of workers (Labour Code, art. 92 (1) and (5)):
Workers aged under 16 years (a maximum of 24 hours per week) and workers aged 16–18 years (a maximum of 35 hours per week)
Workers with category I or II disabilities (a maximum of 35 hours per week)
Workers at workplaces identified as having category 3 or 4 harmful working conditions or dangerous working conditions following a special working conditions assessment (a maximum of 36 hours per week)
Other categories of workers (in the education, medical and other sectors)
76.By agreement of the parties to a labour contract, a part-time working arrangement (a partial working day or shift and/or a partial working week, which may include split working days) may be put in place either when a worker is hired or at a later stage (Labour Code, art. 93 (1)).
77.Pursuant to Federal Act No. 125-FZ of 18 June 2017, the Labour Code was amended to provide for the option of reducing the duration of the working day or shift by a set number of working hours, while also reducing the number of working days in the week. The new version states that a part-time working arrangement may be put in place on a permanent basis or for as long as is agreed by the parties.
78.In this connection, under a part-time working arrangement, workers’ wages are either prorated to the length of time that they work or dependent on the quantity of work that they perform (Labour Code, art. 93 (3)).
79.Article 21 of the Labour Code establishes the right to rest as a fundamental right of workers.
80.Under article 106 of the Labour Code, rest time is defined as time during which workers are exempt from the performance of work duties, and which they may use at their own discretion.
81.Article 107 of the Labour Code provides for the following categories of rest time: breaks during the working day or shift; daily rest periods or rest periods between shifts; days off and public holidays; and leave.
82.Breaks during the working day or shift are divided into rest and meal breaks and special breaks for specific categories of workers.
83.Article 108 (1) of the Labour Code states that, during the working day or shift, all workers are granted a rest and meal break of between 30 minutes and two hours in duration.
84.The weekly uninterrupted rest period must last for at least 42 hours, except as provided for in the Labour Code (art. 110).
85.According to article 111 (1) of the Labour Code, all workers are granted days off (the weekly uninterrupted rest period). Workers are granted two days off for a five-day working week and one day off for a six-day working week.
86.Working on days off and public holidays is prohibited, except as provided for in the Labour Code (art. 113).
87.In accordance with article 153 (1) of the Labour Code, workers receive at least double pay for working on a day off or a public holiday.
88.In accordance with article 112 of the Labour Code, workers other than those in receipt of a salary (official salary for the post) receive additional remuneration for public holidays on which they do not work.
89.Workers are granted paid annual leave of at least 28 calendar days (Labour Code, art. 115).
90.Under article 115 of the Labour Code, paid annual leave of more than 28 calendar days (extended leave) is granted to workers in accordance with the Labour Code and other federal laws.
91.Article 128 (1) of the Labour Code states that, upon written application, a worker may be granted unpaid leave for family matters or other valid reasons. The length of the period of unpaid leave is determined by agreement between the worker and the employer.
92.In addition to these forms of rest time, some categories of workers are granted additional days off. Under articles 262, 263.1 and 319 of the Labour Code, they include:
One of the parents or the guardian of a child with disabilities or another person raising such a child without a mother
Women working in rural areas
One of the parents or the guardian or foster parent of a child aged under 16 years, if the person works in the far north of the Russian Federation or an equivalent area
93.Federal Act No. 34-FZ of 9 March 2021 introduced changes to the rules for the granting of paid annual leave to workers with three or more children. Workers with three or more children aged under 18 years are granted annual leave at any time they wish, provided at least one of the children is aged under 14 years (Labour Code, art. 262.2).
94.Foreign nationals and stateless persons permanently or temporarily residing in the Russian Federation and working under labour contracts are subject to mandatory social insurance for temporary incapacity and maternity on the same basis as Russian citizens.
95.Since 1 January 2015, foreign workers temporarily staying in the Russian Federation have had the right to receive insurance benefits in the form of the temporary incapacity allowance, provided their employers have paid premiums for them at a reduced rate to the Social Insurance Fund for at least six months prior to the covered event.
96.Once foreign workers have been granted temporary or permanent residence status in the Russian Federation, they have the right to allowances relating to motherhood (pregnancy and childbirth allowance, one-time allowance on the birth of a child and monthly allowance for caring for a child aged under 18 months).
97.Foreign nationals and stateless persons are also subject to mandatory insurance against workplace accidents and occupational diseases on the same basis as Russian citizens, unless otherwise provided for under federal law or the international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party.
98.Migrant workers and foreign nationals permanently or temporarily residing in the Russian Federation are thus subject to mandatory social insurance on the same basis as Russian citizens.
99.Under article 62 (3) of the Constitution, foreign nationals and stateless persons enjoy the same rights as Russian citizens and bear the same duties as them, unless otherwise provided for under federal law or the international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party.
100.Chapter 50.1 of the Labour Code includes specific regulations on the labour of foreign workers.
101.Under the Labour Code, labour relations involving foreign nationals are governed by labour legislation and other sources of labour law, unless otherwise provided for under the Labour Code itself, other federal laws or the international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party (Labour Code, arts. 11 (5) and 327.1 (1)).
102.These provisions mean that foreign nationals and stateless persons have the same labour rights as Russian citizens.
Follow-up information relating to paragraphs 34 and 35 of the Committee’s concluding observations
103.The right to strike is enshrined in the Constitution (art. 37).
104.In addition, article 409 of the Labour Code establishes that workers have the right to strike as a way of resolving collective labour disputes.
105.Participation in strikes is voluntary. No one may be compelled to participate or to refuse to participate.
106.Anyone who compels workers to participate or to refuse to participate in a strike incurs disciplinary, administrative and criminal liability, as established by the Labour Code and other federal laws.
107.Article 26 of Federal Act No. 17-FZ of 10 January 2003 on Railway Transport prohibits strikes for the purpose of resolving collective labour disputes on public railways by workers involved in traffic or shunting operations or passenger services and by freight dispatchers or freight receivers. A list of the occupations in question is to be established by federal law.
108.Article 413 of the Labour Code states that, in accordance with article 55 of the Constitution, strikes are prohibited at organizations or their branches, representative offices or other subsidiary units directly involved in the provision of vital public services (supplying energy, heat, water or gas; air, rail and water transport; telecommunications; and hospitals) if the strike action would jeopardize national defence or security or endanger human lives or health.
109.In Order No. 197 of 7 October 2003, the Ministry of Transport approved a list of the minimum activities and services to be maintained during strikes at transport services and at their branches and representative offices.
110.Article 17 (1) (15) of Federal Act No. 79-FZ of 27 July 2004 on the State Civil Service stipulates that, as persons serving the State in a civil capacity, civil servants may not stop performing their official duties for the purpose of resolving a workplace dispute.
111.This prohibition is justified by the specific characteristics of public administration and the need for the constant and uninterrupted functioning and powers of government agencies for which the civil service as an institution is directly responsible.
112.The restrictions placed on the right of civil servants to stop performing their official duties for the purpose of resolving a workplace dispute are thus directly related to their special status. Civil servants carry out their official activities to ensure the exercise of the State functions entrusted to government agencies; the paramount importance of these functions to the country and society precludes the possibility of suspending their work.
Follow-up information relating to paragraph 36 of the Committee’s concluding observations
113.The pension system that has developed over time in the Russian Federation covers 100 per cent of citizens: everyone is entitled to either a contributory pension or a State pension. In the Russian Federation, there are thus no circumstances in which the State does not pay a pension to older persons, persons with disabilities or people who no longer have a breadwinner.
114.Since 2002, the Russian pensions model has been based on contributory principles. The new model thus includes the mandatory contributory pension scheme, the State pension and supplementary non-State contributory pension schemes.
115.The mandatory contributory pension scheme is operated by the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation. The Pension Fund is a public body, and its local offices constitute a unified, centralized system for managing the resources of the country’s mandatory contributory pension scheme.
116.There are also State pensions, These are paid to citizens: who have stopped working as federal State civil servants on completion of the statutory length of service and have begun to draw a contributory old-age or disability pension to offset the resulting loss in earnings or income; who have retired from working as cosmonauts or test pilots after completion of a qualifying length of service, to offset lost earnings; who have sustained injuries in the course of military service or as a result of radiological accidents or human-caused disasters and who, upon reaching the statutory age, have acquired disabilities or no longer have a breadwinner; and who are unable to work, to provide them with means of subsistence.
117.The main objective of Federal Act No. 350-FZ of 3 October 2018 amending certain laws on the allocation and payment of pensions is to ensure the resilience and financial stability of the pension system for many years to come, such that the pensions of current and future pensioners are not just maintained, but actually increase.
118.The general pension age was established in accordance with the amendments introduced to Federal Act No. 400-FZ of 28 December 2013 on Contributory Pensions (the Contributory Pensions Act) by Federal Act No. 350-FZ: the age at which a person may begin to draw an old-age contributory pension has been set at 65 years for men and 60 years for women. There are plans to increase the pension age gradually over a 10-year transitional period beginning on 1 January 2019 and ending in 2028.
119.Under Federal Act No. 166-FZ of 15 December 2001 on the State Pension System, and taking into account the transitional period established under Federal Act No. 350-FZ, men who have reached the age of 70 years and women who have reached the age of 65 years have the right to an old-age welfare benefit.
120.In accordance with the Contributory Pensions Act, citizens who decide to work after reaching the pension age and to defer their pension receive a higher amount under a special procedure for recalculating pension entitlements, and persons already drawing a pension may stop doing so for a set period to increase their entitlement.
121.The constituent entities of the Russian Federation establish subsistence minimums for pensioners. Some pensioners do not work and/or perform other activities that are covered by the mandatory pension scheme in accordance with Federal Act No. 167-FZ of 15 December 2001, the Mandatory Pension Scheme Act. In view of the need to ensure a minimum level of support for them, article 12 of Federal Act No. 178-FZ of 17 July 1999 on State Social Assistance provides for federal or regional welfare top-ups to their pensions if their income is less than the subsistence minimum.
