Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention
Twentieth to twenty-second periodic reports of States parties due in 2012
Russian Federation * , ** , ***
[13 March 2012]
A.Ethnic make-up and languages spoken8–145
B.Foundations of State policy on preventing and combating racialdiscrimination15–376
C.International cooperation and the participation of the Russian Federationin international organizations and projects38–6010
III.Measures taken by the Russian Federation to implement the basic provisionsof the Convention61–40113
1.Situation with regard to the realization of the rights of members ofthe Roma community249–26040
2.Implementation of the rights of the small indigenous peoples of theRussian Federation261–29441
3.Protection of religious rights295–30045
IV.Information on the implementation of the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, adopted following the consideration of the eighteenth and nineteenth reports of the Russian Federation402–55562
1.This consolidated report, which combines the twentieth, twenty-first and twenty-second periodic reports of the Russian Federation, is in line with article 9, paragraph 1, of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and was produced in accordance with the guidelines for the CERD-specific document to be submitted by States parties under article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
2.The report covers the period from August 2006 to February 2012 and contains a description of legislative, judicial and administrative measures with the help of which the provisions of the Convention have been implemented since the presentation of the Russian Federation’s eighteenth and nineteenth periodic reports (CERD/C/RUS/19).
3.It takes into account the concluding observations adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination following its consideration of the Russian Federation’s eighteenth and nineteenth reports (CERD/C/RUS/CO/19) and presents information in that regard.
4.The report was elaborated by the Government of the Russian Federation and reflects its position. Non-governmental organizations (federal autonomous ethnic cultural organizations, human rights defence organizations, religious organizations) and administrative experts were involved in drawing up the report and discussing its drafting at meetings in the Ministry of Regional Development. The Government of the Russian Federation expresses appreciation to all participants for their ideas and proposals.
5.The annex to this report contains:
Information on the ethnic make-up of the Russian Federation in line with data from the 2010 national population census
Government Decision No. 255 of 24 March 2000 on the inventory of small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation
Government Order No. 132 of 4 February 2009 on the ratification of an Outline for the sustainable development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East
Government Order No. 631 of 8 May 2009 on the approval of an inventory of traditional habitats and areas of traditional economic activities of the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation and an inventory of forms of traditional economic activities of the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation
European Court of Human Rights Decision No. 17582/05 of 7 December 2006 on the admissibility of the application “Igor Vladimirovich Artyomov v. the Russian Federation”
Supreme Court Ruling No. G05-134 of 2 December 2005 on the revocation of the registration of a list of candidates for election as deputies to the urban Duma, in connection with the violation by a regional branch of a political party of the provisions of electoral legislation
Supreme Court Ruling No. 46-V08-5 of 15 August 2008 upholding a lawsuit for reinstatement of the editor-in-chief of a district newspaper who had been wrongfully dismissed as a consequence of discrimination and abuse of rights by the head of the district administration
The list of non-profit organizations in connection with which the court has issued an enforceable decision on the elimination or prohibition of activities for the reasons set out in the Federal Act on Combating Extremist Activities
Information on the number of media outlets in the languages of the peoples of Russia
Peoples of Russia: Atlas of cultures and religions; executive editors: A.V. Zhuravsky, O.E. Kuzmina, V.A. Tishkov, third, corrected and supplemented edition, M. Feoria, 2011, 320 pages
Documentaries on the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, published in 2011 by order of the Ministry of Regional Development (“The law of survival”, “People with pointed heads”, “The long road to life”, “Reindeer-people”)
6.The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ratified the Convention on 4 February 1969, and today the Convention is an integral part of the domestic legal system of the Russian Federation. In accordance with article 15, paragraph 4, of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, if an international agreement of the Russian Federation establishes other rules than those envisaged by law, the rules of the international agreement must be applied. Thus, the provisions of an international agreement are directly applicable in the Russian Federation and do not require the adoption of special national legislation.
7.The Russian Federation is the only country that covers a large part of the continental landmass of Eurasia. It has a surface area of 17,075,400 square kilometres. The particularities of Russia’s geographic location and its historical development have conditioned the ethnic and cultural diversity of its population. Historically, the Russian Federation developed as a multi-ethnic State on whose territory many different ethnic communities lived, the vast majority of which are historically linked to the territories of the Russian Federation, and in this sense, in keeping with the Outline for State nationalities policy approved by Presidential Decree No. 909 of 15 June 1996, they constitute the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation. Russian legislation also establishes a special status for small indigenous peoples with a population of less than 50,000 persons.
A.Ethnic make-up and languages spoken
8.According to the 2010 national census, the permanent population of the Russian Federation was 142,900,000 persons (74 per cent urban and 26 per cent rural).
9.Persons permanently resident in the Russian Federation declared that they were members of 194 different ethnic communities. The majority of the population is Russian. Between 2002 and 2010, the Russian population declined from 115.9 million to 111.0 million persons, or by 4.2 per cent, but in relative terms the number of persons who indicated that they were ethnic Russians increased from 80.6 per cent to 80.9 per cent of the total population.
10.Also according to the census, there are 22 peoples in the Russian Federation with a population of more than 400,000 persons. As in the previous national census, the second most populous group after the Russians is the Tatars, who number 5.3 million, or 3.9 per cent of those persons who indicated their ethnic identity. Ukrainians constitute the third largest population group, with 1.9 million persons (1.41 per cent). The next largest groups are: Bashkirs (1.1 per cent), Chuvashi (1.1 per cent), Chechens (1.0 per cent), Armenians (0.9 per cent), Avars (0.7 per cent), Mordvins and Kazakhs (0.5 per cent each), Azeris, Dargins, Udmurts, Mari, Ossetians, Belarusians, Kabardins, Kumikis, Yakuts and Lezgins (0.4 per cent each) and Buryats and Ingush (0.3 per cent).
11.A positive trend in the period between the two censuses (2002–2010) was the increase in the population of 40 small indigenous peoples of the North (the inventory of whom was approved by Government Order No. 536 of 17 April 2006) from 244,000 to 257,900 persons, an increase of 13,900, or 5.7 per cent. The population of the Telengits grew by 55 per cent, the Soiots by 30 per cent, the Chelkans by 38 per cent, the Tubalars by 26 per cent, the Evens (Lamuts) by 14 per cent, the Dolgans by 9 per cent, the Evenks by 8 per cent, the Mansi by 7 per cent, the Khanty by 8 per cent and the Yukagirs by 6 per cent. The total population of the 47 small indigenous peoples of Russia (according to the inventory of small indigenous population approved by Government Decision No. 255 of 24 March 2000), stood at 316,000 persons, or 17,800 more than in 2002.
12.The Constitution provides that during a census, ethnic identity is indicated by the respondents themselves in accordance with their own determination and is recorded by the census takers strictly on that basis. The number of Russian citizens totalled 137,900,000 (99.4 per cent of those who indicated citizenship), 700,000 persons were foreign nationals, and 200,000 were stateless persons. A total of 79,000 persons have dual citizenship. More than 4,100,000 persons did not indicate their citizenship on the census questionnaire.
13.In 2010, 138,000,000 persons declared that they spoke Russian (99.4 per cent of those who answered the question of whether they spoke Russian), as against 142,600,000 (99.2 per cent) in 2002. The other most widespread languages of ethnic groups in Russia include Tatar, Chechen, Bashkir and Chuvash, and foreign languages include English, German and Ukrainian. In all, 277 languages and dialects are spoken by the inhabitants of the Russian Federation. Some 93.8 per cent of the population of the country declared Russian to be the mother tongue of their people. In addition, 5.7 per cent of the population of Russia, or 8,150,000 persons (from among non-Russians) also indicated that Russian was their mother tongue. For example, 40 per cent of Komi, 38 per cent of Udmurts, 35 per cent of Mordvins, 29 per cent of Chuvashi, 25 per cent of Mari and 20 per cent of Tatars said that Russian was their mother tongue.
14.For the first time, the census included data on the use of Russian sign language by deaf persons and the hearing impaired. A total of 121,000 persons declared that they use this language.
B.Foundations of State policy on preventing and combating racial discrimination
15.The most important focus of efforts directed at implementing State nationalities policy is on strengthening the unity of the Russian nation, creating conditions for the ethnic cultural development of the peoples of Russia, deterring and prohibiting activities designed to incite racial or inter-ethnic hatred and religious discord or enmity and ensuring timely prevention and peaceful settlement of inter-ethnic clashes and conflicts.
16.Between 2006 and the beginning of 2012, considerable efforts were made to improve the work of State institutions on combating racial discrimination, ethnic strife and various forms of extremism. There were major developments in federal and regional legislation in these areas. New laws were adopted which were accompanied by an active public discussion, making it possible to take account of the views of civil society institutions. In the course of this work, the Government of the Russian Federation drew on the recommendations adopted by the Committee in 2003 and 2008.
17.To act on the Committee’s recommendation, legislation on countering extremism was improved. A mechanism was set up to combat ultra-nationalistic and racist organizations (more details on this subject are provided in the information on article 2). There is public and State monitoring of the prohibition in the media of hate speech and materials that incite racial enmity. Public monitoring is carried out by human rights organizations (such as the SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis, the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, and the organization Memorial), religious bodies (the Russian Orthodox Church, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Protestant organizations and others), ethnic cultural associations and the Social Forum of the Russian Federation, which conducts its work in accordance with Federal Act No. 32 of 4 April 2005 on the Social Forum of the Russian Federation. Pursuant to that Act, advisory boards have been set up within all federal government bodies; many of them address questions associated with combating extremist activities and the spread of ethnic and racial intolerance and religious xenophobia (specifically, the advisory boards attached to the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Migration Service).
18.Additional mechanisms have been introduced for granting citizenship to former citizens of the USSR. On 22 June 2006, Presidential Decree No. 637 approved a State programme for assisting the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad and a plan of action for its implementation. Media support, including in the context of the annual international Internet forum on “The Integration of Ethnic Russians”, plays an important role in the effective realization of the State programme.
19.An interdepartmental commission set up in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 814 of 1 August 2006 serves as the collective administrative body responsible for the implementation of the State programme. During the five years of the programme (2007–2012), 62,600 persons were resettled in the Russian Federation, 50.3 per cent of them in 2011. Over this same period, the number of entities of the Russian Federation which took in ethnic Russians under the programme rose from 12 to 40.
20.With the help of the international Internet Forum “Integration of Ethnic Russians” (www.mifis.ru), persons who have already been resettled reply to questions and government bodies can be consulted on how the State programme has been implemented in the entities of the Russian Federation.
21.For all intents and purposes, the problem of persons resettled from Chechnya has been resolved. Serious attention is being given at federal level to the socioeconomic situation of the Chechen Republic. A total of 120.5 billion roubles, or approximately US$ 4.5 billion, were allocated from the federal budget under a special federal programme for the socioeconomic development of the Chechen Republic, 2008–2011.
22.Considerable efforts are being made to familiarize internal affairs staff with the provisions of national and international human rights norms. Steps are being taken to improve the legal literacy of law enforcement staff and strengthen their skills in communicating with representatives of civil society institutions, migrants and members of ethnic groups. This is all aimed at ensuring strict respect for human rights. Special attention is given to the training of law enforcement officers detached to the Northern Caucasus. They are acquainted with the ethnic and religious traditions of the local population in order to avoid conflict situations which might arise out of ignorance of these traditions.
23.The provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination are implemented in close cooperation between government bodies, voluntary associations and academic organizations.
24.In recent years, the Russian Federation has made considerable progress in addressing questions of cooperation between government bodies and civil society institutions active in the protection of the rights and interests of ethnic minorities. A network of civil society institutions has been established which, as of 20 December 2011, totalled 223,928 non-profit organizations; 15 federal, 245 regional and 639 local ethnic cultural associations and 1,194 communities of small indigenous peoples were registered (data from the Ministry of Justice of 16 February 2012).
25.At government level, in 2011 an Interdepartmental Working Group on inter-ethnic relations was set up under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister D.N. Kozak. It includes representatives of 15 federal government bodies, the Federation Council (the upper house of the Federal Assembly), and the State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly).
26.An Expert Advisory Board was created within the Interdepartmental Working Group; it includes heads of federal autonomous ethnic cultural organizations, religious bodies, prominent scholars, journalists and experts.
27.The Ministry of Regional Development is responsible for ensuring the activities of the Interdepartmental Working Group and the Expert Advisory Board. Its specialist body, the Department of Inter-Ethnic Relations, is also tasked with elaborating State nationalities policy and regulations in that area, protecting the rights of ethnic minorities and the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation, cooperating with Cossack communities and implementing the State programme for assisting the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad. The Ministry of Regional Development also has an Advisory Board on the affairs of autonomous ethnic cultural organizations, whose membership includes leaders of federal autonomous ethnic cultural organizations, and an interdepartmental commission on cooperation with ethnic voluntary associations.
28.At its meetings, the Advisory Board on the affairs of autonomous ethnic cultural organizations discusses questions concerning the prevention of extremism and inter-ethnic conflicts, as well as ways of improving existing legislation in the area of inter-ethnic relations, initiatives conducted under State nationalities policy and cooperation between federal autonomous ethnic cultural organizations and government authorities.
29.The system for administering State nationalities policy covers both the federal and the regional level. At the end of 2011, the following was in operation in all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation:
Separate departments or structural divisions of regional government bodies with competence for State nationalities policy
Standing working groups or interdepartmental coordinating bodies for promoting inter-ethnic harmony
Expert advisory bodies on inter-ethnic and ethnic religious relations
30.A unity of approaches to the implementation of State nationalities policy at federal and regional level is ensured through the adoption of plans of action for fostering harmonious inter-ethnic relations, the financing of which is ensured with resources from the relevant budgets. In 2011, plans of action were adopted in all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
31.Cooperation with the largest religious groups, including Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and other organizations, plays a major role in strengthening stability in society, preventing extremism and intolerance and protecting the cultural, spiritual and moral heritage and public morals. According to information from the Ministry of Justice, as of 31 December 2011, 24,624 religious organizations were registered in the Russian Federation, or 776 more than on 31 December 2010. The number of religious organizations within the Russian Orthodox Church stood at 13,943, and there were 4,380 Protestant, 4,317 Muslim, 276 Jewish, 221 Buddhist and 1,487 other religious organizations.
32.Over the centuries, conditions were created in Russia for the peaceful coexistence of persons with different religious beliefs. Government promotion of an interfaith dialogue and significant initiatives by religious organizations have been positive trends. Starting in 1998, the Interfaith Council of Russia, administered by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Council of Muftis of Russia, the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims of Russia and the European countries of the CIS, the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations of Russia, and the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia emerged as a genuine forum for interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
33.The World Summit of Religious Leaders held in Moscow on 3 July 2006 was a major event in the promotion of an interfaith dialogue and cooperation between the State and religious organizations. It was attended by President Putin together with more than 150 representatives of various confessions from more than 40 countries around the world. The event became the most representative forum of religious leaders in history. The Message adopted by the World Summit notes the growing role of religion in today’s world and stresses that moral values are in many ways the same for all traditional religions.
34.The Government is making every effort to ensure constructive cooperation with all parties involved in the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, with the help of existing interdepartmental coordinating mechanisms, consultative bodies, the media, etc. In the exercise of its functions and powers, the Government draws on universally recognized international standards, condemns all manifestations of racist discrimination, proceeds on the assumption that human rights must be respected in all public spheres and is doing everything it can so that citizens of the Russian Federation can enjoy and assert their rights and freedoms.
35.In his public statements, President Medvedev has repeatedly condemned discrimination on ethnic grounds. At a meeting of the Presidential Council on the development of civil society and human rights held on 5 July 2011 in the city of Nalchik, he stressed the inadmissibility of ethnic discrimination and the need to ensure equal enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to hold office at State and municipal level.
36.At a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council on 11 February 2011 in the city of Ufa, at which questions of inter-ethnic harmony were discussed, President Medvedev underscored the need to make every effort so that inter-ethnic peace and harmony in the country became the crowning achievement of Russian history. Following the meeting, he issued instructions for the elaboration of measures directed at eliminating manifestations of ethnic favouritism, the use of ethnic preferences when making appointments to the State and municipal civil service, etc. Thus, respect for the principle of equal access of citizens to employment and the prohibition of discrimination on ethnic grounds are the basis for civil service recruitment policy in the Russian Federation.
37.In an article entitled “Russia: the ethnic question” published on 23 January 2012 in the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Prime Minister Putin cautioned that ethnic and religious intolerance eroded and undermined the State, divided society and was becoming the ideological basis for the most radical groups and tendencies.
C.International cooperation and the participation of the Russian Federation in international organizations and projects
38.International cooperation in the area of human rights is one of the most important components of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation. In international organizations, the Russian Federation conducts a consistent policy aimed at preventing manifestations of racism, neo-Nazism, aggressive nationalism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
39.One of the steps taken in this regard is what has become the Russian Federation’s traditional initiative in the framework of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The latest adoption of the resolution, once again at the initiative of the Russian Federation, was on 19 December 2011 at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, by 134 votes in favour to 24 against, with 32 abstentions. Thirty-seven States co-sponsored the resolution.
40.In 2008 and 2009, the Russian Federation was closely involved in preparing the Conference to review the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (Geneva, April 2009). The Conference was the most important international event conducted in recent years by the United Nations on the question of combating racism. The main achievement of the Geneva forum was the political determination, reaffirmed by all participants, to continue to combat racism at local, national and international levels and to develop and strengthen international cooperation in that area.
41.The Russian Federation supported and played an active part in the high-level meeting which coincided with the tenth anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (New York, 22 September 2011) and at which the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained Russia’s principled approach to addressing problems associated with combating racism and its contemporary forms.
42.The Russian Federation makes an annual voluntary contribution to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a certain proportion of which is for the programmes of the Office’s Anti-Discrimination Unit. In 2010 the Office earmarked US$ 450,000 for this purpose. In addition, the Russian Federation is allocating resources for training programmes for representatives of Russia’s indigenous peoples (US$ 50,000) and for the work of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance of the United Nations Human Rights Council (US$ 50,000).
43.The Russian Federation is closely involved in international cooperation to improve standards in the area of human rights and ethnic minorities and to elaborate the corresponding decisions and resolutions of international organizations on the promotion of a dialogue between civilizations and cultures and the fight against contemporary forms of racism.
44.The Russian Federation regularly advocates making questions relating to the protection of ethnic minorities and the fight against crimes based on inter-ethnic and religious intolerance, extremism, xenophobia and discrimination on ethnic grounds a priority in the work of virtually all international organizations (the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and others) that deal with human rights issues. It continues to cooperate with those specialized organizations and their structures, including the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
45.The Russian Federation assists with the organization of monitoring visits by representatives of international organizations. In 2006 and 2007, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène, and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Rolf Ekéus (who held the post from 2001 to 2007), conducted visits to the Russian Federation.
46.The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, who was elected to that post in July 2007, held his first visit to the Russian Federation from 21 to 24 January 2008. The visit focused on the socioeconomic and cultural rights of members of ethnic minorities and small indigenous peoples. Mr. Vollebaek conducted a second working visit to the Russian Federation from 9 to 14 March 2009, during which he visited Moscow, the Republic of Bashkortostan and Voronezh province. The main purpose of the visit was to assess questions concerning the protection of the linguistic and educational rights of ethnic Ukrainians in Russia in order to prepare a comparative study on the situation with regard to the teaching of Russian in Ukraine and Ukrainian in Russia. The main topic of discussions between the High Commissioner and Russian representatives was the enjoyment of the linguistic and educational rights of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians in Russia, as well as the situation of Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia.
47.The visit to the Russian Federation of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, from 5 to 16 October 2009 (Moscow, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra, and Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories) was a major event in the area of international cooperation on the protection of the rights of small indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur met with representatives of federal and regional authorities and voluntary associations of the small indigenous peoples of the North in Khanty-Mansiisk, Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk and visited their traditional habitats in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area and Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories. The meetings between the Special Rapporteur and representatives of the small indigenous peoples of the North also focused on problems associated with the establishment of areas for the traditional use of natural resources by these peoples and the preservation of their traditional way of life and economic activities (in particular, fishing during tendering procedures for the use of fishing grounds).
48.From 13 to 19 February 2011, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, visited the Russian Federation, where she was informed in detail about measures to protect human rights undertaken in Russia at federal and regional levels. Both sides commended the programme of bilateral cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Office of the High Commissioner, which is being carried out on the basis of the document “OHCHR Framework for Cooperation with the Russian Federation for 2007 and beyond”.
49.The Russian Federation participates in international initiatives on questions of human rights protection (in particular in the context of the annual meeting of the OSCE to assess the implementation of obligations in the area of the human dimension and OSCE thematic conferences on preventing and combating discrimination, xenophobia and discrimination, and the annual sessions of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) in order to disseminate objective information on the situation of ethnic minorities and the measures taken by the Russian Federation to protect their rights. Representatives of non-governmental organizations, including ethnic voluntary associations, associations of small indigenous peoples, and federal and regional government bodies, regularly take part in major international initiatives and present best practices in use in the Russian Federation.
50.The Russian Federation provides assistance for the participation of representatives of various Russian ethnic, cultural, social and religious associations and other civil society institutions in international events in order to attract the attention of the international community to the Russian experience in addressing problems in the area of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations. The focus is on creating conditions for involving a broader circle of representatives of civil society institutions in international activities on issues relating to the situation of minorities (Russian religious organizations, the Social Forum of the Russian Federation, Russian orthodox institutions, human rights and children’s rights ombudspersons, and journalists).
51.Steps are being taken to create conditions for the participation of representatives of ethnic minorities and small indigenous peoples of Russia in the work of various international expert mechanisms, support bodies and forums, which serve as a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation, determining and analysing best practices, and identifying contemporary challenges in this area and finding ways of addressing them (Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Human Rights Council’s Forum on Minority Issues).
52.The Russian Federation cooperates actively with specialized international organizations on questions concerning the protection of the rights of vulnerable ethnic groups, in particular the Roma and Finno-Ugric peoples, and provides assistance for conducting international initiatives on this issue both in Russia and abroad. The Path of Birds festival of Finno-Ugric culture of Russia, held in Strasbourg in September and October 2006, received very favourable comments. The event, of a European dimension, was a unique international presentation of the cultural and social life of the regions of the Volga Federal Area in which the peoples of the Finno-Ugric group make up a large part of the population.
53.From 7 to 9 September 2006, the Ministry of Regional Development together with the Interfaith Council of Russia and the Council of Europe conducted an international conference in Nizhny Novgorod entitled “Dialogue of Cultures and Interfaith Cooperation” in the framework of the Russian chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The main goals of the conference were to promote an intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation, analyse and develop experience in interfaith cooperation and combat extremism and terrorism.
54.Some 300 persons from countries around the world took part in the work of the Volga Forum, including leaders from the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly and representatives of the United Nations, UNESCO, the European Union and other international organizations, associations and foundations, as well as federal and regional government bodies and respected Russian and international public and religious figures. The participants adopted a concluding document, the Volga Forum Declaration, which stressed the need to develop the religious dimension in intercultural dialogue. This is the first Pan-European document drawn up by the Russian Federation, and it is of great importance for both Russia and the Council of Europe. It was the first time at Pan-European level that a determination to promote the religious dimension in intercultural dialogue was placed on record.
55.The conference participants welcomed the suggestion to make 2008 the European year of intercultural dialogue and expressed support for the Council of Europe initiative to prepare a white paper on intercultural dialogue. They also approved measures to reinforce national mechanisms for the protection of human rights and national minority rights in accordance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
56.In 2006, the Council of Europe resumed its Pan-European “All different – All equal” campaign, which was conducted by young people in the 49 Member States of the Council of Europe’s European Cultural Convention. The campaign is designed to strengthen cooperation and diversity among peoples and is also open to non-Council of Europe States. During the campaign, emphasis was placed on diversity, which testifies to the wealth of our many different cultures and traditions.