122.Article 17 (14) and (15) of the Contributory Pensions Act establishes that persons who have worked in the agricultural sector for at least 30 calendar years and who are not working and/or performing another activity while covered by the mandatory contributory pension scheme are entitled to an additional 25 per cent on top of the fixed amount of the contributory pension for old age or the contributory pension for disability if they reside in a rural area.
123.Federal Act No. 125-FZ of 24 July 1998 on Mandatory Social Insurance against Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases sets out the organizational, legal and financial framework for this system of mandatory social insurance. The system is intended to compensate working citizens for changes in their financial and/or social status following such events or to minimize the impact of such changes.
124.Insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases is mandatory for the following categories of natural persons:
Persons who perform work on the basis of a labour contract concluded with an insured employer
Persons sentenced to a term of imprisonment who work for an insured party
Persons who perform work on the basis of a civil law contract for the performance of work and/or the provision of services or a commission contract when the contract requires the client to pay insurance premiums to an underwriter
125.Insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases is mandatory for foreign nationals and stateless persons on the same basis as for citizens, except in cases provided for under federal law or the international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party.
126.The following insurance benefits are payable in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases:
A temporary incapacity allowance
A one-time insurance benefit
A monthly insurance benefit
Payments to cover additional expenses relating to the medical, social and professional rehabilitation of the insured person
127.If an insured breadwinner dies, insurance entitlements are paid to the breadwinner’s beneficiaries.
128.The system of mandatory social insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases is funded by insurance premiums paid by insured employers to the Social Insurance Fund. The amount of the premiums depends on the activity performed.
129.Act No. 255-FZ, the Mandatory Social Insurance for Temporary Incapacity and Maternity Act, regulates coverage under the scheme for temporary incapacity and maternity.
130.In accordance with the Act, the following are considered to be insured events: temporary incapacity of the insured person as a result of illness or injury (excluding temporary incapacity as a result of accidents at work or occupational diseases) or other circumstances; pregnancy and childbirth; the birth of a child; care for a child aged under 18 months; and death of insured persons or their family members if they are minors.
131.The insurance gives rise to the following payments:
A temporary incapacity allowance
A pregnancy and childbirth allowance
A one-time allowance on the birth of a child
A monthly childcare allowance
A funeral allowance
132.The system of mandatory social insurance for temporary incapacity and maternity is funded by insurance premiums paid by the insured employers to the Social Insurance Fund; these are set at 2.9 per cent of the insured person’s pay and other remuneration.
133.Citizens working under labour contracts are subject to mandatory social insurance for temporary incapacity and maternity, as are foreign nationals and stateless persons permanently or temporarily residing in the Russian Federation and foreign citizens and stateless persons temporarily staying in the country (except for highly skilled professionals, in accordance with Federal Act No. 115-FZ of 25 July 2002 on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation).
134.Lawyers, individual entrepreneurs, members of family farm holdings, natural persons who are not recognized as individual entrepreneurs (notaries practising privately and other persons practising privately in accordance with a procedure established by law) and members of family (clan) communities of the Indigenous Peoples of the north, Siberia and the far east have the right to receive insurance benefits under the mandatory social insurance scheme for temporary incapacity or maternity. To do so, they must have voluntarily paid the necessary insurance premiums (based on the cost of the insurance year) for the calendar year preceding the covered event.
135.A temporary incapacity allowance is paid in the following cases:
An insured person is unable to work owing to sickness or injury, including in connection with an abortion or in vitro fertilization
An insured person needs to care for a sick family member, including a sick child
An insured person, his or her child aged under 7 years who attends preschool or another family member declared as having no dispositive capacity, as specified by law, is placed in quarantine
Prosthetics are being fitted at a specialized inpatient facility, in accordance with medical advice
Treatment is provided in accordance with an established procedure at a health resort immediately after a period of inpatient medical care
136.The temporary incapacity allowance for a full calendar month may not be lower than the minimum wage established by federal law. In areas and localities where regional weightings are applied to wages in accordance with an established procedure, it may not be lower than the minimum wage thus determined.
137.Insured women receive a single payment constituting the pregnancy and childbirth allowance for the entire period of pregnancy and childbirth. It is paid in the amount of 100 per cent of their average wages used for calculating contributions to the Social Insurance Fund for mandatory social insurance for temporary incapacity and maternity.
138.Pregnancy and childbirth allowance is paid for 140 calendar days, 156 calendar days in the case of complicated births and 194 calendar days in the case of multiple pregnancies or the birth of two or more children.
139.A monthly childcare allowance is paid to insured persons (the mother, the father or other relatives, or guardians) who actually care for a child and are on childcare leave, from the day on which childcare leave is granted until the child reaches the age of 18 months. The amount of the allowance is set at 40 per cent of the insured person’s average wages used for calculating contributions to the Social Insurance Fund for mandatory social insurance to cover temporary disability or maternity. The allowance may not be less than a minimum amount established under Federal Act No. 81-FZ of 19 May 1995 on State Benefits for Citizens with Children.
140.One of the parents, or a person in loco parentis, is entitled to a one-time allowance on the birth of a child, in an amount set under the Act. If two or more children are born, the allowance is paid for each child.
141.In the event of the death of insured persons or their family members who are minors, a funeral allowance is paid to an eligible beneficiary, in the amount established under Federal Act No. 8-FZ of 12 January 1996 on Funerals and the Funeral Industry.
142.A government report reflecting the main aspects of the situation of children and families with children is published annually.
143.The report is available electronically on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection at https://mintrud.gov.ru/docs/1887.
144.In addition to State benefits for citizens with children, information on which was presented in paragraphs 146–150 of the sixth periodic report of the Russian Federation on the implementation of Covenant, a set of measures aimed at improving the demographic situation and increasing family incomes has been introduced since 2018.
145.These measures, focused on monthly support of all categories of families raising children up to the age of 17 years, include: monthly payments in connection with the birth of the first, second, third and subsequent children up to 3 years of age; monthly payments for children from 3 to 8 years of age; monthly payments for children up to 17 years of age; and a monthly allowance paid to pregnant women who have registered in a health-care facility in early pregnancy.
146.The additional support measures described above are provided in line with the principles of targeting and need. When payments and allowances are awarded, family income is taken into account and the established criterion of need must be met.
147.At the same time, when monthly payments are awarded for children from 3 to 17 years old, as well as for pregnant women who have registered in a health-care facility in early pregnancy, a comprehensive needs assessment is applied that takes into account the specific features of the family’s life situation, not only in terms of income but also with regard to security of property and employment.
148.It is planned to introduce a uniform procedure and conditions for the award of all additional measures, regardless of the age of the child.
149.The special features of labour regulation pertaining to women and persons with family obligations are set out in chapter 41 of the Labour Code.
150.Under article 64 (3) of the Code, it is prohibited to refuse to conclude an employment contract with a woman on grounds related to pregnancy or the fact that she has children.
151.Article 145 of the Criminal Code criminalizes the unjustified refusal to hire or the unjustified dismissal of a pregnant woman or a woman with children under the age of 3 years.
152.Pregnant women and women with children under the age of 18 months are not subject to probationary periods for employment (Labour Code, art. 70).
153.Women with children under the age of 3 years may be engaged in night work and overtime work only with their written consent and on condition that such work is not prohibited for health reasons, as specified in a medical report. Also, they may not be employed under a rota system.
154.Labour contracts concluded with pregnant women may not be rescinded by an employer, except when an enterprise is closed down or the activity of an individual entrepreneur is terminated (Labour Code, art. 261).
155.Article 93 of the Labour Code provides that employers are obliged to set a partial working day (or shift) or partial working week, at the request of a pregnant woman, as specified in a medical report.
156.The output and service standards of a pregnant woman are to be reduced at her request and pursuant to a medical finding (Labour Code, art. 254 (1)). The woman retains her average wage for the period of reduced standards.
157.If an employer does not have a suitable job to which a pregnant employee can be transferred, she is released from work until another job is provided, in order to preclude the effects of workplace hazards (Labour Code, art. 254 (2)).
158.If a woman with children under the age of 18 months cannot perform her previous work, the employer is obliged to transfer her to another job, with pay corresponding to the work performed, but no lower than the average earnings from her previous work (Labour Code, art. 254 (4)).
159.Pregnant women retain their average wage at their place of work while they undergo compulsory outpatient examinations at health-care facilities (Labour Code, art. 254 (3)).
160.Before the completion of six months of continuous employment, paid leave must be granted, at the employee’s request, before or immediately after maternity leave (Labour Code, art. 122).
161.Pregnant women may not be recalled from leave (Labour Code, art. 125).
162.Under article 260 of the Labour Code, a woman is entitled to paid annual leave before her maternity leave or immediately thereafter, or following leave granted for childcare purposes, regardless of the length of her employment with the employer.
163.Women, at their request and on the basis of a duly issued certificate of incapacity for work, are entitled to maternity leave of 70 calendar days before childbirth (84 calendar days in case of a multiple pregnancy) and 70 calendar days after childbirth (86 calendar days in case of a complicated birth and 110 calendar days if two or more children are born), with payment of State social insurance benefits in the amount established by federal law.
164.Maternity leave is calculated cumulatively and is granted to a woman in full, regardless of the number of days she has actually used before delivery (Labour Code, art. 255).
165.The labour law stipulates that, at a woman’s request, she is to be granted leave to care for a child until the child reaches the age of 3 years (Labour Code, art. 256 (1)).
166.Under article 256 of the Labour Code, the right to childcare leave is extended to the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather or another relative or a guardian who actually cares for the child until he or she reaches the age of 3 years.
167.Employees on childcare leave retain their jobs (positions) (Labour Code, art. 256 (4)).
168.Women with children under 18 months of age are entitled to additional nursing breaks (Labour Code, art. 258).
Follow-up response to paragraphs 46 and 47 of the Committee’s concluding observations
169.The country’s agricultural policy is an integral part of State socioeconomic policy. In this context, in addition to food production, close attention is paid to solving social issues related to employment, demographics, an improvement of living standards and the development of rural areas.
170.The agricultural policy is aimed at increasing agricultural production (by making agriculture more efficient) and ensuring the stable socioeconomic development of rural areas as basic guarantees of food security.
171.State policy on ensuring a guaranteed and sustainable supply of safe and high-quality food for the population is implemented within the framework of the Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation, approved by Presidential Decree No. 20 of 21 January 2020.
172.Actual per capita consumption of fish and fish products and of meat and meat products is currently in line with or slightly exceeds (by 1.8 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively) the recommended allowances that meet modern requirements for a healthy diet, as laid down in Ministry of Health Order No. 614 of 19 August 2016.
173.The consumption of sugar, salt and vegetable oil exceeds the recommended allowances, respectively by 4.9 times, 2.5 times and 16.7 per cent.
174.The consumption of fruits and berries (64.6 per cent of the recommended allowance), vegetables, melons and gourds (75.7 per cent), milk and dairy products (74.4 per cent) and potatoes (90.6 per cent) is lower than the recommended standards.
175.Within the parameters of the Food Security Doctrine, measures to ensure food independence are implemented through the State programme for agricultural development and regulation of agricultural products, commodities and food markets, approved by Government Decision No. 717 of 14 July 2012.
176.Particular attention is paid to increasing the proportion of products yielding high added value. To this end, work is being done to develop the capacity of storage and processing facilities for agricultural raw materials, including in farming enterprises and rural cooperatives.
177.One important decision related to social support for residents of the country is the provision of free hot meals for schoolchildren receiving elementary general education at public educational establishments.
178.Methods of preventing violation of the mandatory requirements concerning the safety and quality of agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs are constantly being improved. This covers all stages of production and circulation in the consumer market.
179.In the Russian Federation, it is prohibited to cultivate or breed plants or animals whose genetic structure has been altered using genetic engineering methods or which contain genetically engineered material that cannot be the result of natural processes.
180.Federal Act No. 280-FZ of 3 August 2018 on Organic Products and Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation, which laid down the legal framework for the production and circulation of organic products in the country, entered into force on 1 January 2020.
181.Taking into account current trends in agricultural development associated with the digital transformation of the industry, the conditions are in place for creating a set of digital tools and services that will optimize costs and improve the efficiency of production and management processes.
182.In addition, while agricultural production is constantly increasing and becoming more diversified, the Russian Federation is actively supporting international humanitarian response efforts. It participates in the provision of food aid and development projects both through United Nations organizations and bilateral channels.
183.As part of work on one of the components of the State programme on comprehensive development of rural territories, a federal project is being implemented to develop housing and boost household welfare in rural areas, with the aim of improving the housing conditions of the rural population through the use of the following basic tools:
Preferential rural mortgages, which offer loans to citizens of the Russian Federation for the purchase or construction of housing in rural areas at an interest rate of from 0.1 to 3 per cent per annum
Provision of subsidies to the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to make social payments to citizens living in rural areas who are recognized as being in need of better housing conditions (including large families and workers in agro-industry or in the veterinary or welfare sectors and the implementation of measures for the construction of housing provided under rental contracts to citizens living and working in rural areas, with mandatory co-financing from employers, which will bolster the qualified workforce in rural areas
Granting of preferential consumer credits to increase the level of home improvements (purchase of equipment for power and water supply, sewerage, heating and ventilation)
Provision of subsidies to the constituent entities for the engineering preparation and redevelopment of sites for construction of individual housing in rural areas
184.In order to support local governments, a federal project on improvement of rural areas was drawn up under the State programme on comprehensive development of rural territories, which addresses key issues for the creation of a comfortable living environment.
185.To give effect to Presidential Decree No. 204 of 7 May 2018 on National Goals and Strategic Objectives up to 2024, a national project on housing and the urban environment is being implemented. Its description was approved by the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, on 24 December 2018. It includes five federal projects, on mortgages, housing, the creation of a comfortable urban environment, a sustainable reduction in the uninhabitable housing stock and the provision of clean water. In addition, the State programme on the provision of affordable and comfortable housing and communal services, approved by Government Decision No. 1710 of 30 December 2017, is also being implemented.
186.The federal law on additional measures of State support for families with children provides for entitlement to other measures of State support. These include maternity (family) allowances in connection with the birth of a second child or subsequent child (from 1 January 2007), as well as for the birth of a first child (from 1 January 2020). One of the areas earmarked for the disbursement of funds is the improvement of living conditions.
187.Funds may be used for the construction or purchase of housing, either with or without the involvement of credit facilities.
188.In 2019, the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs developed methodological recommendations for the work with the Roma population of the executive authorities of the country’s constituent entities and local authorities. They were approved by Order No. 78 of the Federal Agency, of 9 August 2019.
189.The provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities were taken into account in developing the methodological recommendations. The recommendations are aimed at assisting State authorities in organizing work aimed at improving the standard of living of the Roma population.
190.One of the areas involving the highest level of social tension remains infrastructure, in particular the problems posed by illegally erected buildings, squatting and illegal connections to utility networks.
191.In the Russian Federation, there are more than 250 buildings with unregistered title deeds in which Roma people live.
192.One solution to the problem of illegally erected buildings is to document existing structures, but this is not always possible, most often owing to their location in areas through which main gas lines and other infrastructure for utilities pass. In such cases, consideration is given to measures such as the provision of alternative housing or land, as well as the payment of financial compensation for its purchase.
193.Service providers regularly conduct inspections of unauthorized connections to the gas and electricity supply systems in areas densely populated by the Roma population.
194.Demolition of illegally erected structures is carried out only by court decision, with the provision, if necessary, of places of temporary residence and land for the construction of housing. At all stages, the State authorities assist in the preparation of the necessary documentation.
195.As part of the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, adopted at the 127th session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 2004, the Russian Federation has made a significant contribution to global and regional food security.
196.The Russian Federation is a reliable partner in humanitarian assistance. Much of the food aid it provides to the needy populations of foreign countries is channelled through the United Nations/FAO World Food Programme. The geographical scope of financial support by the Russian Federation for humanitarian food aid is constantly expanding and now includes countries of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as those in the Asia-Pacific region. The country’s contributions to the World Food Programme amounted to $52.8 million in 2018, $44.9 million in 2019 and record sums of $72.7 million and $81.5 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
197.One of the most effective forms of Russian food aid is the implementation of technical assistance projects to develop sustainable school feeding systems. At the intersection of humanitarian aid and development assistance, such projects become a tool for fighting hunger, ensuring a healthy diet and improving the overall level of education and, consequently, the degree of competitiveness of young people in the labour market. They also help to alleviate poverty and reduce child morbidity and mortality. During the reporting period, projects were implemented in Armenia (2019–2021, funding of $13.1 million), Kyrgyzstan (2018–2021, $7.4 million) and Tajikistan (2018–2021, $9 million), while similar projects have been launched in Cuba and Nicaragua since 2020 (2020–2022, $8 million).
198.The Russian Federation also participates actively in food aid provided through FAO. During the reporting period, the following projects were implemented: building capacity to strengthen food security and nutrition in a number of countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus (2015 to date, $6 million); and supporting the rural population and strengthening household resilience in Aleppo Province, in the Syrian Arab Republic (2018–2021, $3 million). In April 2020, the Russian Federation also financed FAO activities to combat locust infestations in East African countries (the recipient countries being Ethiopia ($3 million), Kenya ($3 million), South Sudan ($1 million) and Uganda ($3 million)).
Follow-up response to paragraphs 51–55 of the Committee’s concluding observations
199.The protection of human health is guaranteed by article 7 (2) of the Constitution.
200.Article 41 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that federal programmes for protecting and strengthening public health are to be financed and measures are to be taken to develop State, municipal and private health-care systems, and activities are to be encouraged that contribute to strengthening human health and developing physical culture and sport, as well as environmental, medical and epidemiological well-being.
201.The rights of citizens in the sphere of health protection are also regulated by chapter 4 of Federal Act No. 323-FZ of 21 November 2011 on the Principles of Health Care in the Russian Federation, including the rights to health protection and medical care, to give informed voluntary consent for medical interventions and to refuse medical interventions, to choose a medical establishment and physician and to receive information on one’s health status.
202.In addition, guarantees concerning the provision of medical care, as well as the corresponding rights of citizens with regard to certain diseases, are enshrined in special legislative acts.
203.In particular, Federal Act No. 3-FZ of 8 January 1998, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, establishes:
The comprehensive principles of State policy in the area of trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as in combating their illicit trafficking (through control (surveillance), preventive, scientific, public, social and international measures), including giving priority to preventing the illegal use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, fostering activities aimed at promoting anti-drug messages and encouraging drug abusers to enter treatment for drug abuse and medical and/or social rehabilitation, as well as encouraging occasional users of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances without a medical prescription to undergo preventive treatments
State guarantees of the provision of drug abuse treatment and social rehabilitation for drug abusers and of the rights of drug abusers to enjoy the patients’ rights afforded by the country’s legislation on health care when they are provided with drug abuse treatment, thereby eliminating discrimination against drug-dependent persons in access to medical services
204.In addition, the State policy for controlling drug abuse is based on the need to strike an optimal balance between respect for the rights of patients, including their ability to receive qualified medical care, and the public health need to prevent drug-related disorders, the psychological “contagiousness” of which is well known. Public policy in this area is accordingly based on the fundamental tenets of epidemiology. Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for adherence to these principles is now fully evident in many countries.
205.The legal and regulatory instruments currently in force, which impose restrictions on certain professions and activities associated with a risk of heightened danger for persons with drug-related disorders, are dictated by the necessity to take measures to ensure public safety in various means of transport and when handling weapons and other sources of heightened danger, as well as by the need to prevent the proliferation of the non-medical use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
206.The legislation of the Russian Federation ensures observance of the principle of voluntary treatment of drug abusers on the basis of informed consent (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, art. 54 (4)). Treatment is differentiated according to the type of dependency. The principle of confidentiality is respected in the management of patients who voluntarily apply for treatment and care.