57.In 2008, an international youth forum was held in the context of the campaign in Kazan under the motto “Intercultural Dialogue and its Religious Dimension”, which gave rise to the Kazan Action Plan 2020 as its natural follow-up. The aim of the Action Plan, which is currently under way, is to elaborate, bearing in mind examples of best practices, a catalogue of specific measures for the advancement and support of ideas of intercultural dialogue and its religious dimension, both among young people and directly by young people themselves.
58.The fifth world congress of Finno-Ugric peoples, held in June 2008 in Khanty-Mansi with the participation of the presidents of the Russian Federation, Finland, Hungary and Estonia, attracted considerable attention.
59.Between 2009 and 2011, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Council of Europe and the European Commission, conducted a joint programme entitled “Minorities in Russia: Developing Languages, Culture, Media and Civil Society”, the aim of which was to consider the possibility of the Russian Federation’s implementing the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
60.In conjunction with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Russian Federation hosted a seminar for the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on developing and carrying out national action plans to combat racial discrimination and intolerance (Saint Petersburg, 29–30 September 2011).
III.Measures taken by the Russian Federation to implement the basic provisions of the Convention
61.A comprehensive system of laws and regulations has been set up to ensure equality of rights of citizens, irrespective of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, material or official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, beliefs, or membership of voluntary associations or any other social group.
62.The international obligations of the Russian Federation, the Constitution and the Federal Act on the Principles of Legislation on Culture, the Federal Act on Ethnic Cultural Autonomy, the Federal Act on Voluntary Associations, the Federal Act on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, and the Federal Act on Guarantees of the Rights of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Federation, as well as other measures of social policy which ensure the preservation of the culture of ethnic minorities and safeguard language and the press, are integral parts of the legal system. Laws and regulations aimed at combating incitement of racial and religious hatred and extremist activities also play an important role. These include above all the Criminal Code, as well as the Federal Act on Combating Terrorism and the Federal Act on Combating Extremist Activities. Anti-discriminatory measures are included in sectoral legislation governing the protection of human rights in the areas of education, labour, health care, the courts, social protection and culture.
63.In line with article 1 of the Convention, domestic legislation includes provisions ensuring equality of the rights of citizens, irrespective of their social status, race, language, ethnic origin or religious affiliation. Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees equality of human and civil rights and freedoms, regardless of race, ethnic background, language, origin, place of residence or attitude to religion. All forms of restrictions on social, racial, ethnic, linguistic or religious grounds are prohibited.
64.In accordance with article 17 of the Constitution, human and civil rights and freedoms are recognized and guaranteed in keeping with the universally recognized principles and norms of international law. Article 15 states that the universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party are an integral part of its legal system.
65.The Russian Federation condemns racial discrimination, which presupposes an absence of equality before the law and the courts, as well as inequality of treatment (distinctions, exclusions, limitations and preferences) in any area of public life, whether political, economic, social, cultural, administrative or elsewhere. This is stipulated in the Constitution, which recognizes and guarantees human and civil rights and freedoms, regardless of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, material or official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, beliefs, affiliation with voluntary associations or other circumstances.
66.The Constitution prohibits all forms of restrictions on the rights of citizens on social, racial, ethnic, linguistic or religious grounds.
67.Domestic legislation is on a sectoral basis, and various areas of social relations are governed by a particular set of legal provisions. Provisions of a general nature that prohibit discrimination against persons on grounds of their ethnic background are in force in the context of the human rights covered in a particular area – the exercise of labour rights, the right to education, the right to speak one’s native language, the right to enjoy the benefits of culture, etc. Thus, the principle of non-discrimination extends to all rights recognized by the Constitution and domestic law.
68.Russian legislation contains anti-discrimination provisions in virtually all branches of law, including article 3 of the Tax Code, article 7 of the Constitutional Act on the Judicial System, article 1 of the Family Code, article 5 of the Education Act, article 17 of the Principles of Legislation on Public Health Care, article 2 of the Federal Act on the Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation, article 4 of the Federal Citizenship Act, article 14 of the Federal Act on Basic Guarantees for Children’s Rights, article 7 of the Federal Advertising Act, article 8 of the Principles of Legislation on Culture, article 56 of the Federal Act on Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens to Participate in Referendums, the Labour Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Federal Act on the General Principles of Local Self-Government and the Federal Act on the Principles of Health Care Legislation.
69.Thus, the provisions of article 2 of the Convention are implemented in full under domestic legislation, and the above-mentioned set of laws and regulations together with the Constitution and the Criminal Code constitute comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, which is constantly improved to take modern realities into account.
70.Recognizing the important role played by legal forms of protection against discrimination, the Russian Federation is considering, as a matter of priority for domestic policy, the creation and further modernization of body of laws and regulations for the protection of the rights of ethnic minorities and the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. The legislative framework is being improved not only at federal level, but also in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
71.The improvement of legislation has been accompanied by political and practical measures, including budget funding for programmes and specific initiatives directed at promoting harmonious inter-ethnic relations throughout the country, fostering ethnic cultural diversity and encouraging inter-ethnic tolerance.
72.In the view of the Russian Federation, the adoption of special anti-discrimination legislation is not in keeping with the logic or the sectoral nature of Russian law or its application in practice.
73.In conformity with article 2, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention, the Russian Federation does not support racial discrimination by any persons or organizations. As the Russian Federation is a multi-ethnic country, such a policy could lead to a fragmenting of society and endanger the country’s territorial integrity. The Constitution prohibits the activity of voluntary associations whose aims and acts are calculated to incite social, racial, ethnic or religious discord (art. 13), and article 9 of Federal Act No. 95 of 11 July 2001 on Political Parties prohibits the creation of political parties on ethnic or religious grounds. The creation of parties on such grounds might jeopardize the peaceful coexistence of peoples and religions in the country and undermine the principles of a secular State. The European Court of Human Rights agreed with these arguments in its decision on the admissibility of application No. 17582/05 of 7 December 2006 on “Igor Vladimirovich Artyomov v. the Russian Federation”, in which it declared inadmissible the application of the leader of the organization “Russian All-Nation Union” concerning the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to register a political party of that name. The text of the Court’s decision is contained in the annex to this report.
74.In order to implement article 2, paragraph 1 (e), of the Convention, the federal government bodies are taking action aimed at eliminating barriers between races and encouraging multi-ethnic organizations and movements.
75.Initiatives of an inter-ethnic nature in the area of youth policy are supported by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, in the area of ethnic cultural development by the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Culture, in the area of upbringing and education by the Ministry of Education and Science and in the area of the media by the Ministry of Communications; other government bodies also provide assistance.
76.Support is given in particular to organizations which bring together persons of different races, ethnic background and religious beliefs (such as the Assembly of Peoples of Russia, the Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus, the Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples of the Russian Federation, the Russian Youth Union, the National Council of Associations of Young People’s and Children’s Associations of Russia, the Russian Youth Union and other voluntary associations) and work to prevent racial discrimination and to promote harmonious inter-ethnic and interfaith relations and intercultural dialogue.
77.The Ministry of Sport and Tourism and the Federal Agency on Youth Affairs have carried out a special project, called “Tolerance”. Launched in 2009 in the framework of the International Year of Youth, the project was conducted in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 1383 of 18 September 2008 on the holding of the Year in the Russian Federation.
78.The aim of the project was to create and promote favourable conditions for harnessing the potential of Russian youth as an important social force capable of elaborating and realizing projects directed at shaping attitudes of tolerance and fostering inter-ethnic harmony.
79.As part of the implementation of the Tolerance initiative, projects were selected and supported which endorse a philosophy based on the principles of respect for human rights and freedoms, the goal of inter-ethnic concord, openness for dialogue and the education of the coming generation in a spirit of civil solidarity, tolerance and harmonious inter-ethnic relations.
80.At the initiative of youth and ethnic cultural movements in Russia, and with the help of the Social Forum, an Inter-ethnic Russian Federation Club has been set up and is fully operational. This is a functioning social network of more than 1,000 community leaders from around the country who are working to bring together citizens and organizations and to conduct initiatives in the area of intercultural dialogue and the formation of Russian identity. Educational and training sessions have been held in the Federal Areas. The international youth camp “Dialogue” (Kaluga province), the Russian Youth Forum in the Caucasus (Dombai) and other events have already become a tradition.
81.Activities are being carried out in the context of youth policy in the following areas so as to prevent extremist manifestations among young people on ethnic grounds:
Improving the effectiveness of regional programmes for developing inter-ethnic and interfaith relations among young people; modern forms of cooperation with young people in this area have been elaborated and implemented
Increasing the number of initiatives aimed at encouraging interaction between young people of different races, ethnic background and religions
Supporting the programmes and projects of voluntary associations targeting children and young people and designed to foster interracial, inter-ethnic and religious harmony
Cooperating with non-formal youth associations and youth subcultures, and creating favourable conditions for their activities
82.In 2009, a national competition was held for public service advertisements to assist adolescents in difficulty. As part of the competition, it was planned to create a website, one of whose themes was the promotion of tolerance and inter-ethnic cooperation among young people. In the context of the Youth Year, the website www.godmol.ru was launched and began operating; one of its sections focuses on the topic “Russia for everyone”. The main objective of the more than 13,000 participants from around the country who have registered with it is to advance ideas of tolerance among young people.
83.Associations of sports fans, above all for soccer, are one of the most common forms of activity for young people in today’s Russia, and government bodies work regularly with this category of youths. The Ministry of Sport and Tourism is actively cooperating with the National Association of Sports Fans. The basic areas of cooperation have been defined; they include the protection of the rights and interests of Russian fans, the prevention of criminal offences at sports events and the implementation of joint initiatives to foster healthy lifestyles, participation in sports and a greater social commitment among young people. Joint activities and projects are being conducted, such as the tournament “Score a goal, fan!”, the establishment of fan zones and the enforcement of security in stadiums.
84.As part of the promotion of cooperation with young people of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area, high priority is given to integrating these persons into the life of the country and encouraging them to meet young people from other regions and to learn about their traditions. To that end, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism has organized a number of national events in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area as well as the participation of young people from there in initiatives conducted in other parts of the Russian Federation. In 2010 and 2011, the Ministry held 15 nationwide initiatives in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area which were attended by young people from other parts of the country:
In June 2010, a “Memory Train” travelled to the cities of central Russia and the capitals of the republics of the Northern Caucasus to commemorate the sixty-fifth anniversary of victory in the Second World War; more than 100 volunteers worked to improve the appearance of military cemeteries, organized meetings between war veterans and young people and learned about the history of the republics and their ethnic traditions. More than 10,000 young persons took part. The train stopped in Kursk, Krasnodar, Maikop, Cherkessk, Nalchik, Nevinnomyssk and Volgograd.
In May 2010, the eighteenth national festival of the creative work of students, “Russian Student Spring”, was held in the city of Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkar Republic), in which more than 1,200 students attended – the winners of interregional festivals from 50 regions around the country.
From 20 May to 3 June 2010, the “We are Together” youth camp was organized at the Federal Children’s Recreational and Educational Centre “Smena” in the city of Anapa (Krasnodar Territory), in which more than 1,000 young people took part (300 from the constituent entities of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area, the others being representatives of ethnic delegations from other parts of the country). The aim of the camp programme was to promote a culture of inter-ethnic cooperation and patriotic values among young people.
In June 2010, 300 participants in “The Caucasus – Our Common Home” Youth Forum (Republic of Dagestan) discussed problems facing young people in the Northern Caucasus.
From 23 to 31 July 2010, a Caucasus forum of Russian young people entitled “Better Together …” was held in the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia; more than 200 young scholars, graduate students, athletes and representatives of small businesses attended. The forum was conducted under the motto “Peace in the Caucasus – a mission for youth”.
In August 2010, a festival of the creative work of young people of the Caucasus entitled “Friendship of Peoples – Russia’s Unity” attracted more than 300 visitors.
From 8 to 26 August 2010, an all-Caucasus young people’s educational camp, “Mashuk – 2010”, was held in the city of Pyatigorsk in Stavropol Territory at the foot of Mount Mashuk in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. The activities of the camp took place in two shifts. The participants included 1,500 young people of various ethnic backgrounds who made up the delegations from the constituent entities of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area and the Republic of South Ossetia, as well as 500 guests and 30 experts. Contests were held for grants in the following areas: business activities; creative activities; media projects; and projects aimed at improving political, economic, social and other aspects of life. The winners were chosen in the course of the participation of the project groups in the “youth project conveyor” (a mechanism which includes training, expert consultation and project assessment); the projects were carried out from the first day of the camp. There were 480 proposals and 62 winners.
In August 2010, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, in conjunction with the Council of Europe’s Directorate of Youth and Sport and representatives of voluntary associations of young people, conducted a joint training seminar in the city of Derbent (Republic of Dagestan), for specialists of government bodies working with young people.
In September 2010, with the support of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, a festival of clubs of young families, “Belief, Hope, Love”, was held in the city of Makhachkala (Republic of Dagestan), at which 150 youths from the republics of the Northern Caucasus and other regions of the Russian Federation discussed ways of promoting family values among young people and familiarized themselves with family traditions in other parts of the country.
From 1 to 3 November 2010, a national youth forum, “The Multi-ethnic Russian Federation”, was held in the city of Sochi (Krasnodar Territory) to coincide with the country’s National Unity Day. The aim of the forum was to foster the active involvement of young people in the formation of a civil society based on the principles of solidarity, tolerance and mutual understanding, and the preservation and development of the cultures and languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, as well as to encourage a dialogue between the leaders of various ethnic and religious youth organizations. Representatives of the government bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, youth activists, and student and ethnic organizations — 250 persons in all — took part in the event.
From 29 to 31 October 2010, a youth forum on ethnic cultures, “We are Russian”, was held in Mytishchinsky district, Moscow province, to celebrate National Unity Day. Representatives of federal and regional government bodies, voluntary associations, youth organizations, academics and personalities from culture and the arts took part, some 100 persons in all. The forum’s programme included a plenary meeting, a national school of young leaders of civil society, discussion platforms, workshops, a presentation of young people’s projects for the socioeconomic development of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, a presentation of ethnic forms of sport, a discussion podium entitled “The Russian Federation and I”, a review of project ideas and a contest of singers of traditional songs, entitled “Melodies of Unity”.
85.In all, more than 20,000 persons from the republics of the Northern Caucasus and other regions took part in these national initiatives. In 2010, more than 30 regional and interregional events were held in the republics themselves, with the participation of more than 25,000 young people.
86.The year 2011 was the start of an annual competition of young people’s projects under the Pan-Caucasus Youth Forum, in the framework of which 868 grants totalling 100 million roubles will be awarded for the implementation of projects in 22 categories.
87.The Ministry of Sport and Tourism recommended that the youth affairs bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation should involve young people from the Northern Caucasus Federal Area in their events in order to integrate them into the life of the country and help them meet young people from other regions. Forty-three constituent entities sent their suggestions for the participation of young people from the Northern Caucasus Federal Area in their initiatives; 150 youths from the Northern Caucasus took part in events in seven constituent entities.
88.In 2011, the following national initiatives were held in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area: the “Friendship of Peoples – Unity of Russia” Caucasus youth festival; the pan-Caucasus youth forum “Mashuk-2011”; an international youth forum on “Promoting mutual understanding in the Caucasus”; and “We are Together!”, a national festival of young pupils of primary and secondary vocational schools (with the participation of representatives from all the constituent entities of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area).
89.From 14 to 17 April 2010, an interregional meeting was held in the city of Stavropol on the topic “Basic aims of youth policy in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area”, which was attended by A.G. Khloponin, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area, representatives of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, representatives of youth affairs bodies of all the constituent entities of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area, and heads of voluntary youth associations. At the meeting, it was decided to establish a standing deliberative body, the Youth Policy Council in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area, which was then set up pursuant to Order No. 279 of 8 December 2010 of the Special Representative.
90.In March 2010, an interregional training centre for the development of the human resource potential of youth policy in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area was created under the auspices of the Stavropol city branch of the M.A. Sholokhov State University of the Humanities in order to train youth policy specialists, including for voluntary youth associations.
91.The centre offers training courses for specialists in the following areas:
Fostering attitudes of tolerance among young people.
Volunteer work – traditions and innovations.
Approaches for working with talented youths.
Modern methods for teaching national history and patriotism.
Problems associated with the socialization of young people in difficulty.
Shaping and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
Techniques for involving young people in the activities of institutions working to promote a democratic State and civil society.
Preventing extremism among young people.
Humanities-based methods for training volunteer teachers on the prevention of alcoholism and drug addiction among teenagers. In all, more than 300 persons took the training courses.
92.The training centre has a laboratory for studying problems of multicultural interaction among young people in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area. Leading political scientists, sociologists, historians and other specialists are involved in the work of the laboratory, which conducted a two-month pilot project on the human resource potential of youth policy in Stavropol Territory and in the Republics of Northern Ossetia-Alania, Dagestan and Karachaevo-Cherkessia. Similar studies were carried out in the Chechen Republic in December 2010.
93.The Ministry of Sport and Tourism has elaborated and approved a departmental plan for the implementation of a strategy for the socioeconomic development of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area until 2025 in the area of youth policy, and a draft Outline for youth policy in the constituent entities of the Northern Caucasus Federal Area until 2025 has been submitted to the Government.
94.A yearly festival conducted in a number of regions of Russia with funding from the federal budget (under the budget line of the Ministry of Culture) with the participation of various segments of the population, and young people in particular, is directed at reducing inter-ethnic barriers and overcoming xenophobia. All these initiatives are linked to current events in the social and political life of the country or commemorative dates in military history and are aimed at preventing all manifestations of racial discrimination.
95.The events include the inter-State youth festival “Slavic Unity”, held annually in Bryansk province near the “Friendship” monument on the border between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and a festival of groups from Russia, Belarus and Lithuania at the Friendship Mound in Pskov province. In 2009, an interregional film festival was held in Chuvash Republic on inter-ethnic harmony and cooperation. An annual international festival of Muslim cinema, “Golden Minbar”, is held in the city of Kazan, and an annual international forum on Slavic and orthodox films, “Golden Vityaz”, takes place in the city of Lipetsk.
96.The Russian Federation holds hundreds of events throughout the country every year aimed at promoting national unity and preventing racial, ethnic and religious intolerance as part of comprehensive regional plans for counteracting manifestations of extremism and regional programmes with similar goals.
97.In accordance with article 2, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the government bodies of the Russian Federation support ethnic cultural organizations. Pursuant to Federal Act No. 11 of 9 February 2009 on Amendments to article 16 of the Federal Act on Autonomous Ethnic Cultural Organizations, the central authorities may provide financial assistance to federal organizations of this kind from the federal budget, the regional authorities to regional and local bodies from the regional budget, and the local authorities to local bodies from the local budget.
98.Support is provided for ethnic cultural projects in the form of grants awarded by the President to non-profit organizations, grants from the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the special federal programme “The Culture of Russia (2006–2011)” and subsidies allocated to assist the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East in the context of a special federal programme on the socioeconomic and ethnic cultural development of ethnic Germans, 2008–2012, as well as a separate article of the federal budget on measures for implementing State nationalities policy in 2008–2011 (funding in 2008: 240.0 million roubles; in 2009: 179.5 million roubles; in 2010: 80.0 million roubles; in 2011: 80.0 million roubles) through subsidies awarded to the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to support socially oriented organizations.
99.In accordance with Federal Act No. 7 of 12 January 1996 on Non-Profit Organizations, as amended by Federal Act No. 40, non-profit organizations (with the exception of State corporations, State companies and voluntary associations that constitute political parties) are recognized as organizations with a social orientation if they perform activities aimed at: addressing social problems or bolstering civil society, including by providing free or preferential legal assistance to citizens and non-profit organizations and raising the legal awareness of the public or by protecting human and civil rights and freedoms; preventing socially dangerous forms of behaviour; conducting activities in the area of education, awareness-raising, science, culture, the arts, health care, illness prevention, promotion of healthy lifestyles, improvement of the population’s moral and psychological well-being and support for physical culture and sport; or fostering the spiritual development of the individual.
100.Assistance provided to non-profit organizations with a social orientation takes the following forms:
(a)Financial, material, media and advisory support, as well as support in training, in-service training and retraining of staff and volunteers;
(b)Tax allowances, in accordance with fiscal legislation;
(c)Placement of orders with non-profit organizations for goods, work and services for State and municipal requirements under the procedure established in Federal Act No. 94 of 21 July 2005;
(d)Tax allowances, in accordance with fiscal legislation, granted to legal entities which provide material assistance to non-profit organizations with a social orientation.
101.In addition to the above-mentioned forms of assistance, regional and local authorities may also provide support to non-profit organizations with a social orientation through allocations from their budgets.
102.Government Decision No. 713 of 23 August 2011 on the provision of assistance to non-profit organizations with a social orientation calls for the award, on the basis of a competition, of subsidies from the federal budget totalling:
600 million roubles to the budgets of the constituent entities for regional programmes to support non-profit organizations with a social orientation (relating to funding granted to such organizations on the basis of a competition)
132 million roubles to non-profit organizations with a social orientation to carry out programmes for the provision of media, advisory and technical support for the activities of such organizations in the main areas of their work; identification, compilation and dissemination of best practices for project delivery, including with the help of conferences and seminars; and promotion of the use of volunteers
103.In 2011, the federal authorities of the Russian Federation recommended the approval of regional programmes to support non-profit organizations with a social orientation.
104.State assistance in the cultural sphere is a crucial focus of efforts to meet the ethnic cultural needs of the peoples of Russia. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the centres of popular art forms work to identify and conserve holidays, rituals and family, vocal, instrumental, choreographic, handicraft and other traditions of the peoples of Russia. There are some 15,000 folklore groups in the country, of which 150 are national choirs, song and dance ensembles and folk music groups. More than 500 folklore sections have been set up in music schools and in art schools, and more than 5,000 clubs have folklore studios, schools and workshops. More than 3,000 clubs, above all in rural areas, have shifted their focus and have become folklore and handicraft centres, period-house museums, etc.
105.In conformity with article 4, subparagraphs (a) and (b), of the Convention, the Russian Federation condemns the dissemination of ideas or theories based on racial superiority and declares the dissemination of such ideas to be an offence punishable by law.
106.In accordance with the Criminal Code, acts committed on grounds of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity or on grounds of hatred or enmity towards any social group are punishable offences of an extremist nature, which are covered by a number of articles of the special part of the Criminal Code, including article 280 (Public calls for extremist activities), article 282 (Hatemongering and disparagement), article 282.1 (Organization of an extremist association) and article 282.2 (Organizing the activities of an extremist organization).
107.Federal Act No. 114 of 25 July 2002 on Combating Extremism introduces the basic legal and organizational mechanisms for action in this regard, defines the term “extremism” and establishes administrative and criminal responsibility for the commission of unlawful acts of an extremist nature.
108.Federal Act No. 148 of 27 June 2006 on Amendments to articles 1 and 15 of Federal Act No. 114 made important changes to article 1 which introduce a more exact definition of extremist activities (extremism).
109.The above-mentioned Act was adopted because of gaps in the legislation on combating extremism and xenophobia. The possibility had existed of public actions (including in the media and the Internet) which did not openly call for extremist activities but did so in veiled form or allowed for the possibility of carrying out such activities. In the past, the authors of materials along those lines and persons involved in their preparation had not been deemed to have engaged in extremist activities, and it had been virtually impossible to prosecute them.
110.Federal Act No. 211 of 27 July 2007 on the Introduction of Amendments to Several Pieces of Legislation was adopted to meet the need to improve the legal framework for establishing criminal and administrative responsibility for acts of an extremist nature and to remove the imprecision which had been noted with regard to the term “extremist activity”.
111.At the time of the submission of the report, the Criminal Code defined 33 crimes of an extremist nature. Chapter 20 of the Code of Administrative Offences also criminalizes a number of acts of an extremist nature.
112.In accordance with article 282 of the Criminal Code, acts carried out publicly or in the mass media by a person using his/her official status or by an organized group, including with the threat or use of violence, that are designed to incite hatred or enmity or disparage an individual or a group on the basis of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, attitude to religion or membership of any social group are criminal offences.