207.The prevention and diagnosis of drug abuse and the medical rehabilitation of drug abusers are carried out in medical establishments, while treatment of drug abusers is carried out only in medical establishments of the State and municipal health-care systems (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, art. 55 (1–2)).
208.Measures for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and medical rehabilitation of drug abusers in medical establishments of the State and municipal health systems are carried out free of charge.
209.The Russian Federation has a wide network of establishments and branches of the State drug abuse service, including 77 outpatient drug abuse treatment facilities and 8 drug abuse treatment hospitals, while 1,956 multidisciplinary medical establishments have clinics staffed by a psychiatrist/drug abuse therapist.
210.In order to deliver medical rehabilitation under inpatient conditions, rehabilitation centres and departments have been set up within medical establishments providing medical care in the fields of psychiatry and psychiatry/drug abuse therapy. There are a total of 3,055 drug abuse rehabilitation beds in those centres and departments.
211.The procedure for dispensing care to drug abusers is determined by Ministry of Health Order No. 1034-n of 30 December 2015, according to which care for drug abusers is dispensed at various levels: in primary health care, emergency medical care and specialized medical care.
212.Medical treatment of drug abuse is also provided in a variety of settings:
Outside a medical establishment (at the call-out site of an ambulance team, including a specialized ambulance team, as well as in a vehicle during medical evacuation)
For outpatients (in conditions that do not involve 24-hour medical observation and treatment)
For day inpatients (in conditions that involve medical supervision and treatment during the daytime but without 24-hour medical supervision and treatment)
For inpatients (in conditions in which 24-hour medical observation and treatment must be provided)
213.Opioid substitution therapy is not used in the Russian Federation because the effectiveness of such therapy remains unproven and its adverse medical and social consequences exceed the transient positive effects that are observed in some patients. At the same time, research is being conducted in the country to expand the possibilities of pharmacological treatment of drug abuse disorders, which is an effective alternative to substitution therapy.
214.According to the modern understanding, so-called substitution therapy for addiction to opioids, in particular to heroin, is a type of palliative therapy whose aims are limited to reducing the acuteness and severity of the patient’s suffering rather than eliminating the disease itself or, in this case, stopping the use of a narcotic substance and suppressing or eliminating dependence.
215.Palliative therapy is used only when comprehensive treatment is proven to be ineffective and futile. It follows that substitution therapy for drug abuse, which is essentially the replacement of dependence on one type of drug (heroin) with dependence on another (methadone), is based on the paradigm of the incurability of heroin addiction, or the impossibility in principle of achieving complete withdrawal from dependency on a narcotic drug. However, the scientific and practical achievements of modern medicine refute this.
216.In accordance with the standards adopted in the Russian Federation, comprehensive treatment of opiate addiction, including heroin addiction, is based on obligatory observance of the principles of an individual approach to the patient, a careful and detailed study of the clinical picture of the disease, strict differentiation in the selection of therapeutic agents and the establishment of a treatment programme. It follows that treatment is a difficult task requiring considerable intellectual and material effort, creativity and the clear organization of medical care.
217.This problem can be tackled in two ways: either by continuing to strive to achieve better results for the complete cure of patients, or by following the path of least resistance and making the transition to substitution therapy. The latter would signify an end to the efforts already made and the capitulation of the State and society to drug abuse as a social problem.
218.In the Russian Federation, the first path has been chosen. It is based on legal guarantees of medical care for drug abusers and it is associated with the existence in our country of a clearly structured, nationwide drug abuse service that is able to provide drug abuse treatment based on unified, scientifically substantiated principles.
219.Currently, a comprehensive approach is being used to treat drug abuse. This includes various medical and non-medical methods, and its effectiveness has been proven in practice. Medical drug abuse treatment establishments have accumulated valuable experience in treating patients with heroin addiction without the use of narcotics, applying an integrated approach involving the phased delivery of drug abuse treatment, consisting of: detoxification therapy and treatment of withdrawal syndrome and psychotic conditions; therapy for residual conditions; medical rehabilitation in inpatient and outpatient settings; and social rehabilitation, which is usually organized in private rehabilitation centres. If a patient with drug dependence maintains compliance at all stages of the comprehensive therapy, the probability of sustainable, good-quality long-term remission reaches 60–70 per cent. The number of rehabilitation centres is increasing and has reached nearly 1,000.
220.The legal prohibition of drug abuse treatment using so-called substitution therapy is based on the State policy against narcotic drugs, the basic principles of which are enshrined in article 4 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. In general, State policy relating to trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors and to combating their illicit trafficking is aimed at establishing strict control over the circulation of drugs, the early detection of illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, a gradual reduction in the number of drug abusers and a reduction in the number of offences that are committed in relation to illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
221.The Strategy of State Anti-Drug Policy of the Russian Federation until 2030, approved by Presidential Decree No. 733 of 23 November 2020, provides for a reduction in the demand for narcotic drugs by improving the system for drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and the system for delivery of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers, and also by increasing drug abusers’ access to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases (such as HIV infection, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections). Moreover, article 15 (a) of the Strategy explicitly prohibits the use of substitution therapy in the Russian Federation for the treatment of drug abuse (i.e., for the use of narcotic drugs) and the legalization of recreational drug use, as well as the unjustified expansion of the use of narcotic analgesics.
222.Article 38 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 provides for a list of measures against the abuse of drugs but makes no reference to so-called substitution therapy.
223.In addition, article 39 of the Single Convention gives the Russian Federation the right to adopt stricter measures for the control of narcotic drugs than those required on the basis of the Convention: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention, a Party shall not be, or be deemed to be, precluded from adopting measures of control more strict or severe than those provided by this Convention, and in particular from requiring that preparations in Schedule III or drugs in Schedule II be subject to all or such of the measures of control applicable to drugs in Schedule I as in its opinion is necessary or desirable for the protection of the public health or welfare.”
224.Using this authority, article 31 (1) and (6) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act stipulate that narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances listed in Schedules II and III and registered in the Russian Federation in accordance with the legislation on the circulation of medicines may be used for medical purposes, while the treatment of drug addiction with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances listed in Schedule II is prohibited.
225.By Government Decision No. 681 of 30 June 1998, methadone was included in Schedule I of the List of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors that are controlled in the Russian Federation (“Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors whose trafficking is prohibited in the Russian Federation in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation and international treaties of the Russian Federation”).
226.Buprenorphine (the second most common drug for substitution therapy) is included in the list of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances whose circulation is limited in the Russian Federation and for which control measures are established in accordance with the country’s legislation and the international treaties to which it has acceded (Schedule II).
227.It is important to note that the main provisions on prevention and treatment of HIV infection are laid down in the State Strategy to Combat the Spread of HIV Infection in the Russian Federation until 2030 approved by Government Order No. 3468-r of 21 December 2020.
228.In accordance with the Strategy, population groups at high risk of HIV infection include:
Injecting drug users and users of other drugs for non-medical purposes
Persons engaging in non-traditional sexual relationships
229.The legislation of the Russian Federation provides for the following measures to prevent the spread of HIV infection in high-risk populations:
Identification of persons with HIV infection in key and vulnerable populations
Assistance to persons with HIV infection in seeking medical care
Provision of social support to certain categories of citizens with HIV infection, in accordance with the country’s legislation
Implementation of HIV prevention as part of primary health care
230.In the context of preventive measures in the Russian Federation, a key role is assigned to raising public awareness of the health risks associated with HIV infection and to shaping public opinion, including among young people, so that priority is given to healthy lifestyles, family values, morality and the rejection of risky behaviour patterns with regard to HIV infection.
231.At the same time, the Russian Federation is systematically improving the provision of specialized medical care for HIV infection: indications for the initiation of drug therapy for HIV infection have been revised, modern HIV treatment regimens are introduced each year and new approaches to the management and monitoring of people living with HIV infection are being developed based on international and Russian experience. Centralized procurement of antiretroviral drugs, paid for from the federal budget and the budgets of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and the localization of domestic antiretroviral drug production have led to annual increases in the numbers of persons under observation and following a course of antiretroviral therapy as outpatients.
232.The Russian Federation is implementing an unprecedented programme of universal access to antiretroviral therapy, including in key population groups. In 2021, 587,017 patients were receiving antiretroviral therapy (compared with 554,668 patients in 2020). Antiretroviral therapy coverage is steadily increasing, from 77.1 per cent in 2020 to 78.8 per cent in 2021 (an increase of 1.7 percentage points).
233.Coverage with chemoprophylaxis for tuberculosis in HIV-infected patients is also increasing. In 2020, 99,472 people received chemoprophylaxis for tuberculosis; in 2021, the corresponding figure was 112,462 (an increase of 13.1 per cent).
234.These measures have reduced the number of persons coinfected with HIV and tuberculosis, as well as the number of newly diagnosed cases of tuberculosis in persons living with HIV. At the end of 2021, 23,352 persons were coinfected with HIV/tuberculosis (compared with 25,356 persons at the end of 2020). There were 9,493 newly detected cases of tuberculosis in persons living with HIV in 2021 (compared with 9,772 cases in 2020).
235.In accordance with the Strategy, persons undergoing periodic medical examinations, as well as those seeking medical care for tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C and sexually transmitted diseases, are simultaneously tested for HIV infection.
236.Equal access to medical care is guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of their occupation. Article 41 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to health protection and medical care.
237.Under article 26 (1) of the Federal Act on the Principles of Health Care, persons detained, remanded in custody, serving a semi-custodial or custodial sentence or undergoing rigorous imprisonment or administrative detention, including persons engaged in prostitution, also have the right to medical care, including where necessary in medical establishments of the State or municipal health-care system.
238.According to article 5 (1) and (2) of the Act, health protection measures are to be taken on the basis of recognition, observance and protection of citizens’ rights and in compliance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law. The State is to ensure protection of citizens’ health regardless of sex, race, age, nationality, language, presence of diseases or conditions, origin, property status, occupation, place of residence, attitude towards religion, beliefs, membership of public associations or other circumstances.