113.In 2011, a federal bill was drafted on the introduction of amendments to several pieces of legislation, in which it is proposed to add a number of articles to the Criminal Code to criminalize acts of an extremist nature committed with the use of public information and telecommunications networks, including the Internet.
114.The Federal Act on the Police, which entered into force on 1 March 2011, requires the police to prevent, detect and suppress extremist activities and to take part in measures to fight terrorism. Anti-extremism departments within the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been operational since 2008.
115.On 26 July 2011, pursuant to Instruction No. 988 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an interdepartmental commission to combat extremism was set up in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Federal Customs Service, the Federal Migration Service, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service and the Office of the Procurator-General. One of its main tasks is to establish and ensure cooperation in this area between the federal authorities, civil society, ethnic voluntary organizations and religious organizations.
116.The law enforcement authorities are working to prevent, detect, suppress and elucidate crimes committed on grounds of racial, religious, ethnic or other forms of hatred or enmity. A number of initiatives are under way which aim to provide an in-depth systematic analysis and forecast of developments in an extremist context, as well as to prevent and detect violent crimes perpetrated against foreign nationals and combat unlawful acts of an extremist nature committed by radical groups.
117.Statistical data show an increase in manifestations of extremism in the Russian Federation in the years 2008 to 2010 and a decline in 2011. The law enforcement authorities brought to light 460 offences of an extremist nature in 2008, 548 in 2009, 656 in 2010 and 622 in 2011 (see Table). The rise in the number of detected cases is attributable in part to the introduction of amendments to criminal legislation directed at determining the motives of extremist offences, ensuring their proper classification (broadening of the qualifying criteria of offences under article 282 of the Criminal Code) and stepping up efforts by the law enforcement authorities to detect and suppress such acts.
118.An analysis of extremist offences must take into account that statistical data do not always reflect the actual extent of the phenomenon, since such acts are underreported. This is due in part to the inaction of the victims, who do not promptly file a complaint with the law enforcement authorities. Moreover, at the time of their commission most violent crimes are not recorded in the statistics separately. Extremist motives usually do not come to light until later, in the course of the investigation.
119.All in all, extremist offences are characterized by a preponderance of violent crimes (intentionally causing slight, moderate or severe harm to health, assaults, death threats), crimes against public security and public order (disorderly conduct) and crimes against the State power (incitement of hatred and enmity).
Legal norms violated
Increase /d ecrease (2010–2011), %
A rt. 105, para. 2 (k), of the Criminal Code (CC)
-5 . 3
A rt. 111, para. 2 (f), of the CC
A rt. 112, para. 2 (f), of the CC
A rt. 115, para. 2 (b), of the CC
A rt. 116, para. 2 (b), of the CC
A rt. 119, para. 2, of the CC
A rt. 213, para. 1 (b), of the CC
A rt. 280 of the CC
A rt. 282 of the CC
A rt. 282-1 of the CC
A rt. 282-2 of the CC
120.As in previous years, the most widespread offences are those committed under article 282. They amounted to 41.5 per cent of all registered offences of an extremist nature in 2010, and 38.9 per cent of the total in 2011. According to the statistical data, in 2010, 272 offences were committed under article 282 (compared to 223 in 2009) and 51 under article 280 (compared to 45 in 2009). In 2011, 242 offences were committed under article 282, and 61 under article 280.
121.The number of homicides committed on extremist grounds in 2010 under article 105, paragraph 2 (k), of the Criminal Code fell by 5.3 per cent compared to 2009 (18 murders) and by 72.2 per cent in 2011 (5 murders).
122.Eleven offences were committed under article 111, paragraph 2 (f), of the Criminal Code (Intentionally causing slight, moderate or severe harm to health […] on grounds of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity or on grounds of hatred or enmity towards any social group), an increase of 120 per cent compared to 2010 (5 offences).
123.The number of offences committed in connection with organizing the activities of extremist organizations rose. In all, 65 offences came to light under article 282.2 of the Criminal Code, 140.7 per cent more than in 2010, when there were 27 offences; 11 persons were convicted.
124.In 2011, 196 offences of an extremist nature came to light in the Central Federal Area compared to 255 in 2010 (a decline of 23.1 per cent), 51 in the Siberian Federal Area compared to 73 in 2010 (a decline of 30.1 per cent), 51 in the Northern Caucasus Federal Area compared to 53 in 2010 (a decline of 3.8 per cent) and 24 in the Far East Federal Area, compared to 30 in 2010 (a decline of 20.0 per cent). A considerable increase in offences in this category was noted in the Northwest Federal Area (73, compared to 62 in 2010, an increase of 17.7 per cent) and in the Southern Federal Area (48, compared to 28 in 2010, an increase of 71.4 per cent), and a slight increase was noted in the Volga Federal Area (120, compared to 110 in 2010, an increase of 9.1 per cent) and in the Urals Federal Area (46, compared to 42 in 2010, an increase of 9.5 per cent). As in the past, the Moscow region continues to have the most, and most serious, offences of an extremist nature committed on ethnic and religious grounds.
125. In the city of Moscow, a decline in the number of offences of an extremist nature, to 76, has been noted for the first time in several years. That said, in 2010, 105 such offences were registered in the capital, and the number of homicides on extremist grounds rose by half. The peak was in the years 2008 to 2010. Whereas 13 offences of an extremist nature were registered in the first half of 2007, 73 were registered in the first half of 2008.
126.The tide was turned after the law enforcement authorities neutralized the most dangerous group, whose members had murdered a number of migrants on extremist grounds. Several trials were held in Moscow City Court involving members of radical youth organizations charged with a series of offences of an extremist nature.
127.For example, on 3 March 2011, A.D. Vasilyev, A.V. Gordeev, K.D. Kucher and V.O. Polyakov were convicted, on the basis of a verdict handed down in a trial by jury on 21 February 2011, of committing nine assaults against 11 persons from the Caucasus or of Asian or African origin in 2008 and 2009 in Moscow.
128.They were also convicted of having set off a number of explosions, including at the Prague Fair commercial centre, the Tushin market and several concession stands at which members of various ethnic groups were working, and of having set fire to the synagogue of the Darkei Shalom community and to two vehicles belonging to a regiment of the special militia’s Patrol and Inspection Service of the Central Internal Affairs Department, Moscow.
129.Vasilyev was sentenced under article 30, paragraph 3, article 105, paragraph 2 (a), (e), (g), and (k), article 282, paragraph 2 (a) and (c) (10 counts), article 282, paragraph 2 (c) (2 counts), article 213, paragraph 2 (3 counts), and article 161, paragraph 3 (a), of the Criminal Code to 20 years’ deprivation of liberty.
130.Gordeev was convicted of similar offences and was sentenced to 8 years’ deprivation of liberty. Kucher was sentenced to 10 years’ deprivation of liberty and Polyakov to 7 years’ deprivation of liberty.
131.In a decision of Moscow Area Military Court of 11 July 2011, L.E. Molotkov, V.V. Tamashev, V.A. Appolonov, N.N. Michailov, L.V. Rudik, members of the extremist association “National Socialist Society”, were sentenced to life imprisonment. V.Yu. Vakhromov, E.B. Chalkov, S.A. Yurov, K.V. Nikiforenko, S.P. Golubev, V.V. Kovaleva and S.V. Sviridov, also members of the National Socialist Society, were sentenced to between 8 and 23 years’ deprivation of liberty for the commission of offences under articles 105, 115, 116, 161, 162, 167, 205, 222, 223, 282, 282.1, 317 and 338 of the Criminal Code. They were implicated in the preparation of one terrorist act and committed 27 homicides, 5 attempted homicides and a number of other violent crimes in Moscow and Moscow province against persons of non-Slavic origin or persons who did not share their ideological views.
132.Most offences of an extremist nature are committed by persons under 25 years of age: members of youth groups (who, given their appearance, are referred to as skinheads), members of extremist movements, leftist radical groups and national patriotic organizations.
133.Suppressing the activities of groups that commit violent crimes for reasons of ethnic, religious or racial hatred or enmity is a main priority of the anti-extremism departments of law enforcement agencies.
134.To date, the list of voluntary and religious associations concerning which the courts have issued a legally enforceable decision on the elimination or prohibition of the activities set out in the Federal Act on Combating Extremist Activities already includes 28 associations (the list is contained in the annex to this report). The work of the procurator’s offices in this area is continuing.
135.For example, Moscow City Court granted an application by the procurator to ban the voluntary association “Movement against illegal immigration”.
136.The Moscow Provincial Court granted an application by the procurator’s office to declare the interregional voluntary association “Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire Rus” an extremist organization and to prohibit its activities. Pursuant to the court decision, the activities of this association were prohibited in Russia.
137.In addition to there being a closer monitoring of the activities of juveniles, posts for police officers have been created at virtually all schools and universities (5,616 school inspectors and 139 university inspectors). In a number of regions the post of commissioner for problem families has been established on a trial basis (150 officials in 11 regions).
138.The law enforcement authorities hold regular meetings with representatives of Russia’s traditional religions (the Russian Orthodox Church, the Islamic Theological Board of the European part of Russia, and Jewish and Buddhist organizations).
139.Internal affairs officials together with representatives of religious organizations at schools and other educational establishments conduct awareness-raising activities aimed at preventing group violations of public order and acts of disorderly conduct and vandalism on grounds of ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred.
140.In 2011, special programmes directed at promoting tolerance in inter-ethnic and interfaith relations and counteracting radicalization, above all among young people, were carried out in 52 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The programmes were designed on the basis of the principles of multiculturalism, religious tolerance, the values of a multi-ethnic Russian society, observance of human and civil rights, and support for inter-ethnic peace and reconciliation. The programme’s main objectives are to eliminate the causes of inter-ethnic and interfaith enmity and intolerance, inter-ethnic aggression and violence, the spread of negative ethnic and religious stereotypes, xenophobia, everyday racism and chauvinism, and ethnically based political extremism.
141.The law enforcement agencies and State authorities regularly hold meetings and consultations with representatives of human rights organizations (the SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis, the Human Rights Institute, the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights and others). Agreement has been reached with a number of human rights and religious organizations to conduct regular joint monitoring of the mass media and the Internet in order to detect extremist activities and appeals.
142.Internal affairs officials monitor educational establishments and meet with teachers to obtain information on undesirable developments and on ideologues and leaders of radical organizations who encourage young persons to commit offences of an extremist nature, the aim being to detect cases of promulgation of extremism among young people.
143.The procurators in a number of constituent entities of the Russian Federation continue to bring to light violations in this area. For example, in several educational establishments there are no action plans for preventing manifestations of extremism among young people or for promoting and teaching tolerant attitudes; the procuratorial authorities have had to take action.
144.In response, the procuratorial authorities have conducted preventive work in the provincial municipalities of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Chechen Republic and Stavropol Territory.
145.Acting on the outcome of an inspection by Krasnodar Territory’s department of youth affairs, the procuratorial authorities submitted an application to the administrative head (governor) of the Territory requesting corrective action in response to violations in connection with the fight against extremist activities among young people. Following an investigation, work began on the elaboration of a special programme to combat terrorism and extremism in the Territory.
146.Modern mass communications systems, including the Internet, have played a special technological and mobilizing role in the radicalization of youth, the Internet being one of the main sources of the dissemination of radical literature and ideology as well as serving as a means of communication for extremist groups, including those with transboundary links, and as a tool for coordinating extremist activities. Extremist organizations increasingly employ cyberspace for secretly recruiting new members, especially young people, and for disseminating propaganda for destructive acts. Steps are being taken to identify manifestations of extremism and xenophobia on Internet websites, in the press and in audiovisual broadcasts in order to prevent such acts and combat their spread. The federal list of banned extremist materials contains the names of more than 900 publications.
147. The prevention and suppression of extremist offences committed with the help of the Internet is one of the key aspects of anti-extremist activities with an impact on inter-ethnic and interfaith relations.
148.A number of experts, including officials of the regional antiterrorism body of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, have estimated that only about 15 Internet sites propagating terrorism and extremism were in operation in 1998. Today they number in the thousands, including some 150 in Russian.
149.In cooperation with voluntary associations (the SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis and the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights), the Ministry of Internal Affairs constantly monitors the media and the Internet resources for evidence of the preparation and commission of extremist offences and follows the activities of radical organizations and their leaders; the findings are used to plan subsequent preventive and investigative measures.
150.Monitoring makes it possible to take swift action in response to materials posted on the Internet that foment inter-ethnic discord and enmity. Several examples are cited below:
On 31 March 2011 the procuratorial authorities of the Crimea district of Orlovsk province submitted an application to the Khamovnich Court of the city of Moscow demanding that the owner of “Index”, a video hosting limited liability company, remove from the site all video files with the film “The Eternal Jew” (German title: Der ewige Jude). The documentary propaganda film by filmmaker Fritz Hippler, 1940, was declared to be extremist material.
On 31 August 2011, officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Karelia ascertained that an unidentified person had posted statements on the Internet site of the information agency Business News-Komi, the content of which aimed to foment hatred and enmity on grounds of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, attitude to religion or membership of a social group.
On 11 September 2011, criminal proceedings were instituted in the Republic of Bashkortostan for violation of article 282, paragraph 1, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against A.R. Izmailov, who had posted texts and illustrations on an Internet website (http://jepifan.livejournal.com и http://jepiianz.livejournal.com) for the purpose of fomenting and supporting hatred and enmity among members of the Russian people towards members of the Bashkir people and disparaging groups of persons on grounds of ethnic background, language or origin.
On 21 October 2011, criminal proceedings were instituted under the same article for the posting on a social network (http://www.vkontakte.ru) of videos with an extremist content of the Slavic Union, Movement against Illegal immigration and Format-18.
On 2 November 2011, two criminal proceedings were instituted in Moscow under the same article for the posting on an Internet website (http://buhoil589.borda.ru, http://rbfans.bodra.ru) of material with an extremist content and for statements by users reflecting a positive attitude towards Nazism, as well as the approval and espousal of violent acts against persons of another ethnic origin.
On 22 November 2011, criminal proceedings were instituted in the city of Belovo, Kemerovo province, under the same article against V.A. Maksimov for posting material from the federal list of extremist materials on the Internet (http://www.vkontakte.ru).
The investigative department for Novgorod province, a unit of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, instituted criminal proceedings against A.A. Kondratyev for offences under article 282, paragraph 1, of the Criminal Code. An investigation established that between August and November 2010, Kondratyev had posted 18 videos and 85 graphic presentations of an extremist nature on the Internet website www.vkontakte.ru. At the end of the investigation, the proceedings were transferred to the Novgorod district court. Kondratyev was convicted, and he expressed sincere regret.
151.As of 1 January 2012, the federal list of extremist materials included 1,066 materials, or 309 more than in 2010 (757).
152.The Federal Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media Regulatory Authority also gives priority attention to supervising and monitoring the prohibition on the use of the information media for carrying out extremist activities, inciting ethnic and religious discord and fomenting ethnic and religious hatred.
153.According to the Regulatory Authority’s office of authorized media activities, which is responsible for the registration of media outlets, as of 1 January 2012, 89,173 media outlets were registered (compared to 90,352 one year earlier), including 65,596 in the print media (67,716 one year earlier) and 21,914 in the electronic media (21,076 one year earlier).
154.Owing to the systematic work by the Regulatory Authority in this area, in the period 2006–2011, 197 instances of publication in the media of materials containing evidence of extremist activities (including incitement of racial, ethnic or religious enmity or fascist propaganda) were detected, for which written warnings were issued in accordance with the procedure established in the Mass Media Act No. 2124-I of 27 December 1991 and Federal Act No. 114 of 25 July 2002 on the Suppression of Extremist Activities:
In 2006, 39 warnings were issued for the posting of materials containing evidence of extremist activities, including 16 for inciting ethnic discord, 6 for inciting religious discord and 4 for fascist propaganda
In 2007, 44 warnings were issued, including 24 for inciting ethnic discord, 4 for inciting religious discord and 2 for fascist propaganda
In 2008, 28 warnings were issued, including 18 for inciting ethnic discord, 3 for inciting religious discord and 2 for fascist propaganda
In 2009, 33 warnings were issued, including 14 for inciting ethnic discord, 3 for inciting religious discord and 6 for fascist propaganda
In 2010, 28 warnings were issued, including 8 for inciting ethnic discord, 4 for inciting religious discord and 1 for fascist propaganda
In 2011, 25 warnings were issued, including 8 for inciting ethnic discord, 2 for inciting religious discord and 1 for fascist propaganda
155.In addition, pursuant to subparagraph 23 (b) of Decision No. 16 of 15 June 2010 of the plenum of the Supreme Court on the application by the courts of the Mass Media Act, between June 2010 and 2011 the Regulatory Authority addressed 191 communications to the editors of electronic periodicals and information agencies calling for the withdrawal or revision of materials containing statements of an extremist nature (including incitement of racist, ethnic or religious discord or fascist propaganda).
156.The regional procuratorial authorities are also taking steps to prevent and suppress violations of an extremist nature in the information media.
157.For example, the Office of the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation applied to the court to declare as extremist the materials on the “Caucasus Centre” Internet website, which had posted the following articles with an extremist content: “This is their civilization”, “In Beslan they remembered Shamil Basaev’s letter to Vladimir Putin”, “Dzhamaat ‘sharia’ promises to attack Sochi and the synagogue in Shamilkala” and “The Dagestan Front: the jihad continues”.
158.A ruling by the Nikulin district court of Moscow of 12 September 2011 upheld the application of the Office of the Procurator-General in full. Information on the declaration of materials on the Caucasus Centre website as extremist has been included in the federal list of extremist materials on the Internet website of the Ministry of Justice.
159.Action in response to Internet providers and directors of educational establishments who do not block access to Internet websites declared as extremist has been taken by the procurators in the Republics of Bashkortostan, Mari El and Tatarstan Chuvash, Perm Territory, Samara, Orenburg, Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Nizhny Novgorod and Penzen provinces, Krasnodar Territory, Rostov and Volgograd provinces, the Adygei Republic, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Yaroslavl province.
160.In Moscow, criminal proceedings have been instituted for offences under article 205.2, paragraph 1, and article 282, paragraph 1, of the Criminal Code for the posting on the Internet by an unknown person of a text entitled “On terrorism as a method of combat”, which openly condones terrorism and advocates extremist activities.
161. The Volga interregional procurator of the Republic of Mari El detected the posting on five Internet websites of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which has been declared extremist material and has been included in the federal list of extremist materials. A city court decision granted the procurator’s application to restrict access to these websites.
162.In 2011, 25 instances of publication in the media of material containing evidence of extremist activities (as against 28 in 2010) were detected in the course of monitoring and oversight of compliance by the information and communication media with legislation in that area. In that connection, the Regulatory Authority sent 25 official warning letters to media editors in accordance with the procedure established in article 16 of the Mass Media Act.
163.Also in 2011, the procurators carried out 2,398 verifications of media publications (2,783 in 2010), detected 727 violations of the law (508 in 2010) and took action in 368 cases (409 in 2010).
164.In the period 2008–2010, numerous sociological studies were conducted on the level of inter-ethnic tension and the spread of manifestations of ethnic and religious extremism, the findings of which were used to design measures to counter extremism and prevent inter-ethnic conflicts. Topics included:
Students in Russia’s metropolitan centres: ethnic identity and inter-ethnic relations
Causes for the spread of ethnic extremism and xenophobia among young people (Central Federal Area)
Ethnic political and ethnic religious monitoring: analysis and forecasting of conflicts, and reasons for administrative decisions (Kabardino-Balkar Republic)
Ethnic cultural potential of the regions as a factor in the formation of a united Russian nation
State of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation: basic trends and the role of migration, schools, society and the authorities
Formation of a civic identity and ethnic stereotypes in schools
Comprehensive analysis of the contemporary ethnosocial situation of Russian speakers, including the Russian population in the republics of the Russian Federation
165.In accordance with article 4, subparagraph (c), of the Convention, the activities of the public authorities and public institutions are based on universally recognized norms of international law and the provisions of national legislation which prohibit the incitement of racial discrimination.
166.At the end of 2006, the Ministry of Regional Development elaborated guidelines for government bodies in the constituent entities for the detection of emerging conflicts in inter-ethnic relations and the establishment of model operating procedures for dealing with conflict situations and overcoming their consequences. The guidelines were sent to the constituent entities for use by the authorities in their work.
167.Following a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation held on 11 February 2011 in the city of Ufa on measures to promote inter-ethnic harmony in Russian society, which was dictated by the need to elaborate systematic measures for the prevention of a radicalization of ethnic questions, President Medvedev and the Government of the Russian Federation issued instructions for organizing systematic and coordinated initiatives aimed at fostering harmonious inter-ethnic relations and creating conditions for the ethnic cultural development of the peoples of Russia.
168.Accordingly, the Government, together with the special representatives of the President in the Federal Areas and the government authorities of the constituent entities, was instructed to analyse the implementation of State personnel policy in the constituent entities and to make proposals for ensuring compliance with the principle of equal access for citizens to posts in the State and municipal civil service and prohibiting discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin; train, retrain and improve the qualifications of State and municipal civil servants in the area of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations and the prevention of extremism; set up standing working groups in the constituent entities whose membership includes representatives of religious associations; and elaborate and carry out comprehensive action plans for promoting inter-ethnic harmony, giving special attention to interaction with ethnic cultural associations, religious organizations and ethnic communities.
169.Pursuant to those instructions, the above-mentioned Government-level Interdepartmental Working Group on inter-ethnic relations was established to coordinate State nationalities policy and the development of the ethnic culture of the peoples of Russia. On 22 June 2011 Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister, approved a plan of action elaborated for the implementation of a State nationalities policy for 2011–2012 which incorporates the main areas of activity of the federal authorities with regard to:
Awareness-raising measures aimed at strengthening a national identity and promoting inter-ethnic tolerance
The inculcation, including among young people, of a culture based on a multi-ethnic society
The prevention of ethnic and religious political extremism and inter-ethnic conflicts
The ethnic cultural development of the peoples of the Russian Federation, and support for ethnic voluntary associations and religious organizations
The improvement of legislation in the area of inter-ethnic relations and the ethnic cultural development of the peoples of the Russian Federation
170.In the constituent entities, comprehensive plans for promoting inter-ethnic harmony have been drafted and are being implemented.
171.At the level of regional government bodies, specialized bodies and departments responsible for State nationalities policy are currently in operation in all the constituent entities. Standing working groups and interdepartmental and expert advisory bodies on inter-ethnic and ethnic religious relations have also been established.
172.The regional and local authorities are also working to prevent extremist crimes.
173.In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of the Convention, the Russian Federation prohibits racial discrimination in all its forms with regard to the enjoyment of basic human and fundamental freedoms, including those enumerated in article 5 of the Convention.
174.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (a), of the Convention, justice in the Russian Federation is administered in strict conformity with the adversarial principle and the equality of the parties to proceedings.
175.Article 7 of Federal Constitutional Act No. 1 of 31 December 1996 on the Judicial System of the Russian Federation (in its version of Federal Constitutional Act No. 5 of 15 December 2001, Federal Constitutional Act No. 3 of 4 July 2004 and Federal Constitutional Act No. 3 of 5 April 2005) establishes the principle of the equality of all persons before the law and the courts. The content of this principle is set out in article 7, paragraph 2, pursuant to which the courts may not give preference to any bodies or parties to proceedings on grounds of their national or social status, sex, race, ethnicity, language or political affiliation, origin, material or official status, place of residence, place of birth, attitude to religion, beliefs, membership of voluntary associations or other circumstances prescribed by law.
176.In accordance with article 15 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and article 12 of the Code of Civil Procedure, criminal justice and civil justice are both administered on the basis of the adversarial principle and the equality of the parties to proceedings.
177.Pursuant to article 5, subparagraph (b), of the Convention, the Russian Federation guarantees, without distinction as to race or national or ethnic origin, the security of person and protection against violence or bodily harm inflicted by government officials. Article 21 of the Constitution provides that human dignity is protected by the State, that it may not be impaired for any reason, that no one may be subjected to torture, violence or other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment and that no one may be subjected to medical, scientific or other experiments without free consent.
178.These norms are set out in article 3 of Federal Act No. 3 of 7 February 2011 (revised 6 December 2011) on the Police (which states that police officers may not resort to torture, violence or other cruel or degrading treatment; police officers are required to halt any acts which intentionally subject a person to pain or physical or mental suffering), article 13 (Right of convicted persons to security of person) of the Penal Enforcement Code (Federal Act No. 1 of 8 January 1997, revised 7 December 2011, with the amendments and additions which entered into force on 16 December 2011) and article 19 (Right to security of person) of Federal Act No. 103 of 15 July 1995, revised 3 December 2011, on Pretrial Detention of Suspects and Accused Persons, as well as other laws and regulations.
179.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (c), of the Convention, article 32 of the Constitution establishes the right of citizens of the Russian Federation to take part in the conduct of public affairs both directly and through their representatives, to vote and to stand for election to federal and local government bodies and to participate in referendums.
180.Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Federal Act on the Fundamental Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens to Participate in Referendums stipulates that citizens of the Russian Federation enjoy the right to vote, to stand for election and to participate in referendums, irrespective of sex, race, ethnic background, language or place of residence.
181.In accordance with article 28 of Federal Act No. 138 of 26 November 1996 (revised 9 November 2009) on the Enjoyment of the Constitutional Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Vote and to Stand for Election to Local Government Bodies, election programmes and campaign materials may not contain calls for a violent change of the foundations of the constitutional system or a violation of the integrity of the Russian Federation. Campaigns and propaganda espousing social, racial, ethnic or religious superiority, and the publication and dissemination of declarations and materials which incite social, racial, ethnic or religious hatred, are prohibited.
182.In compliance with article 5, subparagraph (d) (i), of the Convention, every citizen has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of the Russian Federation. This right, which is inalienable, is enjoyed by all citizens from birth, and it is set out in article 27 of the Constitution as well as in article 1 of Act No. 5242-1 of 25 June 1993 on the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Freedom of Movement and Residence within the Borders of the Russian Federation.
183.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (d) (ii), article 27 of the Constitution establishes the right of everyone legally present in the Russian Federation to freedom of movement and choice of temporary or permanent residence. The right to leave the Russian Federation is also enshrined, as is the right of citizens to return to the Russian Federation without hindrance.
184.In keeping with article 5, subparagraph (d) (iii), article 6 of the Constitution stipulates that citizenship is acquired and terminated in accordance with federal law; it is the same and equal for all, irrespective of the grounds for acquisition.
185.The Federal Citizenship Act No. 62 of 31 May 2002 (revised 28 June 2009) defines the principles of Russian citizenship and the rules governing relations in that regard, and it sets out the grounds, conditions and procedure for its acquisition and termination.
186.In compliance with article 5, subparagraph (d) (iv), of the Convention, article 12 of the Family Code provides that the contracting of marriage requires the mutual free consent of the man and woman concerned and their attainment of marital age. There are no restrictions in respect of membership of any social or ethnic group.
187. In keeping with article 5, subparagraph (d) (v), domestic legislation guarantees the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. Thus, part 1, section III (Property and related rights), of the Civil Code (Federal Act No. 51 of 30 November 1994, revised 30 November 2011) specifies that the Russian Federation recognizes private, State, municipal and other forms of property (art. 212, para. 1). Property may be owned by a private citizen or a legal entity, as well as by the Russian Federation, the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and municipal entities. The law defines the forms of property which may only be owned by the State or municipal entities (art. 212, para. 3). All property owners enjoy equal protection of their rights (art. 212, para. 4).
188.Article 213 specifies that private citizens and legal entities may own any property, with the exception of certain forms of property. There are no restrictions on the amount or value of property owned by private citizens and legal entities, except in cases in which such restrictions have been established by law for the purposes set out in article 1, paragraph 2, of the Code, i.e. solely to the extent necessary for the protection of the foundations of the constitutional system, the morals, health, rights and legitimate interests of other persons, national defence or State security.
189.In accordance with article 213, paragraphs 3 and 4, commercial and non-profit organizations, with the exception of State and municipal enterprises and institutions, are owners of property transferred to them in the form of shares (contributions) by their founders (shareholders, members), as well as property acquired by these legal entities on other grounds. Voluntary and religious organizations and associations, charities and other foundations own the property which they acquire and may dispose of it solely for the attainment of the aims set out in their constituent documents. The founders (shareholders, members) of these organizations forfeit entitlement to the property which they have transferred to the ownership of the organizations concerned. If such an organization is terminated, the property which remains after the claims of creditors have been met is used for the purposes set out in its constituent documents.
190.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (d) (vi), of the Convention, domestic legislation ensures the right of Russian citizens to inherit without any restrictions on grounds of race, ethnic background or religious affiliation. Part 3, section V (Right to inherit), of the Civil Code (Federal Act No. 146 of 26 November 2001, revised 30 June 2008), on the principles of the enjoyment of this right in the Russian Federation, stipulates that citizens who are alive on the day of the opening of the inheritance as well as persons conceived during the life of the testator and born alive after the opening of the inheritance can inherit. Legal entities which exist on the day of the opening of the inheritance and which are cited in the testament can also inherit (art. 1,116, para. 1).
191.In keeping with article 5, subparagraph (d) (vii), article 28 of the Constitution specifies that everyone is guaranteed freedom of conscience and religion, including the right to practise any religion individually or with others or not to profess any faith, to freely choose, hold and disseminate religious and other beliefs and to act in conformity with them.
192.Article 29 of the Constitution prohibits propaganda or campaigns which foment social, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity; the advocacy of social, racial, ethnic, religious or linguistic superiority is also prohibited.
193.The right of everyone to equality before the law is recognized, irrespective of attitude to religion and convictions. The Federal Act on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, adopted on 26 September 1997, governs legal relations with regard to the right of individuals and citizens to freedom of religion as well as the legal status of religious associations.
194.As of 31 December 2011, 24,624 religious associations were registered in the Russian Federation. Many religious groups are also active. A religious group is a separate form of the enjoyment of freedom of religion; registration is not mandatory and takes place by notification.
195.Article 59 of the Constitution establishes the right of any citizen of the Russian Federation for whom the performance of military service runs counter to his convictions or faith to perform alternative civilian service; this also applies in other cases set out in federal legislation. Further to this provision, Federal Act No. 113 of 25 July 2002 (revised 30 November 2011) on Alternative Civil Service was adopted.
196.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (d) (viii), of the Convention, article 19 of the Constitution provides that the State guarantees equality of human and civil rights and freedoms, regardless of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, material or official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, beliefs, membership of voluntary associations or other circumstances. Any restriction on civil rights on grounds of social status, race, ethnic background, language or religious affiliation is prohibited.
197.Article 28 of the Constitution stipulates that everyone has the right freely to choose, hold and disseminate religious and other beliefs and to act in conformity with them.
198.Article 29 of the Constitution guarantees that no one may be forced to express their views or beliefs or to renounce them.
199.In compliance with article 5, subparagraph (d) (ix), of the Convention, domestic legislation on meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and picketing is based on the provisions of the Constitution, universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party, Federal Act No. 54 of 19 June 2004 (revised 8 December 2011) on Meetings, Rallies, Demonstrations, Marches and Picketing and other legislative acts. The holding of meetings, rallies, demonstrations and marches and picketing for the purpose of election and referendum campaigns is regulated by this Act and by legislation on elections and referendums. Federal Act No. 125 of 26 September 1997 on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations governs the celebration of religious rites and ceremonies.
200.Pursuant to article 31 of the Constitution, citizens have the right to assemble peacefully, without arms, to hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations and marches and to picket.
201.In accordance with article 5 of the above-mentioned Federal Act No. 54, the organizer of a public event may be one or more citizens of the Russian Federation (the organizer of a demonstration, a march or picketing may be a citizen of the Russian Federation who is 18 years of age or older, and the organizer of a rally or a meeting may be a citizen of the Russian Federation who is 16 years of age or older), political parties or other voluntary associations or religious organizations, their regional branches or other structural divisions which have assumed responsibility for organizing and conducting a public event. The organizer of a public event may not be (1) a person declared by a court to be incompetent or of limited legal competence or a person held in a place of detention pursuant to a court sentence; or (2) a political party, voluntary association or religious organization or a regional branch or other structural division thereof whose activity has been suspended or prohibited or which has been dissolved in accordance with the procedure established by law.
202.Article 6 of the Act defines the rights of participants in public events, which include:
(a)The right to participate in discussions, decision-making and other collective activities consistent with the aims of the event;
(b)The right, during the event, to use various symbols and other means of publicly expressing a collective or individual opinion, as well as campaigning means not prohibited by law;
(c)The right to adopt resolutions, demands and other communications and to send them to the central and local government authorities, voluntary and religious associations, and international and other bodies and organizations.
203.During public events, participants must:
(a)Comply with all legitimate demands of the organizer, persons authorized by the organizer, the authorized official of the government body of the constituent entity or the local authority and internal affairs officials;
(b)Comply with the requirements of public order and regulations for the holding of public events;
(c)Comply with the requirements under national legislation and other legal instruments for ensuring transport and road traffic safety if the event is held with the use of public transport.
204.In accordance with article 7 of Federal Act No. 76 of 27 May 1998 (revised 1 February 2012) on the Status of Military Personnel (Freedom of speech: the right to participate in meetings, rallies, demonstrations and marches and to picket), military personnel have the right to participate unarmed in meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and picketing held outside the territory of the military facility during the time in which they are freed from the performance of their military duties.
205.Pursuant to article 149 of the Criminal Code (Obstruction of the holding of or participation in a meeting, rally, demonstration or march or picketing), the unlawful obstruction of the holding of or participation in a meeting, rally, demonstration or march or picketing, or coercion of participation in those events, constitutes an offence if the acts are committed by an official who takes advantage of his or her official position or with the threat or use of violence.
206.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (e) (i), the right of ethnic minorities and foreign nationals to work and to protection against unemployment enshrined in the Convention is implemented in accordance with the Labour Code, which sets out the main principles for the regulation of labour and associated relations.
207.Article 2 of the Labour Code recognizes the following rights:
Freedom to work, including the right to work and to engage in labour which is freely chosen or agreed, and the right to decide how to use one’s aptitudes and to choose a profession or type of activity
Prohibition of forced labour and discrimination at the workplace
Protection against unemployment, and assistance in finding employment
The right of all workers to just conditions of work, including safe and healthy working conditions, and the right to rest, including limitations on working time, daily breaks, weekends and public holidays, and paid annual leave
Equality of rights and opportunities for workers
The right of all workers to timely and full payment of a just remuneration ensuring for themselves and their families an existence worthy of human dignity and not less than the minimum wage established by federal law
Equal opportunities for workers to be promoted without any discrimination, account being taken of their productivity, skills and length of service in their specialty and also their vocational training, retraining and in-service training
The right of workers and employers to form associations to protect their rights and interests, including the right of workers to form and join trade unions
The right of workers to participate in the administration of organizations in a manner prescribed by law
The right to a combination of State and contractual agreements on labour and associated relations
The rights entailed under a social partnership, including the right of workers, employers and their associations to participate in the negotiated regulation of labour and associated relations
The obligation to pay compensation for harm caused to workers in connection with the performance of their duties
State guarantees for ensuring the rights of workers and employers, and State supervision and monitoring of compliance
The right of everyone to State protection of their labour rights and freedoms, including defence before the courts
The right of everyone to the settlement of individual and collective labour disputes as well as the right to strike in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Labour Code and other federal legislation
The obligation on the part of parties to a labour contract to comply with its terms, including the right of the employer to require workers to perform their working duties and to respect the employer’s property, and the right of workers to require the employer to comply with his/her obligations towards the workers, labour legislation and other instruments containing norms of labour law
The right of trade union representatives to monitor compliance with labour legislation and other instruments containing norms of labour law
The right of workers to the protection of their dignity at work
The right of workers to compulsory social insurance
208.Pursuant to article 3 of the Labour Code (Prohibition of discrimination at work), everyone has equal opportunities for the exercise of their labour rights. No one may be restricted in their labour rights and freedoms or benefit from any preference on grounds of sex, race, skin colour, ethnic background, language, origin, material, family, social or official status, age, place of residence, attitude to religion, political convictions, membership or non-membership of a voluntary association or other circumstances unrelated to a worker’s professional merits. Persons who consider that they have been subjected to employment discrimination are entitled to apply to the courts for the restoration of their violated rights and compensation for material and moral damage.
209.State guarantees that ensure the constitutional right of ethnic minorities and foreign nationals to work and to social protection against unemployment are also set out in the Employment Act. In accordance with article 6 of the Act, employment legislation also covers stateless persons, unless otherwise provided by federal law or international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party.
210.The employment of ethnic minorities and foreign nationals lawfully residing in the Russian Federation is ensured through a number of federal job promotion services as well as State participation in other measures aimed at reducing tension on the labour market in the constituent entities.
211.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (e) (ii), of the Convention, domestic legislation establishes the right of citizens to form trade unions. The principles of the enjoyment of this right are set out in a whole set of laws and regulations (chapter 58 (Protection by Trade Unions of the Labour Rights and Legitimate Interests of Workers) of the Labour Code (Federal Act No. 197) of 30 December 2001, revised 22 November 2011, amended 15 December 2011; Federal Act No. 10 on Trade Unions (Rights and Guarantees of Activities) of 12 January 1996, revised 28 December 2010; Federal Employment Act No. 1032-1 of 19 April 1991, revised 30 November 2011 (art. 21); and other legal instruments in the area). These rights are guaranteed for all citizens of the Russian Federation, regardless of ethnic or religious group.
212.In accordance with article 2 of the Federal Act No. 315 on Self-regulating Organizations of 1 December 2007 (revised 3 December 2011), entities which engage in entrepreneurial or professional activities may create non-profit organizations for the purpose of elaborating and introducing standards and regulations for these activities and monitoring compliance. Self-regulating organizations, which are based on membership, are enterprises from the same branch of industry or marketing outlet for goods and services or entities involved in a specific type of professional activity.
213.In keeping with article 5, subparagraph (e) (iii), of the Convention, domestic legislation recognizes the right of ownership and other rights in rem with regard to housing (chapter 18 of the Civil Code (Federal Act No. 51) of 30 November 1994, revised 30 November 2011; and section III, chapter 5, of the Housing Code (Federal Act No. 188) of 29 December 2004, revised 6 December 2011, amended 7 December 2011, with amendments and additions which entered into force on 1 March 2012, including the procedure for the rental and lease of housing (section III, chapter 5, article 671)).
214.The Federal Housing Programme for 2002–2010 was implemented in order to improve the living conditions of the population, to make the acquisition of housing more accessible and to increase the proportion of families able to purchase their own housing. A similar programme is under way for the period 2011–2015.
215.Consistent with article 5, subparagraph (e) (iv), of the Convention, Federal Act No. 323 of 21 November 2011 on the Public Health Care System stipulates that the State must provide health care for its citizens, irrespective of sex, race, age, ethnic background, language, presence of illness, state of health, origin, material or official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, convictions, membership of a voluntary association or other circumstances.
216.The State guarantees citizens protection against forms of discrimination based on the presence of any illness. Persons who are guilty of violating this provision are punishable in accordance with the law. Citizens outside the country are guaranteed the right to health care in conformity with the international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party.
217.Foreign nationals in the Russian Federation are guaranteed health care in accordance with the international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party. Stateless persons permanently resident in the Russian Federation and refugees have the same right to health care as Russian citizens, unless international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party provide otherwise.
218.Pursuant to Federal Act No. 195 of 10 December 1995 on the Fundamentals of Social Services for the Population of the Russian Federation, the State system of social services consists of State enterprises and social service institutions which are owned and operated by the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
219.Social services are also provided by enterprises and institutions under other forms of ownership and by citizens engaged in an entrepreneurial activity for providing social services to the population without the formation of a legal entity.
220.The State supports and encourages the development of social services, irrespective of the form of ownership. Social services are based on the following principles:
Priority for minors in difficulty
221.The State guarantees for all citizens the right to social services under the State system in the basic forms defined by the above Federal Act, in accordance with the procedures and conditions prescribed by legislation and other legal instruments of the constituent entities.
222.Social services are provided upon the request of a citizen, his or her guardian or other legal representative, a central or local authority or a voluntary association. Every citizen has the right to obtain information free of charge on possibilities, forms, procedures and conditions for benefiting from the social services of the State system.
223.Foreign nationals permanently residing in the Russian Federation have the same right to social services as Russian citizens, unless international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party provide otherwise.
224.Social services are either free of charge or on a paying basis. Free social services under the State system are provided in accordance with the above Federal Act. The procedure for the provision of free social services is defined by the government bodies of the constituent entities.
225.Pursuant to the Federal Act, the following persons are entitled to free social services under the State system: citizens who are unable to care for themselves due to their advanced age, illness or disability and who do not have a family to assist and care for them, provided that their average income is less than the minimum subsistence level established for the constituent entity in which they live; citizens in difficulty due to unemployment, natural disasters or inter-ethnic or armed conflicts; and minors in difficulty.
226.Social services on a paying basis under the State system are provided in accordance with the procedure defined by the government bodies of the constituent entities.
227.Social protection in the Russian Federation is provided as a matter of priority, irrespective of sex, race, social background, religious or political convictions or social status, to:
Elderly citizens, especially if single or living alone, and married couples living alone
Disabled veterans of the Second World War and families of deceased military personnel
Disabled veterans of conflicts in other countries (“internationalist soldiers”)
Disabled persons, included persons disabled since childhood and disabled children
Citizens who were victims of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and radioactive fallout in other areas
Refugees and displaced persons
Children who have lost both parents
Children displaying deviant behaviour
Families with disabled children
Persons with special needs
228.The social services system provides various forms of assistance, including financial support, housing benefits, hospital care, temporary shelter, day care at social service institutions and rehabilitation.
229.For example, temporary shelter in specialized facilities is provided to orphans, children without parental care, neglected minors, children in difficulty, citizens without a fixed residence or occupation, citizens victims of physical or psychological violence, natural disasters or the consequences of inter-ethnic or armed conflicts and other persons in need.
230.Work is currently under way to enlarge the range of social services, improve their quality, promote mobile forms for their provision, introduce public-private partnerships and involve non-profit organizations.
231.On the basis of blueprints approved for the development and placement of social service facilities, most constituent entities have medium-term plans (until 2020) to create new social service establishments by erecting model buildings and other structures, increasing the capacity of existing installations, constructing additional housing etc.
232.In all, there are some 3,700 social service facilities for the elderly and the disabled, and 3,200 for families and children. They are in operation in all the constituent entities, which are responsible for their organization and funding.
233.In compliance with article 5, subparagraph (e) (v), of the Convention, article 5 of the Education Act provides that citizens are guaranteed the opportunity to receive an education, irrespective of sex, race, ethnic background, language, origin, place of residence, attitude to religion, beliefs, membership of a voluntary organization or association, age, state of health, social, material or official status or criminal record.
234.Restrictions on the right of citizens to vocational training on grounds of sex, age, state of health or criminal record may be established only by law.
235.Federal Act No. 17 of 9 February 2007 on Amendments to the Education Act and the Federal Act on Higher and Post-Graduate Vocational Training introduced a single State examination as the form of certification for students who have completed the curriculum of general secondary education.
236.The experience in implementing this Federal Act testifies to the fact that a single State examination ensures an independent objective assessment of the quality of secondary general education and a selection of candidates for secondary and higher vocational education schools who are most capable and best prepared for a mastery of the relevant level of schooling; it also makes vocational education more accessible and reduces the time spent and expenses incurred by schools in the selection process.
237.Proof of the effectiveness of the single State examination as a tool which makes vocational education more accessible is the fact that a large percentage of school leavers who take the exam are from rural areas (approximately 30 per cent) and from district localities and towns (population of up to 100,000 persons). A positive trend has been observed with regard to applications by such school leavers to universities in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other large Russian cities (in 2010, more than half of first-year university students in Saint Petersburg (59 per cent) were from other parts of the country). In addition, 62.5 per cent of school leavers who took the single State examination are from families with a monthly income of less than 10,000 roubles.
238.This suggests that there is greater equality of initial opportunities for all segments of the population to receive quality vocational training, including in the most popular specialities and areas.
239.Citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to receive basic general education in their native language and also to choose a language of instruction, within the limits of the capacities available to the educational system (article 6 of the Education Act). The right of citizens to receive education in their native language is ensured through the establishment of the necessary number of schools, classes and groups, as well as conditions for their functioning.
240.The educational establishment and/or school regulations determine language or languages of instruction.
241.Questions relating to the education of foreign nationals in the Russian Federation are dealt with in accordance with domestic legislation and international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party (article 57 of the Education Act).
242.In accordance with the international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party, the State helps representatives of the peoples of the Russian Federation who are living abroad obtain basic general education in their native language.
243.More detailed information on the realization of educational rights in the native language is contained in paragraphs 373 and 381–399.
244.In conformity with article 5, subparagraph (e) (vi), of the Convention, the Constitution and federal legislation (including the Federal Act on Guarantees for the Rights of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East and the Federal Act on the Foundations of Legislation on Culture) specify that the Russian Federation ensures the preservation and restoration of the cultural and ethnic identity of the small ethnic communities of the Russian Federation. These norms are dictated by the vulnerability of the traditional way of life of small indigenous peoples, the harsh climatic conditions in their habitat, urbanization and globalization.
245.Domestic legislation, including the Act on the Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation and the Federal Act on Ethnic and Cultural Autonomy, also guarantees the right of the peoples of the Russian Federation to preserve and develop their native language, traditions and culture. Provision is made for the creation of conditions conducive to a comprehensive and equitable development of native languages and freedom of choice and use of one’s language of communication, so that all the peoples inhabiting the territory of the Russian Federation may realize their ethnic and cultural potential more fully. The Act focuses on protecting the sovereign linguistic rights of the individual, irrespective of a person’s origin, social or property status, race or ethnic background, sex, education, attitude to religion or place of residence. Information on the number of media outlets in the languages of the peoples of Russia is contained in the annex to this report.
246.The Federal Act on the Foundations of Legislation on Culture establishes the right of peoples and ethnic communities to preserve and develop their cultural and ethnic identity and to protect, restore and preserve their traditional cultural and historical habitat.
247.The Federal Ethnic Cultural Autonomy Act defines such autonomy as a form of ethnic cultural self-determination consisting in the voluntary association of citizens of the Russian Federation who identify with a particular ethnic community and who organize on that basis in order to address independently issues of preservation of identity, language development, education and ethnic culture.
248.In compliance with article 5, subparagraph (f), of the Convention, there is no limitation whatsoever, in legislation or in practice, on access to any place or service intended for use by the general public on grounds of race, ethnic background, language or other affiliation.
1.Situation with regard to the realization of the rights of members of the Roma community
249.As in other European countries, the socialization in the Russian Federation of the Roma, including their access to modern social infrastructures (issuance of documents, provision of health care, housing etc.) and their successful social integration, is an important issue.
250.Working meetings are regularly held with representatives of Roma voluntary associations at federal, regional and local levels of government. The discussion on the social, economic and ethnic cultural development of Russian Roma at a meeting held in August 2011 of the Expert Advisory Board of representatives of ethnic voluntary associations under the Deputy Prime Minister constituted a major breakthrough in the improvement of interdepartmental coordination on issues involving the Roma community. Following the meeting, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Federal Autonomous Ethnic Cultural Organization of Russian Roma were instructed to elaborate a plan of action for the socioeconomic and ethnic cultural development of the Roma community. The plan of action is currently being prepared; once completed, it will be submitted to the Government for approval.