239.Based on article 4 (6) and (8) of the Act, the fundamental principles of health protection are the accessibility and quality of medical care, and priority is given to prevention in the sphere of health protection.
240.Article 10 (5) of the Act states that the accessibility and quality of medical care are ensured by the provision, by a medical establishment, of a guaranteed volume of medical care, in accordance with the programme of State guarantees of free medical care for citizens.
241.Article 79 (4) (2) of the Act stipulates that medical establishments are to conduct health promotion and health education activities.
242.The procedure for the provision of medical care in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology was approved by Ministry of Health Order No. 1130n of 20 October 2020.
243.In accordance with paragraph 65 of this procedure, medical care for gynaecological diseases is provided as part of (pre-hospital and medical) primary health care and of specialized, including high-technology, care at medical establishments licensed to perform medical activities.
244.Specialized primary care in obstetrics and gynaecology, including for minors, is provided at children’s polyclinics, women’s outpatient facilities, centres for adolescent reproductive health, centres for family health and reproduction, maternal and child health centres and other medical establishments.
245.In addition, facilities organized in women’s clinics have included medical and social support centres for pregnant women in difficult life situations and medical and social welfare offices where women can consult a psychologist, a social worker or a lawyer. Counselling is provided for pregnant women seeking referrals for abortions.
246.The main tasks of primary health care for gynaecological patients consist in the prevention, early detection and treatment of the most common gynaecological diseases, health education aimed at preventing abortions, protection of reproductive health and advocacy for a healthy lifestyle using effective information and education models (such as patient schools, round tables with patients, health days).
247.The absolute number of abortions decreased by 33.8 per cent (from 836,600 in 2016 to 553,400 in 2020) and the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49 years decreased by 32.9 per cent (from 24 cases in 2016 to 16.1 cases in 2020).
248.In addition, as part of the federal project entitled “Strengthening public health” under the national project on demography, mass media campaigns are held to motivate the country’s population to lead a healthy life and to adopt a responsible attitude towards reproductive health and the preservation of family values, making use of various formats for the presentation of information, including video films, video and audio clips, outdoor advertising, information posters, banners, printed materials, specialized mass media and Internet projects, current affairs programmes and radio and television narratives. These not only ensure maximum coverage of the target audience; they also have an impact on different age groups, including young people.
Articles 13 and 14
Follow-up response to paragraphs 56 and 57 of the Committee’s concluding observations
249.In accordance with article 43 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation of 12 December 1993 and article 5 of Federal Act No. 273-FZ of 29 December 2012, the Education Act, the Russian Federation guarantees the right to education for everyone, regardless of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, property, social or official status, place of residence, attitude towards religion, beliefs, membership of public associations or other circumstances. In particular, everyone has the right to receive a free higher education on a competitive basis, provided the person is receiving education at this level for the first time.
250.The realization of the right of every person to education is ensured in the country through the creation by the federal State authorities, by the authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and by local authorities of the appropriate socioeconomic conditions for acquiring an education, expanding opportunities to meet the educational needs of individuals at the various levels and providing people with an orientation throughout their lives, in particular:
By establishing the necessary conditions for persons with disabilities to receive a quality education, without discrimination
By assisting individuals who have demonstrated outstanding capabilities, which, in accordance with the Education Act, includes students who have shown a high level of intellectual development and creativity in a particular area of studies or research, in scientific, technical or artistic creation or in physical education and sport
By providing full or partial financial backing for persons in need of social support during their education, in accordance with the country’s legislation
251.Article 100 of the Education Act establishes that financial support for higher education programmes is appropriated from the State budget based on a calculation aimed at covering at least 800 students for every 10,000 persons between the ages of 17 and 30 living in the country.
252.In his address to the Federal Assembly on 15 January 2020, the President of the Russian Federation set an objective of annually increasing the number of places at institutions of higher learningthat receive budget allocations for the study of bachelor’s and specialists’ degrees, primarily at educational establishments located in those constituent entities which face a demand for specialists with higher education, and providing for the development of such establishments’ infrastructure.
253.To maintain the availability of full-time higher education (bachelor’s and specialist programmes), 576,498 students were given the opportunity to receive higher education for free in the 2021/22 academic year. This is 34,747 more than the previous year. For the 2022/23 school year, the increase was 11,546. Thus, the total cohort receiving such support for the 2022/23 academic year will be 588,044.
254.Article 100 (3) of the Education Act establishes that the quotas filled by budget allocations for vocational training, specialty training and other training from the federal budget, those of the constituent entities and local budgets are to be distributed on the basis of the results of a public competition.
255.The competition is organized by the Competition Commission established by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
256.The Ministry also selects foreign nationals for training, applying a quota set by the federal Government.
257.Article 26 of Federal Act No. 419-FZ of 1 December 2014 and Government Decree No. 599 of 17 June 2015 establish a procedure and deadlines for the development by federal agencies, agencies of the constituent entities and local government bodies of measures to improve the accessibility of certain facilities and services for persons with disabilities. The federal agencies and agencies of the constituent entities have drawn up and approved action plans (known as road maps) to raise the indicators for such accessibility.
258.In the minutes of the 13th meeting of the Presidential Commission for Persons with Disabilities, dated 12 April 2016, section 1 (5) calls for the Russian Ministry of Labour to monitor the implementation of the action plans (the road maps) of the federal agencies and agencies of the constituent entities. The Ministry of Labour monitors the implementation of the road maps on an annual basis.
259.For persons with disabilities, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education has approved a procedure for ensuring the accessibility of facilities and services provided in higher education and for providing them with the assistance they require, and also an action plan (a road map) to improve the accessibility of facilities and services in the sphere of education.
260.In the sphere of primary (and preschool) and secondary (or special) education, the monitoring by the Ministry of Education of the accessibility of infrastructure and of the services provided indicates that 51 educational organizations (or 64.5 per cent) have established and are posting accessibility rating plates (as specified in the road maps).
261.In the constituent entities, in order to improve the accessibility of facilities and services, for example in education, measures have been taken to create an accessible architectural environment and to provide the material and technical equipment for preschool and general education schools, through the State’s “Accessible Environment” programme.
262.As a result, in the constituent entities, an accessible, barrier-free environment for students with special needs has been established at 8,072 kindergartens (21.8 per cent of the total, exceeding the target of 18.5 per cent) and 10,106 schools (28 per cent of their total, exceeding the target of 22.9 per cent).
263.In order to increase the level of accessibility of education for children with special needs and disabilities, the Ministry of Education engages with associations of persons with disabilities, including on questions of the improvement of the regulatory and legal framework.
264.In order to meet the individual needs of students, including those of Roma ethnicity, extracurricular programmes are implemented in the constituent entities for the socialization and personal development of students (in sports and recreation and for their spiritual and moral, social, intellectual and cultural development).
265.When necessary, psychological, pedagogical, medical and social assistance is provided to children from Roma families when they have difficulties in basic education programmes or in their development and social adaptation, in accordance with the requirements of article 42 of the Education Act.
266.No segregation of Roma children has been noted. Federal law guarantees all citizens the opportunity to receive free primary and secondary education.
267.At some schools, temporary classes are set up for the adaptation of Roma children, based on a decision by their parents. The classes take into account the national traditions and nomadic lifestyle of citizens from this ethnic group. This is also done in order to quickly bridge the gap in mastering the curriculum and to provide for a subsequent transition into regular classes.
268.To establish the conditions for children from Roma families to receive a basic education, general education schools show flexibility in implementing educational programmes. Instruction is carried out according to an individual plan, and distance learning and part-time study are used.
269.Various additional education programmes, including one entitled “Teaching Russian to Children with Other Mother Tongues”, are implemented in general education schools with large numbers of children from Roma families.
270.For the same reasons, some schools organize distance and part-time education for such children.
Follow-up response to paragraphs 58 and 59 of the Committee’s concluding observations
271.Article 44 of the Constitution guarantees the right to participate in cultural life and use cultural institutions and the right of access to cultural objects of value.
272.In the period of Russian statehood, a unique historical experience has taken root, with different cultures having mutual influence, enrichment and respect for each other. The Russian language and Russian culture have played a key unifying role in the historical consciousness of the multi-ethnic people of the country. This is evidenced by the country’s vast cultural heritage, spanning a variety of fields of culture, art and science.
273.The Russian Federation considers culture to be a national priority and recognizes it to be an essential resource for socioeconomic development, improvement of the quality of life and harmonization of social relations, and also a mainstay of dynamic socioeconomic development and a guarantor of a unified cultural space.
274.The fundamental principle of the State’s cultural policy, enshrined in the Fundamentals of State Cultural Policy (approved by Presidential Decree No. 808 of 24 December 2014), is the territorial and social equality of citizens, including citizens with disabilities, in exercising their rights to access objects of cultural value, to participate in cultural life and to make use of cultural institutions, and the right to freedom of creativity. State policy in this area is aimed at creating the conditions for each person to realize his or her creative potential, providing citizens with unhindered access to knowledge, information and objects of cultural value, including through the use of the latest telecommunications technologies. As a follow-up to this Decree, the Strategy for the State Cultural Policy for the Period to 2030 was adopted under Government Order No. 326-r of the Government of the Russian Federation of 29 February 2016.
275.The preservation of the ethnocultural diversity of the peoples of Russia, including Indigenous and minority peoples, is part of the State policy in the field of culture. It is aimed at ensuring that everyone has the constitutional right to have access to objects of cultural value and the constitutional duty to preserve the country’s historical and cultural heritage. It also has the objective of ensuring the rights of the country’s ethnic communities to preserve and develop their cultural identity. In this sphere, the State has an important task, which consists in identifying, studying, making use of, updating, preserving and popularizing the intangible ethnocultural heritage of the peoples of Russia.