251.The central authorities regard the legalization of homeownership as the legal mechanism which prevents the practice of forcibly evicting Roma. A legalization of the Roma population enables Roma to avail themselves of all the rights guaranteed to citizens under the Constitution and the relevant legislation at federal and regional level.
252.Efforts to legalize Roma settlements are carried out in close cooperation with the federal, regional and local authorities.
253.Roma families receive State support in the framework of State housing made available to members of the population in need of better living conditions. The following data provide concrete examples of an improvement in the living conditions of the Roma.
254. In 2010, 63 Roma families in Kaluga province asserted their right to housing: 45 families received State or municipal housing, 15 are on the waiting list for housing, and 3 are on the waiting list for an improvement in their living conditions.
255.In Pskov province, 36 Roma families were placed on the list of citizens in need of low-income State housing.
256.In Volga province, six Roma families were provided with mobile homes, which citizens receive whose homes have become uninhabitable because of an emergency situation.
257.Today, Roma who are most successfully integrated into the social structure of Russian society and are best adapted live in cities or in towns near big cities. A characteristic of this ethnic community is its growing urbanization.
258.In places with large Roma populations, a number of measures are planned in the framework of a federal programme for strengthening the unity of the Russian nation and promoting the ethnic cultural development of the peoples of Russia. The programme is being elaborated by the federal ministries on the instructions of the President, the aim being to intensify work on the sociocultural adaptation and integration of Roma into Russian society and to prevent conflict situations (including in connection with the demolition of dwellings).
259.Representatives of the Federal Autonomous Ethnic Cultural Organization of Russian Roma are members of the Expert Advisory Board within the Interdepartmental Working Group on inter-ethnic relations and the Advisory Board on the affairs of autonomous ethnic cultural organizations set up in 2006 under the Ministry of Regional Development. This has made it possible to hold a constructive dialogue on issues relating to the cultural and socioeconomic situation of Russia’s Roma community.
260.In conjunction with the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation is taking part in the elaboration and implementation of measures to improve the situation of Roma in the States parties of the Council of Europe. Specifically, in late 2011 it expressed an interest in participating in a programme initiated in 2010 by Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland to train mediators on questions of cooperation between Roma communities and all levels of government in the area of education, health care and employment for Roma.
2.Implementation of the rights of the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation
261.There are 47 small indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation, with a total population of 312,900 persons. Large populations are found in more than 30 constituent entities. They include the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, whose population according to the census stands at between 244,000 and 254,700 persons (for more detailed figures for each ethnic group, see paragraphs 12–14).
262.The protection of the rights of small indigenous peoples and small ethnic communities is linked to the enjoyment of the right to land and other natural resources, which is seen as the foundation of the life and activities of peoples living in the areas concerned (article 9, paragraph 1, of the Constitution), and the right to the protection of their native habitat and traditional way of life.
263.Article 69 of the Constitution guarantees the rights of indigenous peoples in conformity with universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international agreements.
264.The Russian Federation also considered it desirable to establish in a constitutional provision the requirement to protect the native habitat and traditional way of life of indigenous peoples: article 72, paragraph 1 (l), of the Constitution specifies that the protection of the native habitat and traditional way of life of small ethnic communities is under the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and its constituent entities.
265.Federal legislation defines the legal status of indigenous peoples and small ethnic communities living under particular climatic and natural conditions in the regions of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. Federal Act No. 104 of 20 July 2000 on General Principles of Organization of the Communities of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East specifically introduced the notion of “small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East”, a new term which took on much greater importance because of the special legal status of such peoples. The singling out, in 2000, of that specific group (most of whose members lived in nomadic communities) from among other indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation was an important catalyst for the development of both federal and other legislation addressing ethnic issues in the following years.
266.Small indigenous peoples are guaranteed priority access to natural resources, which are regarded as the foundation of their life and activities. Their traditional habitat and way of life are also protected.
267.Legislation sets out four criteria for qualifying as a small indigenous people:
Habitation of traditional ancestral settlement areas
Preservation of traditional ways of life and livelihoods
Identity as an independent ethnic community
Population in the Russian Federation of less than 50,000 persons
268.In recent years, many initiatives have been successfully carried out at federal level to preserve the cultural heritage and traditional way of life of indigenous peoples.
269.The main objective of these initiatives is to ensure the sustainable development of indigenous peoples, which entails strengthening their socioeconomic potential and protecting their native habitat, traditional way of life and cultural values through targeted State support and the mobilization of their own internal resources.
270.The Russian Federation was the first Member State to respond to the United Nations General Assembly resolution proclaiming the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. It was the first Member State of the United Nations to create the relevant national organizing committee, which was headed by the Minister of Regional Development, since the Ministry of Regional Development is responsible for implementing State policy on the small indigenous peoples of Russia.
271.In the period 2008–2010, a set of three-year priority government measures were put into effect in the framework of the Second Decade. The next measures will be implemented by 2014, when the Second Decade comes to a close.
272.These measures are composed of initiatives to:
Preserve and promote the cultural heritage and development of the traditional culture of the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation
Preserve their traditional way of life
Improve their level of health care and education
Encourage international cooperation
273.The cost of funding these measures for the period 2008–2010 stood at 80 million roubles annually.
274.In 16 constituent entities with large populations of small indigenous peoples, regional organizational committees were set up to carry out the Second Decade, plans of action were approved and implemented, and financial resources were allocated.
275.Three federal acts govern State policy in the area of small indigenous peoples:
(a)Federal Act No. 82 of 30 April 1999 on the General Principles for the Organization of Communities of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East;
(b)Federal Act No. 104 of 20 July 2000 on Guarantees for the Rights of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East;
(c)Federal Act No. 49 of 7 May 2001 on Areas of Traditional Resource Use of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East.
276.The rights of indigenous peoples are also formalized in many federal and regional laws governing questions of investment, social protection, education, culture, animal husbandry, fishing etc.
277.To improve legislation, a new version of the Federal Act on Areas of Traditional Resource Use has been drafted which defines rules for the formation of such areas, simplifies the procedure for their creation and envisages the possibility of establishing them on various categories of land.
278.In 2009, the Government approved lists of traditional habitats and traditional livelihoods.
279.A bill is currently being elaborated which gives members of indigenous peoples the right freely to engage in traditional fishing to meet non-commercial needs, without any limit on the catch (information on the bill is contained in annex no. 7 and annex no. 8).
280.One of the most important strategic documents recently adopted is the Outline for the sustainable development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East approved by the Government in May 2009 (the text of the Outline is introduced in the annex to this report).
281.The Outline, which lays the groundwork for State policy on small indigenous peoples, envisages:
Preserving the native habitat and traditional resource use in order to protect and promote the traditional way of life of indigenous peoples, inter alia by ensuring that they have priority access to fishing and hunting grounds and to the biological resources in their traditional habitat and areas of traditional economic activities
Developing and modernizing their traditional economic activities
Raising their standard of living to the national level
Improving their demographic situation by reducing infant mortality and raising life expectancy to the national average
Promoting their access to educational services, taking into account their ethnic cultural particularities
282.The Outline is based on a number of principles which define approaches to achieving the sustainable development of small indigenous minorities, including:
The need for a global solution to problems associated with the socioeconomic and ethnic cultural development of the indigenous peoples
Recognition of the right to use one’s native language and protection of this right by the State
Shared responsibility of the federal Government and the regional governments for preserving the native habitat and traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples
283.A plan of action was elaborated and approved by the Ministry of Regional Development together with other government bodies to ensure the practical implementation of the Outline in 2009–2011, which is currently ongoing. Regional plans have been adopted and are being put into effect in the constituent entities.
284.In 2010–2011, as part of measures directed at supporting the culture, languages and traditional way of life of the small indigenous peoples, the Ministry of Regional Development alone conducted more than 40 major international and national initiatives, including international academic conferences, congresses of indigenous peoples, festivals of culture, trade fairs and seminars.
285.A number of documentaries and animated films about the small indigenous peoples of Russia have been produced to acquaint the public with their traditional culture.
286.In December 2009, the Ministry of Regional Development approved a method for calculating the extent of damage caused by the economic and other activities of organizations based on all forms of ownership or by private individuals to the traditional habitat and areas of traditional economic activities in areas inhabited by communities of indigenous peoples. On the basis of the method, the principle was established of corporate social responsibility, to which enterprises active in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples voluntarily commit themselves.
287.In accordance with this method, estimates have been made of the extent of damage caused in a number of constituent entities by the following companies to economic activities involving the traditional use of natural resources: the Erv agricultural production cooperative, the Izhemsk Reindeer-Breeder and Co. agricultural production cooperative, Geostroi, the BashNIPIneft and Tyumenneftegazproekt (in the Nenets Autonomous Area); the Tazov agricultural production cooperative, the Verkhne-Purov cooperative farm, Integra-Geofizika and the Tyumensk Office of Cadastral Engineers (in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area); Vostsibtransproekt and the Ural Engineering Energy Centre (in Amur province); Omsktransproekt (in Transbaikal Territory); and Vostsibtransproekt, the Ural Energy Engineering Centre, Omsktransproekt, NIPII Energotransproekt and Neryungri-Metallik (in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)).
288.An estimate has also been made of the payment of damages by the following companies: Naryanmarneftegaz, Bashneft Oil, Gazprom, Nenets Oil, Geostroi, Lukoil-Komi, Rospan International, Bankorneft, Integra-Geofizika, SibNATs, Mechel, FSK EES, RusGidro, Neryungri-Metallik and Xhvoinoe.
289.Based on the calculations of organizations of indigenous peoples, the payments being made are in line with the amount of damage sustained.
290.A practice has developed of concluding agreements between mining corporations operating in close proximity to the traditional habitat of small indigenous peoples, the regional authorities and the indigenous peoples to support cultural, educational and other projects for these peoples. Major enterprises which have concluded such agreements and have provided targeted assistance to communities of indigenous peoples include BP, Gazprom, Lukoil, Novotek and Surgutneftegaz.
291.A separate area of work concerns the elaboration of a vocational training programme on the management of ethnic cultural projects, with the financial participation of the Ministry of Regional Development. The programme focuses primarily on improving the skills of indigenous administrators in this area. In 2011, it is planned to train six persons, to be funded with resources from the federal budget. Graduates receive an official State diploma in occupational retraining and a British masters diploma.
292.The policy for the sustainable development of indigenous peoples is currently funded from the federal and regional budgets through the following instruments:
Special regional programmes
Subsidies from the federal budget
Financial measures, including grants, under various items of the federal and regional budgets
293.Until 2008, the federal instrument which impacted the development of the small indigenous peoples of the North was the programme on the economic and social development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, on the basis of which the relevant constituent entities elaborated and implemented regional support programmes for these peoples. As of the end of 2011, long-term regional programmes for the sustainable development of small indigenous peoples were being carried out in 14 constituent entities. Under the federal programme for assisting small indigenous peoples, 205.6 million roubles were allocated in 2006 and 207.2 million roubles annually in 2007 and 2008. Since 2009, subsidies from the federal budget have been assigned to the budgets of the constituent entities (in accordance with regulations for the distribution and granting of subsidies approved by Government Decision No. 217 of 10 March 2009) to support the economic and social development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. The subsidies totalled 600 million roubles in 2009 and 240 million roubles annually in 2010 and 2011. In addition, since 2008 80 million roubles have been set aside annually to fund priority measures for preparing and conducting national initiatives under the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.
294.In the framework of the implementation of the State programme for the development of agriculture and the regulation of markets for agricultural products, basic commodities and foodstuffs, the Ministry of Agriculture designated the following sums to support northern reindeer breeding and horse breeding for meat: 278.2 million roubles in 2008, 283.7 million roubles in 2009, 180 million roubles in 2010 and up to 400 million roubles in 2011. Up to 300 million roubles have been earmarked for 2012. On average, approximately half the resources go to support traditional northern reindeer breeding.
3.Protection of religious rights
295.The Government gives close attention to supporting activities of traditional religious organizations which aim to prevent and resolve inter-ethnic conflicts and promote inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance.
296.The federal authorities assist religious associations in rebuilding and restoring religious sites that are historical and cultural monuments and support socially significant measures of religious associations and their educational and awareness-raising initiatives. In 2011, 2,159 million roubles were earmarked under the Culture of Russia Programme for these reconstruction and restoration efforts.
297.The advisory bodies of all special representatives of the President in the Federal Areas and of the authorities in the constituent entities also cooperate with religious associations and support their socially relevant initiatives, including efforts to improve inter-ethnic relations.
298.In the constituent entities, cooperation agreements to support social initiatives of religious associations have become common.
299.In April 2011, the Ministry of Education and Science approved a plan of action for the period 2011–2013 for the training of specialists with an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam. The plan envisages measures to elaborate, test and introduce educational and technical support for upgrading the qualifications of teaching staff and training and in-service training of personnel with an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam so that they can work with young people and religious associations; to develop a system for training these specialists in the use of off-site educational technologies and to purchase modern hardware, software and computer and office equipment for that purpose; and to organize international cooperation on training in this area.
300.The plan of action is being implemented by the Saint Petersburg State University, the Moscow State University of Linguistics, the Nizhny Novgorod State University, the Pyatigorsk State University of Linguistics, the Bashkir State Teachers’ University and the Kazan (Volga) Federal University.
301.The courts consider applications associated with the violation of anti-discrimination provisions of international and domestic law in accordance with the procedure prescribed in existing legislation. The Supreme Court periodically reviews the application by the courts of norms which criminalize extremist acts, including article 282 (Hatemongering and disparagement), article 282, paragraph 1 (Organization of an extremist association), and article 282, paragraph 2 (Organizing the activities of an extremist organization), of the Criminal Code.
302.Figures for the number of persons convicted under article 282, paragraph 1, are as follows: 13 persons in 2006, 32 persons in 2007, 62 persons in 2008, 53 persons in 2009, 82 persons in 2010 and 49 persons in the first half of 2011.
303.Figures for the number of persons convicted under article 282, paragraph 2, are as follows: 42 persons in 2006, 32 persons in 2007, 59 persons in 2008, 39 persons in 2009, 78 persons in 2010 and 27 persons in the first half of 2011.
304.The structure of extremist offences shows a market predominance of violent crimes (intentional causing of slight, moderate or severe harm to health, assaults, death threats), crimes against public security and public order (disorderly conduct) and crimes against the State power (incitement of hatred and enmity, including through the media).
305.In 2011, the courts in 71 regions of Russia considered criminal proceedings involving extremism, compared to 66 in 2010. Sixty-eight cases were considered under special procedures and five in a trial by jury. Guilty verdicts were handed down involving 336 persons (462 in 2010), of whom 70 were under 18 years of age (76 in 2010); 10 persons were acquitted (9 in 2010).
306.Charges were not pressed and the proceedings were terminated in criminal cases involving 67 persons. Compulsory measures of a medical nature were taken with regard to two persons. The courts sentenced 173 persons to deprivation of liberty (51.4 per cent); 130 persons received a suspended sentence.
307.Punishment for the commission of extremist offences takes into account the nature and degree of public danger of the crime, within the limits of the sanctions set out under the relevant articles of the Criminal Code.
308.All in all, the decline in the number of extremist offences and in the figures on investigations and court practice indicate an improvement in the quality and outcome of efforts by the law enforcement authorities in this area.
309.On 28 June 2011, the Plenum of the Supreme Court adopted Decision No. 11 on judicial practice in criminal proceedings involving extremist offences, in which it established basic mechanisms and made recommendations for judicial practice in domestic courts. Paragraph 2 of the Decision draws the attention of the courts to the fact that crimes committed on grounds of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity with regard to any social group must be distinguished from crimes committed on grounds of personal hostile relations. For a proper determination of the motive, account must be taken, in particular, of the duration of interpersonal relations between the defendant and the victim and the presence of conflicts with the victim unrelated to ethnic, religious, ideological or political views or membership of a particular race or social group.
310.Russian courts consider civil claims involving discrimination, but separate statistics are not kept. Annex 3 to this report cites two Supreme Court decisions as examples.
311.The Russian Federation is a multi-ethnic, pluralistic and multicultural State in which more than 194 ethnic groups speaking 277 languages and dialects live. In it has arisen a unique, centuries-old experience of peaceful coexistence among the members of many peoples and religions. This is one of the richest multicultural mosaics of Europe and Asia. A policy of protecting human rights is consistently and explicitly ensured at all levels of State power, irrespective of race, skin colour, sex, religious affiliation or social or ethnic background. The Russian Federation demonstrates the positive experience of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
312.The Government is taking the measures enumerated in its annual list of actions for the implementation of State nationalities policy so as to prevent ethnic discrimination and inter-ethnic and interfaith hate crimes and combat the spread of racist attitudes.
313.As part of State nationalities policy, the authorities at federal and regional level conduct annual sociological studies, international and interregional forums, conferences, symposiums and seminars and carry out media campaigns on equality and intercultural dialogue, which include public service announcements, the broadcast of animated films and documentaries on the peoples of Russia and the appearance in the media of representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and ethnic voluntary associations.
314.In 2008 and 2009, the Ministry of Regional Development undertook a number of important initiatives in the area of awareness-raising, which in today’s world is acquiring increased importance for the formation of public opinion. An information campaign has been elaborated under the motto “Many peoples, one country!”, the aim being to forge a national identity and promote inter-ethnic harmony. In the context of the campaign, videos with public service announcements are prepared and broadcast on federal and regional television stations, outdoor public service announcements are posted which foster harmonious inter-ethnic relations and tolerance towards people of other ethnic origin, and a special Internet portal has been created for the campaign and has been operating successfully (www.stranaodna.ru).
315.Three editions of a basic illustrated Atlas of the cultures and religions of the peoples of Russia came out in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and a wall map of the religions of the Russian Federation has also been published, as well as a study guide for university students on tolerance and a culture of inter-ethnic dialogue, which has been approved by a number of institutions of higher education in the Southern Federal Area.
316.For the third year, the Ministry of Regional Development together with the guild of inter-ethnic journalists is printing more than 500,000 copies of a supplement, entitled “Ethnic accent”, for the newspaper Argumenti nedeli.
317.SMIrotvorets (Media-Peacemaker), a national media competition for the best coverage of inter-ethnic cooperation between the peoples of Russia and their ethnic cultural development, is held annually together with the inter-ethnic journalism guild, Radio Russia and Russkaya Gazeta. The competition has already borne fruit: the outcome of the 2011 event indicated that in the three years between 2009 and 2011, the number of positive reports on inter-ethnic questions in the federal, regional and ethnic media more than doubled.
318.Whereas in 2008 134 federal and regional media outlets and 71 ethnic media outlets participated in the competition, in 2009 those figures rose to 301 media outlets, including 98 ethnic outlets. In 2010, the contributions of 360 media outlets, including 178 ethnic outlets, were announced for participation in the competition, and in 2011 625.
319.Another media project — a broadcast by the Moscow Echo radio station between January 2010 and January 2011 of the weekly programme “We” on issues of identity and the current state of ethnic relations in Russia — was accompanied by the publication in Nezavisimaya Gazeta of articles on the subject of the broadcast.
320.The Ministry of Regional Development helps the constituent entities conduct public awareness campaigns by making available, free of charge, materials elaborated during its information campaign, including originals of campaign posters, and discs and cassettes with films and cartoons. Agreements of this kind have been concluded with 56 constituent entities.
321.Several constituent entities have already launched their own public awareness campaigns. For example, public service television videos entitled “Many peoples, one country” have been posted on networks in a number of regions, and the official portals of some constituent entities (for example, Orlovsk province) are creating their own broadcasts on the subject (for instance, the public service video “Perm Territory – our common home” was produced in Perm Territory).
322.The Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency provides support on a competitive basis, with funding from the federal budget, for important projects on this topic in the print and electronic media in order to stimulate their interest in forging attitudes of tolerance, preventing extremism and xenophobia in Russian society and promoting inter-ethnic relations and respect for persons of different religious beliefs and cultures.
323.In the period 2006–2011, more than 192 million roubles in funding were awarded for 98 projects in the electronic media, and more than 115 million roubles for 308 projects in the print media, including:
A television documentary on “The small peoples of Russia”, on the way of life and traditions of these peoples (broadcast by Russian Federation-24)
A cycle of short documentaries entitled “The faces of Russia”, on the culture and way of life of the peoples of the Russian Federation (broadcast by Russian Federation-24)
Television programmes: “Diaspora” (broadcast by “Mir”); “Kalam” (“Word”), about Dagestan, one of the biggest regions of the Northern Caucasus (broadcast by “Dagestan”, the State television and radio channel); “Tasu Yava” (“Our Tazov soil”), a cycle of public information programmes for the small indigenous peoples of the North (broadcast by 25 TVK, Tazov district, 27 TVK); “Ethnic Interest” (broadcast by “Karelia”, the State television and radio channel); and “Ulgur”, about the life of the small indigenous peoples of the North in the Republic of Buryatia-Evenk (broadcast by “Russian Federation 1” and regional stations of “Buryatia”, the State television and radio channel)
The radio programmes “Peoples of Russia”, on the ethnic diversity of the population and the promotion of inter-ethnic cooperation (broadcast by “Radio Russia”), and “I live in a big country”, a cycle of children’s cultural and educational programmes about Russia and its population (broadcast by the radio station “Gardarika”)
“Ethnic Russians”, a website with information and analysis (www.russedina.ru, www.russedina.org) devoted to the promotion of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the countries of the CIS and the Baltic, inter-ethnic dialogue and the resolution of the problems of ethnic Russians abroad and displaced persons in Russia
The projects: “Caucasus – an integral part of Russia”, “So different, and yet so similar” and “A multi-ethnic country, a sole Russian Federation” of the newspaper Etnosfera (Moscow)
The projects “Northern Caucasus – a multifaceted world” and “Encouraging inter-ethnic cultural contacts as a way of combating xenophobia” of the newspaper Druzhba narodov (Moscow)
The project “Addressing the problems of the Roma people and promoting their cultural traditions” of the newspaper Tsygane Rossii (Moscow)
The project “In the single family of peoples of Russia” of the newspaper Odon/Zvezda (Republic of Buryatia)
The project “Northern Caucasus: let’s work on the shape of things to come” of the newspaper Muzhskoi kharakter (Stavropol Territory)
The project “Russian Federation – towards peace and tolerance” of the newspaper Komsomolskaya pravda (Moscow)
The project “Fostering inter-ethnic harmony” of the newspaper Argumenti nedeli (Moscow)
The project “The Russian Federation – a family of peoples” of the newspaper Novie izvestia (Moscow)
The project “Preserving, strengthening and promoting the identity of the small indigenous peoples of the North – the Evenks” (with a translation into Evenk) of the newspaper Vesti Severa (Transbaikal Territory)
The project “A big homeland – a patchwork of small peoples” of the newspaper Cholman/Kama, in the Mari language (Republic of Bashkortostan)
Finnougoria. Etnichesky komfort, an academic journal
324.The Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency provides funding for the “Peace, harmony, unity” national television festival, the “Dialogue of cultures” media forum, the “Finno-Ugric world” international television festival and “Unity”, a national competition of television films and programmes devoted to efforts to combat extremism, xenophobia and racial and religious hatred.
325.At the end of 2011, the television channel “Russian Federation-Culture” held the “Whole Russian Federation” folklore festival, which familiarized television viewers with the uniqueness and artistic diversity of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
326.A “Strana.ru” project is acquainting Internet users with the various regions of the country, the people who live there and their traditions and culture as part of “My Planet”, a 24-hour public television station of the National State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
327.With the support of the Ministry of Regional Development, many public information initiatives have been conducted that are of current interest because they heighten awareness of the history and culture of the peoples of Russia and promote ethnic tolerance in society. These include:
The “We are the Russian Federation” forum, devoted to National Unity Day (3–4 November 2009, city of Omsk)
The publication of a study guide (“Tolerance and a culture of inter-ethnic dialogue”) for university students
The publication of “State nationalities policy and relations between the State and religions in the Russian Federation”, a yearly compilation of information and analysis
The publication of Finno-Ugorskaya Gazeta, a nationwide cultural and educational journal
The publication of Finno-Ugorsky Mir, an interregional television journal
328.The Ministry of Regional Development has been monitoring inter-ethnic relations and relations between the State and religions since 2005, on the basis of which a compilation of information and reference materials (“State nationalities policy and relations between the State and religions”) is published annually. Information summaries, guidance material and proposals concerning the implementation of State nationalities policy are also produced on the basis of the monitoring.
329.Together with the Council of Europe and the European Union, in 2009–2011 the Ministry of Regional Development carried out a joint programme entitled “Minorities in Russia: developing languages, culture, media and civil society”, the aim of which was to encourage the promotion of languages, culture, the media and civil society in Russia and to consider the possible ratification by the Russian Federation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
330.In the context of the joint three-year project, 60 seminars were held for experts in the area of education, linguistics and jurisprudence as well as representatives of all levels of government active in the protection of the languages of ethnic minorities.
331.The implementation of the above-mentioned measures has made it possible to intensify inter-ethnic and intercultural cooperation and promote the principles of a culture of peace, ethnic tolerance and civic solidarity; heighten awareness of ethnic cultural development and combat the spread of manifestations of extremism, xenophobia and chauvinism among young people; prevent a politicizing and artificial mobilization of ethnic identity and the propagation of extremist ideology; enhance the cooperation of government authorities with ethnic voluntary associations on strengthening the unity of the Russian nation and ensuring the ethnic and cultural rights of the peoples of Russia; and encourage positive media reporting on aspects of inter-ethnic cooperation, the ethnic cultural development of the peoples of Russia and best practices for intercultural and interfaith dialogue.
332.Since 2011, the Ministry of Regional Development has been hosting practical training courses for the law enforcement specialists of the constituent entities which address issues relating to State nationalities policy, the development of the ethnic culture of the peoples of Russia and the prevention of ethnic and religious extremism. As of 31 December 2011, 106 requests concerning such courses had been received, and 7 courses were held in January and February 2012.
333.The Social Forum of the Russian Federation is making major efforts to prevent occurrences of xenophobia and racism, address ways of overcoming fear of migrants, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and extremist manifestations of inter-ethnic and interfaith discord and encourage interracial initiatives, including among young people. In 2010 and 2011, it organized and carried out many initiatives in this area, including:
A number of public discussions on peace in the Caucasus (in the cities of Inzhich-Chukun, Elburgan, Adyge-Xhabl, Karachaevsk, Uchkeken and Cherkessk of the Karchaevo-Cherkessk Republic; in the cities of Vladikavkaz and Beslan and the rural communities of Lesken, Balta and Tarskoe of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania; in the cities of Derbent, Xhasavyurt, Buinaksk, Izberbash, Kizlyar and Makhachkala of the Republic of Dagestan; in the city of Malgobek of the Republic of Ingushetia; and in the city of Nalchik, the towns of Prokhladny, Baksan and Elbrus and the rural communities of Sarmakovo, Bezengi and Novaya Balkaria of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic).
Hearings on the topic of democratic freedoms and the improvement of anti-extremist legislation.
The second international forum on migrants in Russia: security and cooperation.
Hearings on the topic “What does the Caucasus think, and what does the Caucasus want?”, at which the results of the work of discussion platforms on “Peace in the Caucasus” were examined in the Republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and North Ossetia.
The second annual forum on the topic “Promoting harmonious relations between citizens and preventing intolerance and extremism”.
A meeting of the Social Forum’s commission on inter-ethnic relations and freedom of conscience to discuss a textbook entitled “History of Russia 1917–2009”, by A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin (publisher: Aspekt-Press, 2010) and the role of the educational system in promoting social harmony and preventing ethnic extremism. Specifically, the meeting considered whether the textbook in question has a negative impact on inter-ethnic relations and whether it contributes to the rise of inter-ethnic tensions and hatred. Recommendations were drafted and forwarded to the Minister of Education and Science, the president and the dean of the history department of Lomonosov State University, Moscow, and the government commission on combating attempts to falsify history to the detriment of the interests of Russia. An expert committee set up by the university’s academic council examined the textbook and concluded that, given its shortcomings, it was not appropriate for use in schools.
A round-table discussion entitled “Interfaith cooperation and freedom of religion in Moscow; the viewpoint of various faiths”.
Hearings on the topic “Study of religious culture in school: experience of the first year of the experiment”, at which the experience gathered in the process of the testing in 19 regions of a comprehensive course for use in general education, entitled “Fundamentals of religious cultures and secular ethics”, was analysed and recommendations drafted for the continuation of the experiment; the findings of the study conducted by the Social Forum on the attitudes of parents towards the teaching of the course in secondary education establishments were presented.
A round-table discussion on the topic “Kabardino-Balkar Republic: problems of the radicalization of youth”.
A meeting of the Social Forum’s Russian nationalities club.
A round-table discussion on the topic “The legal system and the fight against extremism: problems and progress”.
A round-table discussion on the topic “Republic of Dagestan: religious conflict and the search for national reconciliation”.
A photography exhibit devoted to World Refugee Day and to overcoming xenophobia and fear of migrants, organized together with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Russian Federation, the aim of which was to heighten public awareness of the problems of refugees and other migrants in Russia and to launch an appeal for respect for the rights of, tolerance towards and solidarity with persons who have lost their homeland and have been forced to start a new life.
A round-table discussion on the topic “Opening the Talmud to world culture”. Participants discussed the contribution of Jewish religious literature to world culture and its impact on the development of Jewish thought. The results of 42 years of creative work by Rabbi Adin Shteinzalts in translating and analysing the Talmud were presented.
Hearings on the topic “Problems associated with the establishment of holidays in the constituent entities: theory and practice”, organized together with the Spiritual Authority of the Muslims of Moscow and the Muslim High Council of the Central Region.
Hearings on the topic “Russians in the Caucasus: myths and reality”.
Public hearings on the topic “Rules of conduct for interaction between migrants and the indigenous population”.
A round-table discussion on the topic “Nationalism, extremism and xenophobia: challenges facing the media”.
334.A project on a multicultural educational model as a basis for shaping the Russian identity of children in general education schools has been implemented in the framework of the Federal education programme. The following tasks were addressed:
Compiling and analysing experience in the constituent entities in opening schools offering classes in the native language of the local population
Elaborating a conceptual foundation of multicultural education based on the principles of an overlapping of ethnic and cultural orientation, national cultural values and universal ideals with a view to presenting the ethnic culture of schoolchildren and teachers as a part of Russian and world culture
Devising study guides and psychological teaching methods for forging Russian identity in preschool and general education
Designing pilot projects that train teaching staff for work in a multicultural context
335.In the framework of the federal education programme for 2011–2015, teaching modules are being elaborated and tested for the sections of model curricula at general and supplementary education schools which focus on preventing extremism and antisocial behaviour; training the teaching staff to promote the personality and socialization of schoolchildren and inculcate a culture of inter-ethnic relations; devising and improving various forms of constructive cooperation between school, the family and civil society institutions in order to teach schoolchildren to become good citizens; and establishing (with the help of universities and private specialized secondary schools) student centres which instil a culture of national solidarity and a rejection of extremism.
336.Support for education with an ethnic focus plays a major role in preserving ethnic identity. With that in mind, in August 2006 an Outline for a national educational policy was approved which places special emphasis on ethnic problems in the educational context and cooperation with religious associations.
337.Museums are of great importance for State nationalities policy. Initiatives of museums aimed at presenting cultural diversity in Russia and fostering active civic mindedness and a rejection of manifestations of religious extremism, xenophobia and nationalism are supported in the framework of the State programme on the patriotic education of citizens of the Russian Federation, 2006–2010 and the federal programme on the culture of Russia, 2006–2011.
338.Libraries, as a social institution, also play an important instructional and educational role in strengthening civil peace and inter-ethnic harmony. The “Institute of Tolerance” project, a priority programme area of activity of the M.I. Rudomino National State Library of Foreign Literature launched in 2003, is working to advance the basic values of civil society and to promote understanding and friendly interpersonal relations through intercultural, inter-ethnic and interfaith dialogue.
339.Centres for Tolerance (Centres for intercultural, inter-ethnic and interfaith dialogue) are being created in the framework of the Institute of Tolerance with the help of cultural and educational institutions (libraries and universities) at regional level and abroad. The establishment of the Centres for Tolerance is a joint initiative of the regions and the Institute of Tolerance.
340.The Institute of Tolerance has elaborated and is carrying out a special project for children entitled “Other people, other traditions, other ways of life” to teach tolerance from an early age. The authors of the books published in the context of the project seek to explain to children that all people are different and that foreign cultures and customs must be treated with respect. The books address various aspects of life, including the family, religion, food, clothing, customs of different peoples. The main objective is to interest children in learning about how diverse the world is. The series is designed to help teach respect and tolerance for unfamiliar cultural events and to overcome entrenched negative ethnic stereotypes. The project is being carried out in cooperation with UNESCO. Of the 12 books produced in the framework of the project, 5 have already been translated into English and published.
341.Experience gathered by members of ethnic communities, school boards, student self-management bodies and the teaching staff of educational institutions in working together to prevent extremism and foster attitudes of respect towards the culture and traditions of the peoples of Russia has been compiled in a project on the implementation of measures for the organization of systematic cooperation between general and vocational education establishments, government authorities, voluntary associations and civil society institutions on preventing extremism among schoolchildren; there is an ongoing public discussion of these issues, and an Internet website has been set up for that purpose (http://www.extremizmu-net.moocv.ru).
342.Pursuant to the new State general education standards, education is a process not only of acquiring basic knowledge, skills and abilities, but also of developing the individual and instilling spiritual, moral, social, family and other values.
343.Special importance in that regard is attached to the spiritual and moral development of children and the inculcation of qualities such as tolerance and respect for other cultures and a willingness and ability to engage in dialogue and cooperation. That presupposes a knowledge of the particularities of traditional cultures and the cultural basis of social phenomena and traditions. Spiritual and moral development is meant to instil ethical values in the coming generation, informing their conduct with a sense of social responsibility, and to provide guidance in real-life situations.
344.Amendments have been made to the Education Act which reflect the importance of meeting the ethnic, cultural and religious needs of citizens of the Russian Federation and which specify for the first time that one of the main goals of education is spiritual and moral development (art. 14, para. 2). The education of children and young people is one of the most important tasks of society as a whole, including for parents. This task can be fulfilled with the help of a comprehensive educational system in which new curricula are elaborated that ensure the spiritual and moral enlightenment and instruction of children in classes on the history and culture of the religions that constitute an integral part of the historical and cultural patrimony of the peoples of Russia, as well as on the foundations of ethics.
345.Clearly, the educational component, together with academic knowledge and information about society and its interests, laws, culture and traditions, cannot be left out of the school curriculum without considerable damage to the quality of education and the development of the individual. Today this problem is a matter of concern to the general public the world over, as reflected above all in questions associated with inculcating tolerance and a sense of moral identity in the coming generation.
346.This problem is addressed, inter alia, by teaching about the history and culture of religions (and in some cases about the foundations of ethics). These subjects are included in classes or topics on history, literature, social studies and the arts. With the consent of schoolchildren and their parents and upon a decision by the teaching staff and the parents’ committee, such material is taught in optional courses, electives, special classes or courses in the framework of the regional (ethnic regional) and educational components of the State general education standards. The history and culture of religions as well as the foundations of ethics may also be covered in various ways in extracurricular public awareness and educational activities.
347.Ministry of Education and Science Letter No. 03-2375 of 25 November 2009, containing recommendations for meeting the ethnic, cultural and religious needs of citizens, was sent to the constituent entities with a view to helping develop regional experience in the teaching of morals.
348.The new education standards also contemplate instilling a sense of patriotism. Classes with that goal are included in a comprehensive programme of spiritual and moral development, instruction and socialization.
349.Testing of the new education standards for the tenth and eleventh classes is planned to start no earlier than 1 September 2013, and all the renewed standards, once tested, are to be implemented as from 1 September 2020. Considerable attention is currently being given to promoting attitudes of tolerance and preventing xenophobia, extremism and other forms of discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds. Special emphasis is placed on the fight against various manifestations of racism based on Nazi ideologies, above all among young people.
350.The subject of the Holocaust is included in the school curriculum and in State general education standards in order to teach the values of mutual understanding and tolerance.
351.The Academy for the in-service training and retraining of teaching staff offers a special course on current questions relating to the Holocaust as part of its programme for upgrading the qualifications of teachers of history and civics.
352.The objective presentation of history in schoolbooks and the teaching of respect for social norms are particularly important in nurturing a sense of patriotism and civic duty and preventing extremism and xenophobia.
353.On 31 March and 1 April 2011, at the initiative of the Council of the Association of Teachers of History and Civics (a national voluntary organization), the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences held its first national congress of teachers of history and civics, at which it was stressed that the teaching of history is a strategic resource for the innovative development of Russia and forms the basis of a sense of civic duty and patriotism.
354.As an area of further work, the congress identified the development of the activities of the Association, one of whose aims should be an active participation in pinpointing and discussing strategic problems associated with the teaching of history, as well as promotion of the integration of the teaching of history and science.
355.In compliance with paragraphs 5.2.4 and 5.2.30 of its rules, the Ministry of Education and Science approved the regulations governing the evaluation of textbooks (Ministry of Education and Science Instruction No. 428 of 23 April 2010) and the regulations for the selection of organizations for the publication of textbooks approved for use in the school system (Ministry of Education and Science Instruction No. 88 of 18 March 2009). Pursuant to these instructions, the evaluation of a textbook includes an examination of whether its content conforms to current academic thinking, account being taken of the relevant educational level under the federal component of the State general education standards or the requirements of the standards for the educational level concerned.
356.In accordance with paragraph 3 of the rules, the evaluation has an educational and academic component. In conformity with paragraph 6, the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Education participate in the evaluation, together with other organizations on the basis of their government-approved statutes, which define their powers. The academies’ responsibility, scientific capacity and authority ensure the quality of the evaluation and prevent any textbooks of a quality that does not meet requirements being used in education.
357.Pursuant to the administrative regulations on the federal list of textbooks approved by Ministry of Education and Science Instruction No. 5 of 11 January 2007, the list of recommended (approved) textbooks for use in schools with general education curricula and State accreditation includes only those textbooks which have been evaluated by the above-mentioned bodies.
358.The right of all peoples of Russia to receive general education in their native language is guaranteed by law. The Constitution, the Education Act, the Ethnic Cultural Autonomy Act and the Act on the Languages of the Russian Federation stipulate that citizens of the Russian Federation who are members of specific ethnic communities have the right to be taught in their native language and to choose the language of upbringing and instruction, within the limits of the possibilities offered by the educational system and in accordance with national and regional legislation.
359.Federal legislation on education establishes the basic principles and framework for regulating relations in this sphere and delimits the competence and responsibility of the federal, regional and local authorities and educational institutions. This makes it possible to take into account ethnic, regional and other criteria when educational issues are addressed.
360.The Education Act defines, as basic aims of education, the integration of the individual into the national and world culture and the development of the individual and citizen as a member of contemporary society.
361.The legislation of the Russian Federation is in full compliance with the norms and principles of international law which ensure the right of children to receive religious instruction (article 5, paragraph 4, of the Federal Act on freedom of conscience and religious associations).
362.In accordance with Presidential Instruction No. 2009 of 2 August 2009, the Ministry of Education and Science and a number of other related ministries and academic and educational institutions, a comprehensive course of study for general education establishments, on the foundations of religious cultures and secular ethics, was tested in 21 constituent entities with the participation of national religious organizations. The course is composed of six modules which can be chosen by the children’s parents or legal representatives: the foundations of Russian Orthodox culture, the foundations of Islamic culture, the foundations of Buddhist culture, the foundations of Jewish culture, the foundations of international religious cultures and the foundations of secular ethics. The participants in the test, which was completed in the 2010/11 school year, considered that it had produced positive results.
363.The course is of a secular and cultural nature. Its main aims include: familiarizing schoolchildren with the foundations of religious cultures and secular ethics; developing notions about the importance of ethical norms and values; consolidating knowledge, understanding and ideas about spiritual culture and morals inculcated in young children in primary school; and developing the ability of young schoolchildren to communicate in a multi-ethnic and interfaith context on the basis of mutual respect and dialogue for the benefit of social peace and harmony. All school modules chosen by parents or legal representatives give children an idea of the diversity of religious and non-religious culture and offer the possibility of discussing questions about cultural particularities and traditions which are of greatest interest to them.
364.During the testing process, criteria were put into place for the implementation of the course: regional coordination councils were created whose membership includes representatives of religious associations; qualified teachers were trained; textbooks were elaborated and recommended for use; in most regions, a special plan was drafted to explain in the media how the course is introduced; and constructive cooperation was established between teachers, academics and representatives of various confessions.
365.Recently, migration has also left its mark on Russia’s educational system. In these circumstances, the Federal Education Act’s requirements on the integration of the individual into national and international culture are being implemented. The Russian language, which links the culture and languages of the peoples in Russia, has a special role to play in that regard, which the federal programme “Russian language” (2011–2015) aims to strengthen. The authorities of the constituent entities are making considerable efforts to promote the linguistic and sociocultural integration of migrants. Special programmes in Russian are being elaborated for children who have not been taught the language in school, methods and personalized learning approaches are being devised, and additional classes and courses in Russian are being introduced for children from neighbouring and more distant countries.
366.In accordance with article 26.3, paragraph 2 (20), of Federal Act No. 184 of 6 October 1999 on the Basic Principles of the Organization of the Legislative (Representative) and Executive Bodies of the Constituent Entities, the government authorities of the constituent entities have joint competence for the support of schools offering classes in the native language of the local population and other subjects with an ethnic cultural focus.
367.Together with representatives of the educational authorities in the constituent entities (the national republics), explanatory memorandums have been produced on measures to protect the right of citizens to be taught in their native language and to use it in the educational system as a language of learning, account being taken of the provisions of Federal Act No. 309 of 1 December 2007 (circulated to all the constituent entities in Letter No. 03-848 of 28 April 2008).
368.Article 6, paragraph 3, of the Education Act provides that the language or languages of upbringing and instruction in an educational establishment are determined by the administrator(s) of that establishment and are set out in its regulations.
369.Pursuant to article 52, paragraph 1, of the Act, parents/legal representatives have the right to choose a school offering a particular language of upbringing and instruction for their children.
370.The importance of education in the local language is underscored by the fact that, according to data from the Centre for ethnic-related problems of education, which is attached to the Federal Institute for the Promotion of Education of the Ministry of Education and Science, by 1989 the number of languages used in schools as languages of upbringing and instruction had increased to 55. Today there are 80; in other words, demand and availability continue to grow.
371.The languages of ethnic minorities, including Azerbaijani, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Altai, Bashkir, Buryat, Mari (Lugovoi), Tatar, Udmurt, Chuvash, Evenki, Yukagir and Yakut, are used in non-language classes in general education establishments (i.e. non-language classes are taught in these languages).
372.According to census data, 277 languages and dialects are spoken in the Russian Federation.
373.Programmes for the preservation, study and development of the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation include plans for achieving a functional knowledge of the Russian language, as the State language of the Russian Federation, the official languages of the republics and other languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, encouraging the publication of literature in these languages, funding academic research on their preservation, study and development, creating conditions for the dissemination in the media of information, communications and materials in these languages, training specialists in this area and improving the educational system in order to promote these languages.
374.The Federal Institute for the Promotion of Education conducts annual nationwide competitions for teachers of native languages, forums entitled “Languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, a national asset for society and State”, theoretical and practical conferences, technical seminars and round tables, and it publishes monographs, textbooks and teaching aids, guidance material and compendiums of academic articles.
375.Pursuant to Government Order No. 1245 of 28 August 2009 on the approval of a plan of action for the implementation of the Outline 2009–2011 for the sustainable development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, a number of initiatives are being carried out to preserve and develop the languages of these peoples.
376.For example, in 2010 study materials in the languages of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East were ordered and supplied in compliance with Ministry of Education and Science Instruction No. 1032 of 15 October 2010. Textbooks, training manuals, dictionaries, works of fiction and other reading material have been published in the native languages of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, namely Nenets, Khanti and Shurym dialects, Nganasan, Tofalar, Nivxh, Nanai, Orochi, Udege, Evenki, Selkup and Saam.
377.In compliance with Government Order No. 2455 of 28 December 2011, in 2010 and 2011 the functional use of the languages of the small indigenous peoples in school was monitored in the framework of measures taken in connection with the holding in the Russian Federation of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, 2011–2014. The aim of the monitoring was to assess current functional knowledge of those native languages and to improve the quality of their teaching in schools and teacher training institutes.
378.In accordance with agreements between educational institutions (the A.I. Gertzen Russian State Teachers’ University, the M.K. Amosov Yakutsk State University, the Far East State University, the Yugor State University and others) and State and local authorities, special admissions conditions are applied for members of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East.
379.Conferences, seminars, symposiums and other initiatives on the promotion of the ethnic culture of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East are conducted annually. For example, on 18 and 19 October 2011 an international seminar was held in the city of Syktyvkar on the topic: “The native languages of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East and their current use in schools: monitoring results”.
380.At the seminar, recommendations were drafted for the implementation of language education policy in areas in which the small indigenous peoples of the North have their traditional habitat and traditional economic activities, and a guidance manual was produced for the elaboration of curricula for the languages of these peoples that have the status of mother tongue, account being taken of the criteria of the federal State education standards for general primary school education.
381.In compliance with article 7 of the Convention, between 2006 and 2011 the Ministry of Internal Affairs conducted the following initiatives:
(a)Teaching material was used which was designed for studying effective measures for countering ethnic and religious intolerance, xenophobia and nationalism and eliminating the legal vacuum. Theoretical, sociopolitical and cultural aspects of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations, and ways and means of combating extremism, ethnic and religious intolerance, xenophobia and nationalism and promoting ethnic and religious tolerance among internal affairs officials were identified and examined in classes in political science, sociology, cultural studies, legal psychology, ethnopsychology and other subjects;
(b)In 2011, the Ministry of Internal Affairs elaborated seven federal State education standards for higher education in the following specialties: 031001.65: Law enforcement activities; 030901.65: Legal enforcement of national security; 030301.65: Psychology of official duties; 050407.65: Education and the psychology of deviant behaviour; 080101.65: Economic security; 090915.65: Security of information technologies in the law enforcement sphere; and 031003.65: Legal expertise. These standards cover skills which graduates must master, including a capacity for tolerant behaviour and social and professional cooperation that takes into account ethnic cultural and religious diversity, the ability to work in a group and cooperate with colleagues and to prevent and defuse conflict situations in a constructive manner, and other general cultural and professional skills;
(c)Questions relating to the prevention of ethnic and religious intolerance, xenophobia and nationalism are examined when initiatives of an ethical, psychological or patriotic nature are conducted. Issues which arise for discussion during meetings of the staff of the educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with internal affairs veterans and the personnel of departments of the central and regional offices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs include problems of inter-ethnic relations, the phenomenon of tolerance, and respect for the religious sentiments and ethnic identity of others;
(d)Members of the staff of the psychology departments of educational institutions within the Ministry of Internal Affairs have regularly met with and counselled students who are experiencing a conflict in a group or are under great emotional stress, and they have conducted training courses in study groups on effective communication skills;
(e)With the help of the educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, theoretical and practical conferences and round tables have been held on problems associated with counteracting extremism, ethnic and religious intolerance, xenophobia and nationalism. These events include: “Extremism in Russia: concepts, causes and ways and means of combating the phenomenon” (Nizhny Novgorod Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 24 January 2011) and “Facts, conditions and ways of supporting harmonious inter-ethnic cooperation, and counteracting the emergence of extremist tendencies in contemporary Russian society” (Voronezh Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 28 April 2011).
382.The procuratorial authorities active in the area of inter-ethnic relations and the prevention of extremism are also receiving further training. For example, in November 2010 a seminar was conducted in cooperation with the Academy of the Office of the Procurator-General and with the participation of deputies from the constituent entities on the topic “Elaboration of measures to identify and remove from circulation printed and audio and video materials whose content is designed to incite ethnic, racial or religious hatred”.