276.A State system of houses and centres for folk art, run by the Polenov State Russian House of Folk Arts, has been in operation for over 50 years. The Polenov House is part of the Russian Ministry of Culture. Regional houses and centres for folk art are in operation in all the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and work directly with local folklore groups and tradition bearers; special attention is paid to numerically small peoples.
277.The Russian Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage under the National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO operates from the Polenov House and is continuing to work actively.
278.A number of amendments were introduced into Federal Act No. 73-FZ of 25 June 2002 on the Cultural Heritage Objects (Historical and Cultural Monuments) of the Peoples of the Russian Federation with the aim of improving the legal framework for the protection of such objects. The amendments improve the unified State registry of cultural heritage objects, including by specifying the amount of information that individuals and legal entities are entitled to receive from bodies protecting objects of cultural heritage.
279.The creation of conditions for leisure and the provision of services of cultural organizations for residents are a local responsibility. In accordance with articles 14–16 of Federal Act No. 131-FZ of 6 October 2003 on the General Principles of Local Government, such activities are carried out independently by local governments. Federal Act No. 114-FZ of 30 April 2021 amending certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation was drawn up by the Ministry of Culture. Under this Act, local government bodies are given authority in the sphere of culture in the municipal districts within their territory. For example, they organize library services, create conditions for leisure activities, provide residents with cultural services and foster the development of local traditional folk art and traditional art. They also have authority for the preservation of objects of cultural heritage owned by the municipalities and for objects of local importance located within their jurisdiction.
280.Concerts and theatrical performances are regulated by the Fundamental Principles issued under No. 3612-1 on legislation and culture, approved by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation on 9 October 1992. The Fundamental Principles state that organizational and economic activities, including the sale of tickets, are the responsibility of cultural and leisure organizations. In this regard, in order to ensure the affordability of these events, cultural institutions have developed a system of discounted tickets for various categories of citizens. Cinemas decide on their repertoires and pricing policies independently, based on their commercial interests.
281.Every year, the Ministry of Culture provides support for social projects. Under these projects, events must be held on a charitable basis.
282.An important area of activity in the implementation of the State cultural policy in terms of popularizing reading and promoting printed and electronic books is the development of the federal National Electronic Library.
283.The purpose of the National Electronic Library is to preserve the historical, scientific and cultural legacy of the peoples of the Russian Federation, to provide conditions for increasing the intellectual potential of the Russian Federation and to form a single electronic knowledge space for the country.
284.As at 1 January 2022:
The Library’s portal had been visited more than 15 million times.
The number of consultations amounted to 30.1 million in 2021, or three times greater than the target for the year (10.6 million).
The number of items available to readers was 5,363,000 (the target was 4,761,000).
The average daily number of unique visitors was 36,788 (the target was 36,000).
285.In 2021, the following activities also took place:
A project was launched for an Electronic Library of the Cossacks on the basis of the National Electronic Library.
More than 24,000 documents were made available on the National Electronic Library’s Monumental Books portal.
The SVET Rusneb mobile app, a “golden fund” of world literature in Russian, was developed to promote the Russian language abroad.
286.Work is being done to preserve the system of continuing education in the area of culture and the arts.
287.The Education Act provides for the possibility of implementing secondary vocational education programmes in the arts, integrated with basic general education programmes. Federal Act No. 321-FZ of 2 July 2021, which amended articles 5 and 83 of the Education Act, provides for the opportunity to enter a federal institution of higher learning, with funding from the State budget, to obtain a second degree in such specialties as director of theatre, film or television productions, orchestra conductor, music composer, literary worker or literary translator.
288.Also, in order to further develop and support children’s art schools, Federal Act No. 51-FZ of 24 March 2021 amended the Education Act by introducing changes that legally consolidated the special status of such schools as institutions established primarily for the teaching of supplementary prevocational programmes in the arts.
289.Ministry of Culture Order No. 754 of 2 June 2021 approved a procedure for schools to provide supplementary education for children under the following special titles: “children’s school of the arts”, “children’s music school”, “children’s choral school”, “children’s creative art school”, “children’s choreographic school”, “children’s drama school”, “children’s circus school” and “children’s arts and crafts school”.
290.As part of the Government’s cooperation with UNESCO, measures were taken during the reporting period to effectively protect the moral and material interests of the country’s authors of scientific, artistic and literary works, and in particular of representatives of Indigenous Peoples. For example, Russia, through the UNESCO Information for All Programme, has held global scientific conferences on multilingualism, covering inter alia the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.
291.Annual events are held in Russia to support the preservation of the culture and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. For example, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation alone held 10 major thematic activities in 2021.
292.The Government of the Russian Federation actively encourages the development of international contacts and cooperation in scientific and cultural fields.
293.For the expansion of cultural ties, particular attention is paid to the preparation and implementation of comprehensive, large-scale projects in the context of years, days and seasons devoted to partnership with foreign countries.
294.In 2018–2019, the Ministry of Culture, together with the Moscow Patriarchate, held Days of Russia in foreign countries, including events of a spiritual nature. The seventh and eighth Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forums were also held during this period.
295.In 2020–2021, due to the epidemiological situation, most activities were carried out remotely, and some were temporarily suspended for the duration of the pandemic.
296.The country’s representative offices abroad also continuously promote cultural and educational activities, including Russian language dictation exercises in foreign countries, with focuses respectively on geography, environmental considerations, victory and ethnographic concepts. Work is also being carried out to specifically promote the country’s cinema abroad.
297.The constructive participation of the Russian Federation in the activities of UNESCO contributes in no small measure to promoting international contacts and cooperation in the scientific and cultural fields. For example, in 2019, Russia and UNESCO established an annual Mendeleev Prize for achievements in the basic sciences (with prize money of $500,000) aimed at popularizing scientific activity and increasing research potential in the world. The country’s scientific and educational institutions are increasing their international cooperation in the framework of the UNESCO University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN) programme, which brings together more than 850 departments from 117 countries around the world. Interaction is conducted within the fields of competence of the Organization, including in the field of culture.
298.Russia has traditionally contributed to the list of anniversaries with which UNESCO can be associated.
299.In the Russian Federation, the human rights to enjoy the results of scientific progress and the practical application of such progress, and also the obligation of the State to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity, are realized through the principle of scientific and technical freedom of creativity.
300.This is a fundamental principle of State policy for the country’s scientific and technological development.
301.According to Federal Act No. 127-FZ of 23 August 1996, the Science and State Scientific and Technical Policy Act, scientific and/or scientific-technical activity is to be managed in a way that respects freedom of scientific creativity.
302.The country’s public authorities recognize the right to reasonable risk in scientific and/or scientific-technical activity. They ensure freedom of access to scientific and scientific-technical information, except for cases covered by State, official or commercial secrecy, as established in the country’s legislation.
303.In accordance with the Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation, approved by Presidential Decree No. 642 of 1 December 2016, and in line with the Science and State Scientific and Technical Policy Act, freedom of scientific and technical creativity is understood to mean that research teams and organizations and other participants in research and development have the opportunity to choose and combine their forms and courses of action and their methods of tackling research and technological problems, while enhancing their responsibility for their work’s output and increasing its significance for the development of the national economy and for society.
304.The principle of freedom of scientific and technical creativity is enshrined not only in standard-setting legal instruments for the sector, but also in article 44 of the Constitution.
305.Federal Constitutional Act No. 1-FKZ of 14 March 2020 amended the Constitution, improving the organization and functioning of the public authorities. A number of innovations were adopted in the Act to improve upon the provisions of this article. The Act was amended to give new powers to the Government to implement a single, socially oriented State policy in the field of science, provide State support for scientific and technological development and preserve and develop the country’s scientific potential.
306.In addition, according to amendments made to the Constitution, the Russian Federation is responsible for establishing the foundations of federal policy and federal programmes for the country’s economic, environmental, scientific, technological, social, cultural and national development. General issues related to science are under the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and the country’s constituent entities.
307.At the same time, we would point out that during the reporting period a number of initiatives were carried out in the Russian Federation in the field of intellectual property, thus affecting economic rights.
308.On 28 February 2018, the Geneva Act of The Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs came into force for the Russian Federation. The Act allows applicants to effectively enforce the protection of industrial design rights in several countries.
309.On 17 January 2021, Federal Act No. 217-FZ of 20 July 2020 entered into force. The Act makes it possible to include three-dimensional models of inventions, utility models, industrial prototypes and trademarks when applications are filed and to issue patents and certificates in electronic form for all items that are the subject of patent rights registered by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent), with the exception of secret inventions, means of customization, computer software, databases and integrated circuit layouts.
310.On 11 April 2021 the Protocol on Industrial Design Protection to the Eurasian Patent Convention of 9 September 1994 entered into force for the Russian Federation. The new regional system allows applicants to obtain protection for industrial designs with a single application in all the Protocol’s member States.
311.The Treaty on Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin of Goods of the Eurasian Economic Union entered into force on 26 April 2021. The Treaty introduces a regional system for the protection of means of customization, thus simplifying the business activities of rights holders in the single economic space.
312.On 1 August 2021 Federal Act No. 262-FZ of 31 July 2020 amending part four of the Civil Code entered into force. It introduces a procedure for preliminary searches and preliminary evaluations of patent applications for inventions and utility models, with the involvement of the country’s accredited scientific and educational organizations.
313.On 31 December 2022, Federal Act No. 450-FZ of 30 December 2021 on the accession of the Russian Federation to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications is to enter into force. Once the instrument of accession is deposited with the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Russian Federation will become a party to the Lisbon International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.
Additional information on some of the concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the sixth periodic report of the Russian Federation
Follow-up response to paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Committee’s concluding observations
314.In its periodic reviews of the practice of international bodies protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Supreme Court publishes information on the Committee’s consideration of individual complaints.
In its Review No. 1 (2022), it cited the Committee’s Views of 12 October 2021 in the case of Lorne Joseph Walters v. Belgium (communication No. 61/2018).