383.Lectures are held at the Academy of the Office of the Procurator-General for the in-service training of the procuratorial staff of the constituent entities (84 persons every six months).
384.Training courses for the staff of the procuratorial authorities of the constituent entities are also offered on questions relating to the enforcement of laws on national security, legislation on international relations and the prevention of extremism (about 15 staff members every six months).
385.Information circulars are sent out on ways of improving the procuratorial monitoring by the regional and local authorities of the application of legislation on combating extremism, the aim being to provide technical and practical assistance to the procurators of the constituent entities. In these circulars, the procurators are requested to ensure that the regional and local authorities take additional measures to improve the monitoring of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations in order to identify risks of their destabilization and provide an overall assessment of conflict potential. It was also recommended that existing programmes should be reviewed and that new programmes should be drafted which give priority to measures designed to prevent extremist activities, including awareness-raising and educational initiatives.
386.In 2001, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, with the participation of the Ministry of Regional Development and specialists from the Russian Academy of the National Economy and the Civil Service under the President of the Russian Federation, produced teaching materials to provide comprehensive technical assistance to officials who deal with questions of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations. These include:
A teaching guide on the prevention of extremism in the area of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations
A masters programme on ethnic and federal relations
A masters programme on the security of interfaith and inter-ethnic relations
A programme of in-service training on ethnic, federal and interfaith relations
A programme of further training on the administration by the State of interfaith and inter-ethnic relations
A programme of in-service training on State-confessional relations in Russia: current situation and paths to improvement
A programme of in-service training on the foundations of State policy in the area of freedom of conscience and worship
A programme of in-service training on the threat of religious extremism and terrorism to Russia’s national security
387.According to data from the constituent entities, in the first half of 2011 3,651 civil servants of the constituent entities and 3,052 municipal civil servants received training, retraining or further training. In the second half of 2011, training was planned for another 4,647 civil servants of the constituent entities and 3,475 municipal civil servants. More detailed information on the implementation of these plans is expected soon.
388.In addition, most constituent entities have made provision for expenditure on further training of State and municipal civil servants in 2012.
389.In 2008 an Outline for the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation, 2011–2015, and a programme of measures for its implementation were approved, pursuant to which a pilot variant of the digital catalogue of objects of the intangible cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation was produced. Work was begun in 2009, and the catalogue has now been put into service and is being tested in its experimental form. Training seminars have been attended by more than 100 specialists from 20 regions of Russia.
390.Together with the State Russian House of folk art, a number of popular initiatives have been conducted with the assistance of the cultural authorities of the constituent entities, including:
“Singing childhood”, a national festival of children’s choirs
“The opening of Europe”, an international festival
A national festival of folk dancing for the T.A. Ustinovaya prize “Dancing the circle dance throughout Russia”
“Peace to the Caucasus”, an international art festival
The “Golden Ring Community” international festival of folk art
The “Volga Delta without borders” festival (city of Astrakhan), in which groups from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, together with Russian groups, took part
An annual Commonwealth Festival of the folk art of the countries of the CIS and the Baltic (Rostov province)
“My Russian Federation”, a national literary competition (Kirov province)
“Russia’s Roots”, a national festival of folk art (Chuvash Republic)
“From Russia to the heart”, an international festival of ethnic Russians
391.Initiatives included international and national theoretical and practical conferences on “Ethnic culture in contemporary Russia: traditions and innovations” and “Problems of the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity: the experience of international cooperation”, seminars for specialists of the cultural and recreational institutions of the Northern Caucasus and Southern Federal Areas and for heads of Finno-Ugric folklore groups, and many other activities. Round-table discussions, workshops and creative laboratories were held in the framework of these events, which were directed at creating conditions for a dialogue of cultures in a multi-ethnic State and the inculcation of attitudes of tolerance.
392.Traditional festivals, exhibitions and competitions are held annually in all the constituent entities in the context of the special federal programme “The Culture of Russia (2006–2011)”.
393.Since 2006, the Russian Institute of Cultural Studies has been carrying out assessments of various documents to detect the presence of illegal content designed to incite hatred or enmity or the degradation of human dignity on grounds of race, ethnic background or origin or to foment violent acts against persons of other ethnic groups, as well as offensive (negative or pejorative) statements about persons from other ethnic groups and the commission of other unlawful acts for nationalistic reasons.
394.The purpose of this activity, which on average involves some 200 assessments annually, is to prevent extremism in Russian society, identify extremist nationalistic organizations and combat falsifications of historical facts calculated to create negative stereotypes of certain population groups on the basis of ethnic or religious features.
395.In April 2011, a major cultural forum of ethnic minorities was organized in the city of Grozny (Chechen Republic), in the context of which a theoretical and practical conference was held on the topic “State support for the culture of the ethnic minorities of the Northern Caucasus as a factor in improving inter-ethnic relations”.
396.A number of projects are being carried out to develop ethno-tourism in order to prevent xenophobia and to promote and heighten awareness of ethnic cultures in Russia. Today it can be said that unique types of ethno-tourism have emerged and that the experience with them has been good. This concerns religious, educational, ecological, rural and other forms of tourism. With regard to sites of ethnocultural tourism, reference is made to ethnic villages (museums), multipurpose ethnic cultural complexes (composed of hotels, restaurants and recreation centres of an ethnic nature), monasteries and ethnographic open-air museums. These projects are being realized in many constituent entities. For example, in Orenburg a multifunctional museum — the ethnic cultural complex “Ethnic village” — is operating successfully in the city itself.
397.In Rostov province, an historical and architectural museum and park have opened at the Starocherkasskaya Cossack village, which is a unique complex of 23 monuments dating back to the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, when it was the capital of the Don Cossacks (Cherkassk).
398.Ataman, a Cossack open-air ethno-tourism complex, is in operation on the Taman peninsula. There is also a project to create an ethno village, “Yb”, in the Republic of Komi with a museum and ethnographic centre of wooden architecture, reflecting the unique traditional culture of the ethnographic groups of the area.
399.Other sites exist in many constituent entities, including in areas inhabited by small indigenous peoples (the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, Yakutia and elsewhere).
400.Media outlets in the languages of Russia are developing, in particular Mari and Nenets radio and Internet websites, including those which focus on the culture, languages, traditions and customs of the peoples of Russia. The informal Internet portal www.chumoteka, which is devoted to the life of the peoples of the Nenets Autonomous Area, is a noteworthy project of this kind.
401.The government authorities provide financial assistance to many non-profit organizations representing small indigenous peoples to help them with projects of social importance.
IV.Information on the implementation of the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, adopted following the consideration of the eighteenth and nineteenth reports of the Russian Federation
402.Paragraph 9 of the concluding observations recommends that the Russian Federation consider adopting a clear and comprehensive definition of racial discrimination in its legislation.
403.Article 1 of the Convention contains a definition of the term “racial discrimination”, namely “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”.
404.Pursuant to article 17 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, human and civil rights and freedoms are recognized and guaranteed in the Russian Federation in conformity with universally accepted principles and norms of international law.
405.In accordance with article 15 of the Constitution, the universally recognized principles of international law and the international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party are an integral part of its legal system.
406.In addition, article 19 of the Constitution guarantees equality of human and civil rights and freedoms, irrespective of race, ethnic background, language, origin, place of residence or attitude to religion. Restrictions of any kind on the rights of citizens on social, racial, ethnic, linguistic or religious grounds are prohibited.
407.Russian legislation guarantees the exercise of labour rights, the opportunity to receive an education and health care protection (article 3 of the Labour Code, article 5 of the Education Act and article 5 of the Federal Public Health Care Act).
408.Pursuant to the Presidential Decree adopted in 1997 on the basic identity documents of citizens of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Russian Federation and Government Decision No. 828 of 8 July 1997 on the approval of the regulations on passports of citizens of the Russian Federation, the reference in passports to ethnic identity has been removed.
409.The Federal Vital Statistics Act provides for an entry on ethnic background in a birth certificate at the applicant’s request, and in a death certificate if there is an entry to that effect in the deceased’s personal identity document. Information on the ethnic background of migrants is not included in the records of the Office of Statistics. Thus, it is not possible, on the basis of current statistics, to present systematic data on ethnic composition.
410.The Russian Population Census is the sole source of information on the ethnic composition of the population.
411.Data on ethnic composition from the 2002 Census (including basic sociodemographic characteristics) have been posted on the website www.perepis2002.ru, where they are publicly accessible in the section entitled “Catalogue of Official Publications of the 2002 Census”, volume 4 (Ethnic composition, languages spoken, citizenship); they are also set out in the annex to this report.
412.The results of the 2010 Census with regard to the basic sociodemographic characteristics (marital status, level of education, sources of means of subsistence and occupational activity) of the various ethnic groups will be received in the third quarter of 2012.
413.Information on the Russian Federation’s policy on this question is set out in paragraphs 61–64 and 402–407 of the report.
414.There are in-service training courses for law enforcement officials on human rights and the prohibition of discrimination on racial, ethnic or religious grounds in the performance of official duties (this is explained in greater detail in paragraphs 381–385).
415.Reports of violations in 2006 of the rights of Georgian citizens and ethnic Georgians in the Russian Federation were investigated by the offices of the procurator in 2007 and 2008 in the context of an application submitted by the Republic of Georgia to the European Court of Human Rights.
416.The investigation did not find any evidence of destruction of identity papers, detention in inhumane conditions, deportations under a simplified procedure or other repressive measures.
417.It was determined that the investigation into whether citizens of Georgia were in compliance with the regulations on temporary and permanent residence in the Russian Federation had been carried out by the internal affairs and migration authorities in accordance with the powers vested in them by the Code of Administrative Offences. On the basis of the investigation, materials for instituting administrative prosecution against persons who had violated the requirements of migration legislation were referred to the courts in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law. In the vast majority of cases, the court rulings on the deportation of Georgian citizens in administrative proceedings were in strict conformity with the law.
418.The prosecutorial authorities filed appeals against a number of decisions on administrative offences involving Georgian citizens in which the courts had allowed violations of rules of material and procedural law. Following a review of those appeals, the unlawful decisions taken in administrative proceedings were overruled by a higher court.
419.The detention conditions of Georgian citizens held in special facilities pending their deportation were in conformity with the requirements of Russian law. There have not been any complaints from Georgian citizens or their representatives of unlawful placement in detention facilities or of improper detention conditions.
420.Information on the situation with regard to the protection of the rights of members of the Roma community is contained in paragraph 260.
421.Information on measures for the socioeconomic development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East is contained in paragraphs 261–294.
422.The procuratorial authorities attach great importance to building up law enforcement practice, analysing positive experience and elaborating informational and practical material directed at preventing and combating extremism.
423.A memorandum on the improvement of procuratorial oversight of compliance by the regional and local authorities with legislation on countering extremism has been sent out to provide technical and practical assistance to the procurators of the constituent entities.
424.The procurators are requested to ensure the adoption by the regional and local authorities of additional measures to improve monitoring of the state of inter-ethnic and interfaith relations so as to identify risks of their destabilization and to have an overall assessment of potential conflicts.
425.It was also recommended that existing programmes should be reviewed and that new programmes should be drafted which give priority to measures designed to prevent extremist activities, including awareness-raising and educational initiatives.
426.Paragraph 17 of the concluding observations refers to the need to give primary consideration to combating extremist organizations, and their members, engaging in activities motivated by racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity.
427.It should be noted that the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation establishes criminal liability for extremist offences, including offences motivated by political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity or committed on grounds of hatred or enmity towards any social group, as set out in the relevant articles of the general part of the Criminal Code (article 280 (Public calls for extremist activities), article 282 (Hatemongering and disparagement), article 282.1 (Organization of an extremist association) and article 282.2 (Organizing the activities of an extremist organization)).
428.Procurators have taken part in court proceedings on whether to declare certain organizations to be extremist and to prohibit their activities.
429.For example, on 27 April 2010 Moscow City Court examined the application of the procuratorial authorities to declare the interregional movement “Slavic Union” an extremist organization and to prohibit its activities. The Slavic Union spread ideas propagating national socialism similar to the ideology of fascist Germany. These ideas espouse exclusiveness and superiority on ethnic grounds.
430.A civil action has also been instituted in a court in Moscow province to prohibit the activities in Russia of the interregional voluntary association “Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire Rus”, which calls for the creation of a so-called “Slavic-Aryan” State, the displacement of persons from other ethnic groups and the repression, and even physical destruction, of persons who do not support the association’s ideas. The procurator of Moscow province has forwarded the application for the prohibition of the activities of the Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire Rus to Moscow Provincial Court and has suspended its activities.
431.The Supreme Court granted the application of the Procurator-General to prohibit in the Russian Federation the activities of the international association “National Socialist Society”, whose actual aims are to seize power in the country, change the foundations of the constitutional order and create a unitary State based on the principles of the superiority of the Russian nation and the violation of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of persons and citizens on grounds of ethnic background.
432.The court granted in full the application of the Procurator-General to declare the National Social Society an extremist organization and to prohibit its activities.
433.With a view to cooperating with voluntary associations, officials of the Office of the Procurator-General have taken part in conferences, round-table discussions and seminars aimed at preventing and combating extremism.
434.In compliance with paragraph 3 of the list of instructions contained in Order No. 488 issued by President Medvedev on 27 February 2011, in November 2011 a seminar was held in conjunction with the Academy of the Office of the Procurator-General and with the participation of the deputy procurators of the constituent entities on the following topic: “The elaboration of measures to detect and remove from circulation printed matter and audio and visual materials whose content is designed to incite ethnic, racial or religious hatred”, the aim of which was to give procuratorial officials in-service training on inter-ethnic relations and ways of combating extremism.
435.Measures are being taken to improve the qualifications of the staff of the regional offices of the procurator (see paragraphs 403–405).
436.Between 2008 and 2011, representatives of the Office of the Procurator-General participated in the following international initiatives, at which questions concerning the elimination of racial discrimination were discussed (paragraph 16 of the concluding observations):
An additional meeting on combating racism and xenophobia, on the topic “National institutes active in countering discrimination, and their role in the fight against racism and xenophobia” (Vienna, 29–30 May 2008)
A round-table discussion with the participation of authors of alternative and official reports on Russia’s compliance with the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Moscow, 21 July 2008)
The seventy-third session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Geneva, 31 July–4 August 2008)
A round-table discussion with the participation of representatives of federal ministries and administrations, organized by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (Moscow, 23 September 2008)
The United Nations Review Conference on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (Geneva, 20–24 April 2009)
The OSCE High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (Astana, 29–30 June 2010)
The forty-sixth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (New York, 13–16 June 2010)
A seminar of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for CIS member States on the topic “Elaboration and realization of national plans of action to combat racial discrimination and intolerance” (Saint Petersburg, 29–30 September 2011)
Working meetings of the fifteenth annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on the topic “Tolerance and Non-Discrimination” (Warsaw, 4–6 October 2011)
A High-Level OSCE Meeting on the topic “Confronting Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims in Public Discourse” (Vienna, 28 October 2011)
437.As of 1 December 2011, 51 constituent entities had received and reviewed applications for refugee status from 1,153 foreign nationals from 45 States. By way of comparison, 43 constituent entities had received and reviewed applications from 2,048 persons from 49 States over the equivalent period in 2010. This year the number of applications compared to 2011 fell by almost half. The decline has been due to the relative stabilization of the situation in Georgia after the 2008 conflict, which has led to a sharp drop in the number of asylum seekers from that country.
438.Fifty-seven applications were received from detention facilities, primarily persons awaiting extradition (approximately 5 per cent of applications), as against 33 persons in the equivalent period in 2010, one third of whom had left Uzbekistan. This year for the first time six applications for refugee status were received from foreign nationals subject to readmission in other States.
439.As of 1 December 2011, 814 refugees from 28 States were registered with 36 regional offices of the Federal Migration Service, as compared to 801 refugees from 30 States in the equivalent period in 2010.
440.It is expected that in 2012, the number of applications for refugee status and temporary asylum will grow by 10 per cent compared to 2011.
441.In the first 11 months of 2011, 34 regional offices of the Federal Migration Service received and reviewed applications for temporary asylum from 945 persons from 36 States, as against 1,606 persons in the equivalent period in 2010, a 1.7-fold decline.
442.There was a preponderance of applications from Afghan nationals (46 per cent). Fifty-nine per cent of applications for temporary asylum submitted in the reporting period were approved, compared to 62 per cent in the equivalent period in 2010. As of 1 December 2011, 3,057 persons were listed with 44 regional offices of the Federal Migration Service as having been granted temporary asylum, as against 3,781 persons in the equivalent period in 2010.
443.During the reporting period, the Federal Migration Service has explored possibilities for providing temporary accommodation to asylum seekers. To that end, its Serebryaniki public service centre in Tver province was converted to a temporary accommodation facility. The buildings at the centre were overhauled and modernized with funds from the Federal Migration Service and UNHCR.
444.The centre took in the first foreign nationals in December. In order to improve legislation, in the course of 2011 work was carried out on 25 draft regulatory acts on the granting of asylum, including 1 draft international agreement (elaborated in conformity with the Collective Security Treaty Organization), 5 federal bills, 1 draft presidential decree, 10 draft government decisions and 8 draft instructions of the Federal Migration Service.
445.Ten regulatory acts, including one federal act, four presidential decisions and five administrative instructions, were enacted during the reporting period. A bill was submitted to the Government on amendments to several pieces of legislation in connection with the inclusion of biometric data in the residence permits of stateless persons and the travel documents issued to persons granted refugee status.
446.A rough draft has been agreed on a travel document to be issued to persons granted asylum which will contain the biometric data of the holder; it will be used in a pilot project during the presentation of a new generation of passports and visa documents in January 2012 at the Saint Petersburg office of the Federal Passport and Visa Service to permit delegations from the Russian Federation to attend the work of the fiftieth to fifty-second meetings of the UNHCR Executive Committee’s Standing Committee. Background documents, analyses and reference material on questions relating to the granting of asylum were prepared at the sixty-second session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s programme.
447.Officials from specialized government bodies regularly attend international forums on questions concerning the protection of refugees. For example, representatives of the Federal Migration Service took part in a regional conference on the protection of refugees and international migration in Central Asia in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan), a working meeting organized by the Council of Europe and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the problem of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, held at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and other events.
448.In the framework of the Russia-EU dialogue on migration, a thematic session was held on 14 December 2011 in Moscow on the subject of international protection.
449.In conjunction with UNHCR, two workshops were conducted on the topic “International and national protection of refugees, and the procedure for determining refugee status. Readmission”, which 35 directors and administrators from 37 regional offices of the Federal Migration Service attended.
450.Russian legislation specifies that all citizens of the Russian Federation, irrespective of ethnic background, have the same rights and opportunities. The introduction of official quotas enabling members of small indigenous peoples to have a preferential right to representation in elected government bodies is contrary to established national and international legal norms.
451.Internally displaced persons are registered under the procedure introduced by the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service in Form No. 7, on the registration of families who have arrived in an emergency situation, approved by Federal Migration Service Instruction No. 78 of 27 September 1999 on the registration of citizens from the Chechen Republic.
452.As of 1 April 2009, all citizens who temporarily left their place of permanent residence in the Chechen Republic and were registered under the above-mentioned procedure had been removed from the registry on the basis of a freely expressed declaration of their intention to return to their previous place of permanent residence.
453.Citizens who suffered as a result of the resolution of the crisis in the Chechen Republic are entitled to receive compensation for lost housing and property. To receive such compensation, it is not necessary to have an officially registered status of displaced person.
454.In application of Presidential Decree No. 404 of 4 July 2003 on the procedure for the payment of compensation for loss of life or property to citizens who suffered as a result of the resolution of the crisis in the Chechen Republic and were permanent residents on its territory, compensation totalling 26.43 billion roubles has been paid to 75,510 families (124,745 persons). Citizens who suffered as a result of the resolution of the crisis who left the Chechen Republic permanently have been paid compensation for loss of life or property pursuant to Government Decision No. 510 of 30 April 1997 on the procedure for the payment of compensation in such cases. Compensation totalling 4,075 billion roubles has been paid to more than 38,000 families under this procedure.
455.Act No. 4530-1 of 19 February 1993 (revised 1 July 2011) on Displaced Persons sets out economic, social and legal guarantees for categories of citizens recognized as displaced persons under the prescribed procedure. Currently there are 7,094 displaced persons (2,590 families) from the Chechen Republic, of whom 4,885 persons (1,448 families) chose not to return and opted instead to stay in the Republic of Ingushetia.
456.Since 2011, State support for the housing of displaced persons living in the Republic of Ingushetia has been covered under the special federal programme “Socioeconomic development of the Republic of Ingushetia, 2010–2016”, approved by Government Decision No. 1087 of 24 December 2009.
457.The programme calls for a targeted allocation of subsidies from the federal budget totalling 4.2 billion roubles to the budget of the Republic of Ingushetia to provide social assistance to displaced persons. Initiatives to house these persons will be carried out by the Government of the Republic of Ingushetia. There are sufficient financial resources to provide housing to persons in this category who are registered in Ingushetia.
458.Families of displaced persons from the Chechen Republic registered in other constituent entities (2,209 persons, or 1,141 families) are to receive housing subsidies under the subprogramme “Implementation of the State obligation to provide housing to categories of citizens established by federal law”, and they are to be issued housing certificates to acquire a dwelling as part of the special federal housing programme 2011–2015, approved by Government Decision No. 1050 of 17 December 2010.
459.Initiatives are being carried out in the Russian Federation as part of a special federal programme for the socioeconomic development of the Chechen Republic, 2008–2012, to provide social assistance to citizens for the renovation of homes destroyed as a result of the resolution of the crisis in the Chechen Republic. Under the programme, it is planned to allocate 2,824.4 million roubles in benefits to 3,388 citizens, of which 1,123.3 million roubles have been paid out; 592 citizens have received the full benefits and 1,392 citizens have received partial amounts. Citizens of the Russian Federation who resided in the North Caucasus Federal Area enjoy the rights accorded to citizens of Russia by the Constitution. Pursuant to article 27 of the Constitution, anyone who is lawfully present in the Russian Federation has the right to freedom of movement and to choose a place of temporary and permanent residence. Neither the Constitution nor other laws or regulations have established any restrictions based on religion, race or ethnic origin for citizens of Russia in the choice of place of residence.
460.Act No. 5242-1 of 25 June 1993 on the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Freedom of Movement and Choice of Place of Temporary and Permanent Residence within the Boundaries of the Russian Federation, which requires citizens to register at their place of temporary or permanent residence, also specifies that registration or failure to do so may not serve as grounds for restricting, or as a condition for enjoying, the civil rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution and legislation of the Russian Federation and the Constitution and legislation of the constituent republics. A citizen who submits the documents required under article 6 of the Act and articles 9 and 16 of the regulations on registration may not be denied registration at his or her place of temporary or permanent residence.
461.In accordance with Presidential Decree No. 232 of 13 March 1997 on the basic identity document of citizens of the Russian Federation in the Russian Federation and Government Decision No. 828 of 8 July 1997 on the approval of the regulations governing the passports of citizens of the Russian Federation and passport form and features, there is no provision for an inclusion in the identity document of a reference to the ethnic background of the holder. Consequently, the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service do not have information of this kind.
462.Citizens may submit a complaint or a communication to the offices of the procurator alleging that their social, economic or other rights have been denied on grounds of the presence or absence of registration. In such a case, an investigation is launched, and if it is concluded that there is reason to do so, the procurator may take action, including by petitioning the court on behalf of the citizen to eliminate the violations of his or her rights.
463.Since the presentation of the last report, no complaints or other communications have been received alleging that the registration authorities have violated the interests of citizens of a particular ethnic background or of refugees in connection with their registration.
464.With a view to implementing the recommendations of the Committee, on 12 January 2010 Presidential Decree No. 60 was adopted on amendments to the State programme for assisting the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad and to the plan of action approved by Presidential Decree No. 637 of 22 June 2006 for the implementation of the programme. The Decree made it possible to expand the scope of the State programme to include former citizens of the USSR currently living in the Russian Federation who are not citizens of the Russian Federation.
465.In accordance with the Decree, Government Decision No. 528 of 15 July 2010 was adopted on the approval of regulations for the issuance in the Russian Federation of a certificate of participation in a State programme to assist the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad and on amendments to Government Decision No. 817 of 28 December 2006.
466.On 20 August 2010, the Federal Migration Service issued Instruction No. 256 on amendments to the legal provisions of the Federal Migration Service, which establishes, for the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service, the operational procedure for the drafting and issuance of a certificate of participation in the State programme to ethnic Russians lawfully residing permanently or temporarily in the Russian Federation.
467.Paragraph 23 of the concluding observations recommends that the Russian Federation facilitate access to Russian citizenship for all former Soviet citizens. Article 14 of Federal Act No. 62 of 31 May 2002 on Citizenship of the Russian Federation makes provision for a mechanism that enables all former Soviet citizens to obtain citizenship on the basis of a simplified procedure.
468.Under current legislation, former Soviet citizens are considered to be ethnic Russians, they may participate in the above-mentioned voluntary resettlement programme, and they are entitled to the benefits under the programme, which include obtaining citizenship of the Russian Federation on the basis of a simplified procedure.
469.Russian legislation provides for the preferential right of small indigenous peoples to the use of land and natural resources.
470.Article 7, paragraph 3, of the Land Code (Federal Act No. 136 of 25 October 2001) specifies that, in cases prescribed by federal legislation and the laws and regulations of the regional and local authorities, a special legal regime may be established for the use of land by the small indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation and ethnic communities in their traditional habitat and areas of traditional economic activities.
471.Legislation formalizes the right (including of indigenous peoples) to hold citizens’ assemblies and referendums on questions concerning the expropriation, including through purchase, of land for federal or municipal needs and its designation for construction projects whose location affects the legitimate interests of these peoples and communities. When taking decisions on a preliminary agreement on the location of a project, the State and local authorities must take into account the outcome of those citizens’ assemblies and referendums (art. 31, para. 3).
472.The Land Code also establishes the right of communities of indigenous peoples to use agricultural land for the preservation and development of their traditional way of life, livelihoods and crafts (arts. 68, 78 and 82).
473.The rights of indigenous peoples concerning natural resources are also set out in the Forest Code (Federal Act No. 22 of 29 January 1997). When forests are used in the traditional habitat of small indigenous peoples, the Forest Code guarantees the protection of their traditional way of life (art. 48) and free provision of wood for their personal needs (art. 30).
474.The Water Code enshrines as one of its principles the right of small indigenous peoples to the traditional use of bodies of water in their traditional habitat (arts. 3 and 54). This does not require the conclusion of water use agreements (art. 11). The Water Code provides for the mandatory presence of representatives of small indigenous peoples on councils elaborating recommendations on the use and preservation of bodies of water within the watershed area so as to ensure the participation of indigenous peoples in the decision-making process (art. 29).
475.The Tax Code specifies that fauna and biological aquatic resources used by the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East (listed on the inventory approved by the President) to meet their personal needs and by persons who are not members of small indigenous peoples but reside permanently in the traditional habitat of small indigenous peoples and areas of their traditional economic activities and whose subsistence is based on hunting and fishing are not subject to taxation (art. 333.2). Indigenous peoples are also exempted from payment of land tax (art. 395).
476.Federal Mineral Resources Act No. 2395-1 of 21 February 1992 states that the interests of small indigenous peoples must be protected during the exploitation of mineral resources and specifies that the authorities of the constituent entities have responsibility for dealing with these matters (art. 4).
477.The aim of Federal Act No. 49 of 7 May 2001 on Areas of Traditional Resource Use of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East was to protect the native habitat and traditional way of life of small indigenous peoples, preserve and develop their distinctive culture and conserve biological diversity in areas of traditional resource use.
478.The Act protects the land rights of small indigenous peoples. In particular, land and other natural sites of equivalent value are awarded to members and communities of small indigenous peoples in exchange for land and other natural sites within the boundaries of areas of traditional resource use which have been expropriated for State or municipal needs. Compensation is paid for loss arising from such expropriation.
479.The growing economic exploitation of these areas and the extraction and processing of subsoil resources in close proximity to areas with large populations of small indigenous peoples may result in a reduction in the amount of land that can be used for traditional economic activities and a deterioration of conditions for traditional industries.
480.The Government is working to reduce the impact of the extraction of natural resources on the living conditions and way of life of small indigenous peoples by elaborating and applying methods for calculating the extent of harm caused to the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East as a result of the economic and other activities of organizations and individual persons in their traditional habitat and areas of traditional economic activities.
481.Steps are also being taken to introduce legislation on areas of traditional resource use in which the exploitation of mineral deposits or related activities can be restricted or prohibited. To this end, a bill has been drafted to amend the Federal Act on Areas of Traditional Resource Use of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East.
482.Legislation defines regulations for the establishment of areas of traditional resource use which simplify the existing procedure, and it makes provision for the creation of such areas on various categories of land in the traditional habitat and areas of traditional economic activities of the small indigenous peoples of the North.
483.This approach is consistent with the aims of the creation of such areas, which is to support the traditional way of life of small indigenous peoples based on natural resource use and to ensure their socioeconomic development.
484.Decisions relating to mining activities in the traditional habitat and areas of economic activities of small indigenous peoples taken by the legislative (representative) body of the constituent entities on whose territory the mineral resources are found must take into account the interests of the small indigenous peoples (Federal Act No. 225 of 30 December 1995 on Production Sharing Agreements (revised 19 July 2011)).
485.Russian legislation does not make provision for the conclusion of agreements or contracts between representatives of small indigenous peoples and the State. However, there are other forms of constructive cooperation with federal, regional and local authorities.
486.For example, representatives of small indigenous peoples are members of the Expert Advisory Board within the Interdepartmental Working Group on inter-ethnic relations, which is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. The Council is an effective way of involving representatives of small indigenous peoples in the decision-making process for questions concerning the development of their ethnic culture.
487.Representatives of small indigenous peoples are also members of the national organizing committee responsible for preparing and conducting the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People in the Russian Federation. The organizing committee plans and monitors the implementation of a whole set of specific initiatives aimed at the socioeconomic and ethnic cultural development of Russia’s small indigenous peoples.
488.An Expert Advisory Board on the affairs of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East operates under the authority of the Special Representative of the President in the Siberian Federal Area. Questions concerning cooperation with organizations of small indigenous peoples in the Far East Federal Area are considered within the framework of the Interdepartmental Commission on voluntary and religious associations, which reports to the Special Representative of the President in the Far East Federal Area.
489.Representatives of small indigenous peoples are members of a working group of the Ministry of Regional Development’s Advisory Board on questions of ethnic cultural policy and human potential.
490.The current active exploitation of natural resources in northern areas has made it necessary to draft and adopt legislation on a procedure for the payment of compensation for damages caused by the activities of business enterprises to the native environment and traditional way of life of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East.
491.To that end, a method has been elaborated and approved for calculating the extent of damage caused by the economic and other activities of organizations of all forms of ownership or by private individuals in the traditional habitat and traditional areas of economic activities of communities of indigenous peoples (details on this method are set out in paragraphs 286–290 of the report).
492.Work is also under way on developing forms of public-private partnership between representatives of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, federal and local authorities and companies operating in the traditional habitat of these peoples.
493.By order of the Ministry of Regional Development, a business model and forms of public-private partnerships were elaborated to promote the traditional industries and crafts of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. Subsequently, on 13 and 14 September 2010 the Social Forum held a seminar to discuss the business model, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development, the State Duma, the Federal Council, the authorities of the constituent entities, voluntary associations and communities of the small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, and representatives of a number of major business enterprises (the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, the Kinross Gold Corporation, the Norilsk Nickel Mining Corporation and the Newton State Corporation).
494.Participants in the seminar discussed and endorsed as a whole the business model, methods for promoting the business activities of traditional industries and the main areas of public-private partnership. The relevant documents were forwarded to the constituent entities by the Ministry of Regional Development.
495.On 11 October 2011, the Ministry of Regional Development organized and held an international seminar in Saint Petersburg, attended by experts from a number of government bodies from Russia and Canada, representatives of communities of small indigenous peoples and industrial enterprises, with a view to jointly elaborating and discussing ways of ensuring the sustainable development of the small indigenous peoples of the North, implementing principles of corporate social responsibility and making the activities of associations of indigenous peoples more transparent.
496.Article 37 of the Constitution establishes that everyone has the right to working conditions consistent with the requirements of safety and hygiene and to remuneration without discrimination of any kind.
497.Pursuant to that provision, article 3 of the Labour Code states that everyone has equal opportunities for enjoying their labour rights. No one’s labour rights and freedoms may be restricted, and no one may enjoy any preference on the basis of sex, race, skin colour, ethnic background, language, origin, material, family, social or official status, age, place of residence, attitude to religion, political convictions, membership or non-membership of a voluntary association or other circumstances unrelated to professional skills.
498.Anyone who considers that they have been subjected to discrimination at work may apply to the courts for the restoration of their violated rights, reparation of material damage and compensation for moral damage.
499.Thus, Russian legislation contains all necessary provisions prohibiting discrimination at work and allowing for the restoration of violated rights.
500.Questions associated with the removal of illegally constructed dwellings, including those of Roma, are currently quite topical, and to address them, possible mechanisms for the legalization of Roma settlements are being elaborated. The Russian Federation is of the view that a legalization of home ownership will prevent forced evictions. However, it is still current practice to remove illegally constructed dwellings and to evict the persons concerned. As part of the activities of the Interdepartmental Working Group’s Expert Advisory Board, the federal authorities together with the Federal Autonomous Ethnic Cultural Organization of Russian Roma are preparing a plan of action on the socioeconomic and ethnic cultural development of the Roma community which includes measures for addressing this problem.
501.In implementing the constitutional right of every citizen to education, Education Act No. 3266-1 of 10 July 1992 (revised 3 December 2011) (with amendments and additions which entered into force on 1 February 2012) stipulates that regulations for State and municipal primary, secondary and vocational training schools must guarantee the admission of all children who live in a particular area and are entitled to a given level of education.
502.This guarantee is also set out in article 46 of the Model Rules on general education establishments approved by Government Decision No. 196 of 19 March 2001 (revised 10 March 2009). Children not resident in the area may be denied school admission solely on grounds of lack of free places.
503.Article 5, paragraph 3, of the Education Act prohibits the use of an entrance examination as a basis for the admission of children to the first class of all State and municipal schools. In compliance with Circular No. 03-51-57/13-03 of the Ministry of Education of 21 March 2003, which contains recommendations on the organization of admissions to the first class, all children who have attained school age are enrolled in the first class of primary school, regardless of their level of preparation. A teacher may meet with each child in September to plan the child’s individual instruction.
504.In accordance with Federal Act No. 115 of 25 July 2002 on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals, foreign nationals in the Russian Federation enjoy the same right to education as Russian citizens.
505.When enrolling their child in the first class of a primary school, parents or legal representatives must submit an application for admission, the child’s medical record and a document certifying the child’s place of residence.
506.Particular attention is given to education for Roma children. The focus in general education establishments is on two areas: ensuring that Roma children receive the same instruction as their schoolmates, and providing special remedial classes for children who are lagging in development and cannot be taught under the regular school curriculum.
507.The practice of placing Roma children in special classes exists in a number of constituent entities, in particular in Volgograd province, but it is not a forced segregation measure. Instead, it has to do with the low level of preschool preparation of some Roma children upon enrolling in school. However, procedures exist which enable a child to move to a more advanced class. If the parents and the teacher confirm that the child is able to keep up, he or she may be transferred to a regular class at the parents’ request.
508.Most general education establishments (Penza, Tula, Ryazan, Lipetsk, Volgograd and other provinces) advocate integrated education, which makes instruction more complete, ensures that Roma children are included in the mainstream education system and is in compliance with paragraph 27 of the Committee’s recommendations.
509.Some schools in the constituent entities have a component on Roma culture. For example, at the secondary school in the town of Oselka (Leningrad province), Roma children can attend classes in which the Roma culture and language are taught.
510.In-service training courses for teachers in areas with large Roma populations (Vladimir, Leningrad and Kaliningrad provinces, Perm Territory and elsewhere) include topics on the history and culture of Roma in the Russian Federation. An alphabet for Roma children has been designed and published by a team of authors at A.I. Gertzen State University.
511.Since 2006, a creative workshop at the Centre for ethnic education problems at the Federal Education Institute of the Ministry of Education and Science has been examining problems relating to the socialization of Roma and has produced handbooks on the ethnic cultural content of general education curricula. In April 2009, in cooperation with the Anti-discrimination Centre Memorial, the Centre conducted a theoretical and practical seminar on the educational problems of Roma in Russia in the context of recent educational legislation, with the participation of representatives of Roma associations, members of the department of education, scholars, educators and teachers. Its recommendations will be used in practical work. In conjunction with the Centre, a concise guide to the Roma language (Kelderar dialect) was published in the framework of a Memorial project.
512.In accordance with Russian legislation, all schoolchildren, including children from Roma families legally present in Russia, have equal access to education.
513.Separate statistics are not kept on the number of civil and administrative court proceedings involving complaints of racial discrimination, because such acts are uncommon in the Russian Federation. Statistical data on criminal proceedings are set out in the relevant section of this report.
514.The Russian Federation recognizes the right to qualified legal assistance, which is a fundamental human right and an essential aspect of access to the courts. The Constitution guarantees everyone the right to receive qualified legal aid, which is free of charge in cases prescribed by law.
515.Federal Act No. 324 of 21 November 2011 on Free Legal Assistance introduces basic guarantees for ensuring the right of citizens to free qualified legal aid and lays down the organizational and legal foundation for the creation of State and non-State systems of free legal assistance and for educational and public awareness-raising activities in that regard.
516.In 2005, with the publication of Government Decision No. 534 of 22 August 2005 on the creation of a pilot project for a State system for the provision of free legal assistance to low-income citizens, an experiment was launched for the setting up of a State legal aid office.
517.The aim of the pilot project is to optimize the mechanism for giving effect to State policy on providing free legal assistance to low-income citizens, i.e. to address the urgent matter of the practical implementation of the right of access to justice for low-income persons, for whom lawyers only provide free legal aid in very few cases at present.
518.State legal aid offices have been opened in the Republic of Karelia, the Chechen Republic and Volgograd, Irkutsk, Magadan, Moscow, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Tomsk and Ulyanovsk provinces.
519.The offices provide legal assistance to low-income citizens in the following ways:
(a)They offer counselling on legal questions, either orally or in writing, and personal counselling to category I and category II disabled persons, veterans of the Second World War and non-working retirees on an old-age pension, regardless of income;
(b)They prepare statements, complaints, requests and other legal documents;
(c)They participate in representing citizens in civil proceedings and in enforcement proceedings involving civil cases, and they also represent the interests of citizens before the local authorities, voluntary associations and other organizations.
520.All in all, the results of the experiment were considered positive, and Government Decision No. 1029 of 25 December 2008 approved regulations for the provision of free legal assistance by the State legal aid office.
521.Private legal offices which offer free counselling to citizens are an alternative to the State aid office. Yet another alternative are the so-called mobile legal assistance units – buses which travel on a set route and are specially equipped to provide legal aid to persons living in remote areas at a great distance from provincial and district centres.
522.Complaints of human rights violations and discrimination in any area of public life may be referred to the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman.
523.A written complaint (or application or report), together with attached copies, in the prescribed form, of the judicial or administrative decisions taken on the complaint may be sent to the Ombudsman’s Office or submitted by the complainant in person. Citizens may also apply to the Office via the official website of the Human Rights Ombudsman. A form for filing a complaint, application or report by electronic means may be used prior to registration at the website.
524.The Human Rights Ombudsman works to promote public awareness of legislation on human rights and ways and means of safeguarding them, explains various forms of available legal protection, provides information on the administrative, judicial and other authorities that can be applied to and offers legal counselling. The Human Rights Ombudsman also advises citizens wishing to make use of their constitutional right to appeal to international human rights bodies (the European Court, the United Nations Human Rights Committee etc.).
525.Pursuant to the Outline for the period until 2025 approved by Presidential Decree No. 1351 of 9 September 2007, the recruitment of migrants in line with the requirements of demographic and socioeconomic development — account being taken of the need for their social adaptation and integration — is an important objective of demographic policy. Meeting this objective calls for the creation of conditions for the integration of immigrants into Russian society and the promotion of tolerance between the local population and persons from other countries in order to prevent inter-ethnic and religious conflicts.
526.Today most migrant workers in Russia speak little or no Russian and are the category of persons most often the target of unlawful acts and discrimination by criminal groups, corrupt officials or employers, as well as by ethnic Russians who have settled in Russia.
527.Efforts are being made to promote an attitude of tolerance towards migrants. One way of influencing public opinion with regard to this category of persons is through the media, as well as through cooperation with representatives of civil society.
528.Government authorities regularly carry out initiatives to foster tolerant attitudes towards migrants, for example by making comments for television and radio in the course of press conferences, interviews and meetings with representatives of news agencies. Universities and general education establishments in a number of regions have conducted classes on tolerance and workshops with prospective students in order to encourage positive attitudes towards foreign nationals among young people. Opinion polls have been held on public attitudes towards foreign nationals. These activities are undertaken in cooperation with ethnic and voluntary associations and international and regional organizations.
529.In 2011, the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service set up working groups to promote integration, and guidelines were drawn up on procedures for organizing cooperation with ethnic communities and for reporting on work accomplished. Seminars and conferences were held with members of the working groups in all Federal Areas in order to provide technical assistance at regional level.
530.Pursuant to Decision No. 3 of 15 September 2010 of the Government Commission on Migration Policy, counselling on questions of migration legislation was organized for foreign nationals and stateless persons with the help of 45 multi-purpose State and local service centres. In 2011, 60,392 foreign nationals requested counselling.
531.The questions primarily concern the procedures for applying for permanent and temporary residence permits, work permits and licences, registering as a migrant and acquiring citizenship of the Russian Federation.
532.Counselling was also provided on participation in the State programme to assist the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad; the procedure and time frame for formulating an invitation to foreign nationals and stateless persons to come to the Russian Federation; the rights and obligations of foreign nationals residing in the Russian Federation on the basis of a temporary or permanent residence permit; and visa application procedures for foreign nationals and stateless persons, as well as the issuance, extension and cancellation of such documents.
533.Cooperation on promoting the integration of migrants is also under way with international and non-governmental organizations. The most effective cooperation in this regard has been with the Russky Mir Foundation, on pilot projects to teach Russian to potential migrant workers in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Foundation provides funding for the project.
534.Joint projects to promote integration are being elaborated in conjunction with the Etnosfera Centre, the New Eurasia Foundation, the P.A. Stolypin Foundation for population studies and other voluntary associations. Close attention is being given to encouraging the use of Russian among migrants.
535.The regional offices of the Federal Migration Service have organized cooperation with more than 80 ethnic associations. They hold regular meetings with their representatives, explain the provisions of migration legislation, monitor the situation in ethnic communities and elaborate forms of interaction directed at promoting integration.
536.Considerable importance is attached to cooperation with religious organizations. A Joint Commission of the Federal Migration Service and the Russian Orthodox Church has been set up and is operational; it works to elaborate awareness-raising and educational projects.
537.A handbook has been produced in conjunction with the Council of Muftis of Russia for migrant workers from the countries of Central Asia. Agreements have been concluded between the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service and 20 dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. Five agreements have been signed on cooperation with a number of Muslim spiritual boards and local Muslim religious organizations. An agreement has been concluded between the office of the Federal Migration Service in the Republic of Buryatia and the Traditional Buddhist Sangha of Russia.
538.To promote integration, courses in Russian for migrants have been started under the above-mentioned cooperation agreements in Russian Orthodox churches and mosques in a number of regions.
539.ILO Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and the obligations emanating from its articles have been carefully analysed. The State Duma has held two public hearings on the question, with the participation of representatives of the indigenous peoples of Russia, leading national jurists and international experts. The analysis showed that, although Russia is not a party to ILO Convention No. 169, Russian lawmakers take its provisions into account when making improvements to legislation in the area.
540.According to migration statistics, most migrant workers in the Russian Federation are citizens of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Today the Russian Federation and CIS member States are taking specific measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of migrant workers and members of their families throughout the CIS area.
541.On 14 November 2008, a convention was signed on the legal status of migrant workers and members of their families in the CIS member States which regulates their rights during their employment in CIS countries.
542.Most of the provisions of article 25 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families are consistent with Russian legislation. Migrant workers have the same rights as Russian citizens with regard to favourable conditions of work, the protection of their rights and interests, the prohibition of forced labour and discrimination, the enjoyment of working conditions consistent with standards of safety and health, rest and leisure and the payment of a salary not less than the established minimum wage.
543.In the framework of the single economic area of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, on 19 November 2010 an agreement was signed on the legal status of migrant workers and members of their families which created conditions for ensuring equal rights and employment opportunities throughout the Customs Union.
544.In compliance with article 37 of the Convention, before their departure, or at the latest at the time of their admission to the State of employment, migrant workers and members of their families have the right to be fully informed by the State of origin or the State of employment, as appropriate, of all conditions applicable to their admission and particularly those concerning their stay and the remunerated activities in which they may engage as well as of the requirements they must satisfy in the State of employment and the authority to which they must address themselves for any modification of those conditions.
545.To that end, the Ministry of Labour compiles detailed information on job sites at which it is planned to recruit foreign nationals. The information is sent to the Federal Migration Service for subsequent forwarding to its representatives abroad and in the diplomatic representations of the Russian Federation, and also to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for subsequent forwarding to the consular offices and diplomatic representations of the Russian Federation.
546.The Federal Labour and Employment Service has an information portal entitled “Working in Russia”, which can be visited at: www.trudvsem.ru.
547.Both citizens and foreign nationals can use this information portal to look for work.
548.Users have access to information on job vacancies, housing and the addresses and telephone numbers of the placement service of the constituent entities in which the vacancy was posted.
549.In accordance with article 49, paragraph 2, of the Convention, migrant workers who in the State of employment are allowed freely to choose their remunerated activity may neither be regarded as in an irregular situation nor may they lose their authorization of residence by the mere fact of the termination of their remunerated activity prior to the expiration of their work permits or similar authorizations.
550.Pursuant to Federal Act No. 115 of 25 July 2002 on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation, foreign nationals temporarily resident in the Russian Federation are entitled to conclude a new employment contract or commercial contract for the performance of work or rendering of services within 15 working days from the date of the early termination of the employment contract or commercial contract for the performance of work or rendering of services which formed the basis for the issuance of their work permit or the extension of its validity, or they must leave the Russian Federation if their temporary residence permit has expired.
551.Pursuant to article 54 of the Convention, migrant workers enjoy equality of treatment with nationals of the State of employment in respect of unemployment benefits and access to public work schemes intended to combat unemployment.
552.In accordance with Employment Act No. 1032-1 of 19 April 1991, unemployed citizens who are registered with an employment office for the purpose of seeking suitable work have the right to participate in public work schemes. Such persons are entitled to social assistance in the form of unemployment benefits.
553.The authorities of the employment office at the place of residence of the person concerned decide whether a citizen registered for the purpose of seeking suitable work is to be recognized as unemployed.
554.Pursuant to article 16 of Federal Act No. 109 of 18 July 2006 on the Migration Registration of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons in the Russian Federation, a foreign national may submit a declaration of residence registration with the migration registry at the location of the dwelling chosen as place of residence, within seven days from the receipt of a temporary or permanent residence permit or from the date of the foreign national’s arrival at the location of that dwelling.
555.Thus, foreign nationals may obtain the status of unemployed person only if they have a temporary or permanent residence permit and are registered at their place of residence.