In its Review No. 9 (2021), it cited the Committee’s Views of 22 February 2021 in the case of Soraya Moreno Romero v. Spain (communication No. 48/2018); of 19 February 2021 in the case of Fátima El Ayoubi and Mohamed El Azouan Azouz v. Spain (communication No. 54/2018); and of 18 February 2021 in the case of Hakima El Goumari and Ahmed Tidli v. Spain (communication No. 85/2018).
In its Review No. 5 (2020), it cited the Committee’s Views of 5 March 2020 in the case of Rosario Gómez-Limón Pardo v. Spain (communication No. 52/2018); and of 11 October 2019 in the case of Maribel Viviana López Albán v. Spain (communication No. 37/2018), and others.
316.These Reviews were sent for information and practical consideration to the lower courts and were posted under the “International practice” section of the documentation page on the Supreme Court’s official website. They were also posted in the “Consultant Plus” and “Code” legal information databases.
317.The texts of the above-mentioned Views have also been posted on the intranet site of the “Justice” State automated information system (in the folder on international law).
318.As at 24 March 2022, the texts of 12 of the Committee’s Views had been posted in this folder.
319.The Committee’s positions are included in the periodic Summaries issued on the practice and legal positions of international treaty bodies and other international bodies protecting human rights and freedoms.
320.Thus, for example, the Committee’s positions were reflected:
In 2022, in the Summary concerning the protection of the rights of migrants
In 2020, in the Summary on the protection of the right of the individual not to be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and in the Summary of the legal positions of international human rights bodies and special rapporteurs or working groups of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the protection of the right of the individual to adequate food, safe drinking water and sanitation
In 2019, in the Summaries of the legal positions of international human rights bodies and special rapporteurs or working groups of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the protection of cultural rights, on the protection of the right to education and on the protection of the right to privacy, family life and the home, etc.
321.These Summaries were sent for information and practical consideration to the lower courts and were posted in the “International practice” section of the documentation page on the Supreme Court’s official website. They were also posted on the intranet site of the “Justice” State automated information system (in the folder on international law).
322.Judges are made aware of the general comments adopted by the Committee.
323.As at 24 March 2022, the texts of all 25 general comments adopted by the Committee were available in the international law folder of the “Justice” State automated information system.
324.Judges are made aware of the content of the reports periodically prepared by the special procedures for the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council, which contain references to the Committee’s positions.
325.As at 24 March 2022, information on 800 reports of such special procedures, which included references to the Committee’s positions, had been brought to the attention of judges.
326.The texts of the above-mentioned Views have also been posted on the intranet site of the “Justice” State automated information system (in the folder on international law).
327.Excerpts from these reports are also included in the above-mentioned periodic Summaries of the practice and legal positions of the international treaty bodies and other international bodies protecting human rights and freedoms.
328.The rulings of the European Court of Human Rights referring to the Committee’s practice are constantly brought to the attention of judges. In this respect, examples include the 9 July 2019 ruling in Volodina v. Russia and the 19 December 2017 ruling in Lopes de Sousa Fernandes v. Portugal.
329.The texts of these judgments of the European Court have also been posted on the intranet site of the “Justice” State automated information system (in the folder on international law).
Follow-up response to paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Committee’s concluding observations
330.The adoption of Federal Act No. 121-FZ of 20 June 2012 amending certain legislative acts regulating the activities of non-profit organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent introduced into the country’s domestic law the concept of a non-profit organization acting as a foreign agent.
331.A non-profit organization performing the functions of a foreign agent is understood to mean a non-profit organization of the Russian Federation that receives money and/or other assets from foreign States, their State bodies, international or foreign organizations, foreign citizens or stateless persons, or from persons authorized by them, and/or from citizens or legal entities of the Russian Federation that receive money and/or other assets from the above sources or that act as intermediaries for the receipt of such money and/or other assets (with the exception of open joint-stock companies with State participation and their subsidiaries), and/or legal entities of the Russian Federation whose beneficial owners are foreign citizens or stateless persons according to the definition in article 6 (1) (8) of Federal Act No. 115-FZ of 7 August 2001 on Measures against the Money-laundering of Income Received by Criminal Means and the Financing of Terrorism, and that participate in political activities, including in the interests of the foreign sources, in the Russian Federation.
332.Article 2 (6) of Federal Act No. 7-FZ of 12 January 1996, the Non-Profit Organizations Act, defines the spheres of activity within which such organizations are not to be considered as carrying out political activities and therefore cannot be deemed to be “foreign agents”, regardless of their funding sources.
333.In accordance with article 2 (6) of the Act, political activities do not include activities in the spheres of science, culture, the arts, health care, prevention and protection of public health, social services, social support and protection of citizens, protection of motherhood and childhood, social support for persons with disabilities, promotion of healthy lifestyles, physical education and sports, protection of flora and fauna and charitable work.
334.Non-profit organizations, including human rights organizations and organizations for the protection of the rights of LGBT communities, are thus recognized as performing the functions of a foreign agent when they carry out political activities in one of the forms described by the Act and when their objective is to influence the drafting and implementation of State policy, the composition of State or local government bodies or their decisions and actions, while simultaneously receiving foreign funding.
335.Changes were introduced into article 2 (6) of the Act with the adoption of Federal Act No. 481-FZ of 30 December 2020 amending certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation with additional measures to counter threats to national security, and of Federal Act No. 75-FZ of 5 April 2021 amending the Non-Profit Organizations Act.
336.The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation considered the constitutionality of the law governing non-profit organizations performing the functions of foreign agents. It concluded that the concept established by the law was not at variance with the country’s Constitution and international law.
337.Constitutional Court Decision No. 10-P of 8 April 2014 found that the phrase “foreign agent” does not imply a negative assessment of such an organization by the State. It is not intended to form a negative attitude towards such an organization’s activities and cannot be perceived as an expression of distrust or of a desire to discredit such organizations and their objectives.
338.Non-profit organizations which, after registration with the State, intend to receive funds or other assets from foreign sources and to participate in political activities in the Russian Federation are obliged to file an application with an authorized body for inclusion in the registry of non-profit organizations performing the functions of foreign agents. This obligation stems from the desire of the federal legislature to ensure the transparency of the financing and assets used for the activities of such organizations when they intend to participate in political activities in the Russian Federation with the aim of influencing the decisions of State bodies and State policy. Such activities are not limited to the non-profit organizations’ own needs; they also affect both the public interest as a whole and the rights and freedoms of all citizens.
339.Article 32 (7) (1) of the Non-Profit Organizations Act provides a mechanism for the exclusion of a non-profit organization from the relevant registry.
340.The recognition of the activities of a foreign or international NGO as undesirable in the Russian Federation was introduced by Federal Act No. 129-FZ of 23 May 2015, which amended certain legislative acts.
341.In accordance with article 3.1 (1) of Federal Act No. 272-FZ of 28 December 2012 on Corrective Action against Persons Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and of the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the Russian Federation, the activities of a foreign or international NGO may be deemed undesirable in the Russian Federation if it poses a threat to the country’s constitutional order, its defence capabilities or national security, including by facilitating or hindering the nomination of candidates or lists of candidates, the election of registered candidates, the proposal or conduct of a referendum or the achievement of a particular outcome in an election or referendum (including other forms of participation in an election or referendum, except for participation in an election or referendum as a foreign or international observer).
342.In addition, the activities of a foreign or international NGO may also be recognized as undesirable if information has been received indicating that the organization has provided services as an intermediary in transferring funds and/or other assets belonging to a foreign or international NGO whose activities have been recognized as undesirable, to allow such an organization to conduct activities that would pose a threat to the country’s constitutional structure or defence capabilities or to its national security.
343.The decision to recognize a foreign or international NGO as undesirable is taken by the country’s Procurator General or the Procurator General’s deputies, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Act No. 272-FZ, art. 3.1 (4)).
344.Recognition of the activities of a foreign or international NGO as undesirable results in:
A ban on the establishment or opening in the Russian Federation of branches of the foreign or international NGO and termination of the activities of such branches if previously established or opened in the country, in accordance with the procedure established by the country’s legislation
Refusal of credit organizations and non-credit financial organizations to conduct transactions involving cash and/or other assets when one party is on the list of foreign and international NGOs whose activities are recognized as undesirable in the country
A ban on the distribution of information materials published and/or distributed by the foreign or international NGO, including through the media and/or the Internet, as well as the production or storage of such materials for the purpose of distribution
A ban on the implementation of the programmes or projects of the foreign or international NGO whose activities have been recognized as undesirable in the country
A ban on the establishment of or participation in legal entities by the foreign or international NGO in the country
A ban on participation in the activities of the foreign or international NGO outside the country by citizens of the Russian Federation, stateless persons permanently residing there and the country’s legal entities
345.Article 3.1 of Federal Act No. 272-FZ on Corrective Action against Persons Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and of the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the Russian Federation was amended by Federal Act No. 555-FZ of 27 December 2018 and by Federal Act No. 230-FZ of 28 June 2021, which also amended article 6 of the Federal Act on Measures against the Money-laundering of Income Received by Criminal Means and the Financing of Terrorism.
346.Article 3.1 (5) of Federal Act No. 272-FZ thus provides for the possibility of cancelling a decision on the recognition of a foreign or international NGO as undesirable in the Russian Federation. The cancellation too is done by the country’s Procurator General or the Procurator General’s deputies, by agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
347.Work is continuously being carried out to improve the regulatory framework for the activities of non-profit organizations performing the functions of foreign agents, based on an analysis of law enforcement practices. Public opinion, including the views of the professional and scientific community, is also taken into account in order to make the best and most effective decisions regarding legal regulation in this area.
348.In regulating the activities of non-profit organizations performing the function of foreign agents and undesirable organizations, the priority for the legislature has been to ensure national security and to minimize the possibility of foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs, first and foremost in the political sphere. The regulatory mechanisms now in place make it possible to limit undesirable foreign influence in strategically important areas of Russian society.
Follow-up response to paragraphs 28 and 29 of the Committee’s concluding observations
349.An updated list of jobs in which the employment of women is restricted (Ministry of Labour Order No. 512n of 18 July 2019 approving the list of occupations, jobs and positions with harmful and/or hazardous working conditions in which the employment of women is restricted) entered into force on 1 January 2021. It replaced the list of 456 occupations and types of work officially unavailable to women that had been adopted over 20 years ago. There are a total of 100 positions on the updated list. The need for such a document is now formalized as a norm in the Labour Code.
350.During preparation of the new version of the list, each occupation (or type of work) was analysed on the basis of the current level of technological development. Trade unions, employers’ associations and medical organizations assessing the impact of various work-related factors on women’s health were involved in drawing up the new version of the list.
351.The updated list is primarily aimed at protecting the interests of women. The criteria applied for revising and updating the list were exclusively those factors that are hazardous to women’s reproductive health, that affect the health of the next generation or that have long-term consequences.
352.At the same time, the updated list excluded arbitrary restrictions on the employment of women, thus guaranteeing their right to fair working conditions.
353.Women may now work even in those occupations that are on the restrictive list, provided a special assessment confirms the existence of safe working conditions. Certain types of work, including caisson and diving work, firefighting and excavation work, are excluded. Accordingly, the list does not establish an absolute ban on the employment of women in the jobs on the list. It limits their employment until the work-related factors harmful to the female body at the specific workplace have been removed.
354.Additionally, we note that in the Russian Federation, as a social State, the labour and health of a person are protected under the Constitution.
355.Proclaiming the right of everyone to the protection of labour and health, the Constitution proceeds from the fact that human health is the inalienable benefit of the greatest value, without which many other benefits and values lose their meaning and, consequently, that its preservation and strengthening play a fundamental role in the life of society and the State.
356.This predetermines the nature of the obligations of the State. The State recognizes its responsibility for preserving and strengthening people’s health and, accordingly, for maintaining the legal regulation of relations connected with the exercise by citizens of their constitutional rights. In the labour sphere, this requires the legislature to establish both general measures common to all workers, aimed at protecting their health directly in the process of labour activity, and specific measures of labour regulation necessitated by the nature and conditions of the work in question. Such specific measures also relate to the specific features of women’s employment.
357.The establishment of certain restrictions on the employment of women is connected with the need for their special protection from harmful work-related factors that negatively affect the female body, primarily the reproductive function.
358.In accordance with universally recognized principles and norms of international law, the Constitution proclaims the equality of rights, freedoms and opportunities for men and women.
359.The principle of equality before the law cannot be applied without taking into account the generally recognized social role of women in procreation, which obliges the State to establish additional guarantees for women, including measures aimed at protecting maternity in the sphere of labour relations.
360.At the same time, in accordance with international legal instruments, the adoption of special measures aimed at protecting maternity must not be considered discriminatory (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, art. 4 (2)); measures taken to protect women in certain types of work, for reasons inherent in their physical nature, must not be regarded as discriminatory (Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women of 7 November 1967, art. 10 (3)); and any distinction, exclusion or preference in respect of a particular job based on the inherent requirements thereof must not be deemed to be discrimination (ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), art. 1 (2)).
361.The restriction of women’s employment is the subject of special monitoring by the Ministry of Labour. Following the monitoring of the application of the updated list, and notwithstanding the significant reduction in the number of restrictions, Ministry of Labour Order No. 313n of 13 May 2021 was prepared and came into force on 1 March 2022. It further removed restrictions on women’s ability to engage in certain types of work.
362.An additional study of the use of female labour is scheduled for 2022, based on the results of the application of the current “restrictive” list. As part of this work, statistics will be collected on the number of occupations (or jobs) that women are currently restricted from occupying.
Follow-up response to paragraph 37 of the Committee’s concluding observations
363.In developing a new model for establishing the minimum subsistence level and minimum wage, the Ministry of Labour analysed the approaches used to establish similar values and calculate the poverty level in the United States of America, China, Japan, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany and other countries.
364.The analysis showed that foreign countries use different concepts when establishing and amending subsistence levels and minimum wages, depending on economic, social and other factors.
365.Until 1 January 2021, the minimum subsistence level in the Russian Federation and its constituent entities was calculated on the basis of a basket of consumer goods.
366.Calculation of the minimum subsistence level on this basis made it possible to take account of changes in the cost of food, but on average the increase in the level did not correspond to rises in prices and did not correlate with changing standards of consumption.
367.This approach to calculating the minimum subsistence level has often been criticized because of the subjectivity of the food basket (as each family has different needs for certain products, depending on their place of residence and other factors) and seasonal fluctuations, as the level has fallen at certain times of the year.
368.The new model for setting the minimum subsistence level and the minimum wage based on correlations with median income and the median wage has made it possible to eliminate subjectivity in assessing people’s standard consumption and seasonal fluctuations, and also to reduce regional differences in the way that the level is set.
369.According to the new methodology, the ratio of the per capita minimum subsistence level to the median income for the previous year, for the Russian Federation as a whole, was set at 44.2 per cent as from 2021.
370.In determining the ratio of the minimum subsistence level to median income, we took into account the practices of various European countries, and also an analysis of the ratio in previous years.
371.The ratio of the minimum wage to the median wage was determined on the basis of the need to ensure that the former was set no lower than the minimum subsistence level for the working-age population, as stipulated in article 75 (5) of the Constitution.
372.This new approach to establishing the minimum wage made it possible in 2021 for the first time to ensure that it exceeds the minimum subsistence level for the working-age population. Given the emerging trend of growth in the median wage at a rate higher than that of median income, this approach will ensure that wages are above the minimum amount of income needed to support a citizen’s livelihood.
373.Retrospective analysis has shown that, in the medium term, the new model makes it possible to ensure that the minimum subsistence level and the minimum wage rise at a rate above inflation.
374.At the same time, in order to respond flexibly to changes in the socioeconomic situation, it is envisaged that the ratio of the minimum subsistence level to median income will be reviewed at least once every five years.
375.However, it should be noted that the legislation does not contain any exceptions allowing for this ratio to be reviewed more often than once every five years, including in the event of a deterioration of the socioeconomic situation.
Follow-up response to paragraphs 38 and 39 of the Committee’s concluding observations
376.Russian legislation provides for liability, including criminal liability, for various types of violence against women, including crimes against sexual inviolability, murder, battery, torture, infliction of physical and mental suffering, threats, slander and insults that degrade human dignity and the personality of the victim.
377.For the purpose of protecting women from violence, the Criminal Code establishes liability for a number of crimes: intentional infliction of various degrees of harm to health (arts. 111, 112 and 115), battery (arts. 116 and 116.1), torture (art. 117) and crimes against sexual inviolability and sexual freedom (arts. 131–135).
378.The Federal Act on the Principles of Health Care, Federal Act No. 323-FZ of 3 July 2016, amended article 116 of the Criminal Code, under which a person is held criminally liable in cases of aggravated battery.
379.A person committing battery for the first time is subject to administrative responsibility under article 6.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences. Repeated battery by a person who has been subjected to administrative punishment for this offence incurs criminal liability under article 116.1 of the Criminal Code (Battery by a person previously subjected to an administrative penalty).
380.The assignment, in 2016, of certain categories of battery as offences for which liability is imposed regardless of the wishes of the injured party – in a change from previous practice – has ensured the inevitability of punishment for committing such offences.
381.A working group has been established in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly, to improve legislation and law enforcement practices for the prevention of domestic violence.
382.Since 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been actively applying preventive measures, such as issuing official warnings to individuals about the inadmissibility of actions conducive to the commission of crimes and administrative offences (Federal Act No. 337-FZ of 16 October 2019 amending art. 13 (1) (12) of the Federal Police Act; Ministry of Internal Affairs Order No. 119 of 4 March 2020).
383.In essence, this legal instrument is very similar to the protective orders used in Western countries.
384.In addition, there is the procedural possibility of imposing restrictions on a suspect.
385.A new measure of restraint has been added to the Code of Criminal Procedure: the prohibition of certain actions, identified by court decision, by a suspect or accused person, consisting in a ban on:
Being in certain places, as well as closer than a specified distance to certain objects
Attending and participating in certain events
Communicating with certain individuals
Sending and receiving postal and telegraphic items
Using means of communication and the Internet (Code of Criminal Procedure, part 6, art. 1051 “Prohibition of certain actions”; Federal Act No. 72-FZ of 18 April 2018 amending the Code of Criminal Procedure with regard to the selection and application of preventive measures in the form of prohibition of certain actions, bail and house arrest)
386.This preventive measure is also used against persons suspected or accused of committing violent crimes.
387.Government authorities systematically carry out a set of measures to prevent crimes in the sphere of family and domestic relations, including by implementing the National Strategy of Action for Women 2017–2022, approved by Government Order No. 410-r of 8 March 2017.
388.One of the areas addressed by the Strategy is the prevention of disadvantage and violence against women.
389.In 2018, an action plan was developed to implement the first phase of the Strategy (approved by Government Order No. 420-r of 14 March 2018).
390.In 2019, an action plan was developed to implement the second phase of the Strategy (approved by Government Order No. 2943-r of 7 December 2019).
391.Ministry of Internal Affairs Order No. 1/14809 of 24 December 2021 created an interdepartmental working group to develop a set of measures to prevent and combat ill-treatment of older persons. In addition to officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the group includes representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, the Ministry of Health, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications and the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, as well as members of the Government Council on Social Welfare.
392.Currently, the group is working on formulating a draft set of measures to prevent and combat ill-treatment of older persons.
393.Research into the impact of violence and cruelty on the mental health of women, children and older persons has been carried out in the Russian Federation for many years. These studies are conducted at the international level, primarily in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO).
394.Providing assistance to victims of domestic violence is a complex process, consisting of an interrelated set of diagnostic, medico-social, therapeutic, psychotherapeutic and legal measures.
395.The first step in this case is to assess the existence of violence and to provide support. As recommended by WHO clinical guidelines, the LIVES rule should be followed here.