Conference of Commissioners for Human Rights in Yaroslavl

17 May 2017

On 15–16 May, an interregional scientific and practical conference of Commissioners for Human Rights in the subjects of the Russian Federation took place in Yaroslavl and was devoted to topical issues of citizens’ complaints handling. The conference was organized by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Yaroslavl Region Sergey Baburkin.

"Our aim is to share experiences in complaints handling, to discuss controversial issues and collectively analyze existing problems. We seek to develop general approaches in this sphere so that we could eventually improve the procedure of dealing with appeals and make protection of human rights and freedoms more effective", Sergey Baburkin said in his opening speech.

On the margins of the event there were a round table discussion and a meeting of the Coordination Council of the Commissioners for Human Rights in the Central Federal District.

Reports were made by Tatiana Margolina, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Perm Territory, Yuriy Zelnikov (the Kaluga Region), Galina Fomina (the Tula Region), Natalia Kovaleva (the Ivanovo Region), Natalia Zuykova, the Chief of Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Altai Region, Tatiana Merzlyakova (the Commissioner in the Sverdlovsk Region), Lyudmila Lubina (the Republic of Crimea) and Sergey Shabanov (the Leningrad Region).

Members of the law enforcement forces and municipal authorities of the Yaroslavl Region as well as experts also participated in the conference.

One of the key issues under the participants’ consideration was whether Federal Law No. 59-FZ "On the Procedure for Consideration of Appeals by Citizens of the Russian Federation" could be applicable in the ombudsman’s activity. For example, the law sets a 30-day limit for citizens’ complaints handling, while in some complicated cases the problem of a citizen cannot be resolved within such a short time.

As part of the conference, the Commissioners discussed cooperation between them, classification and systematization of appeals. One of the problems ombudsmen face is consideration of appeals made on behalf of third parties, especially, when they deal with medical information or other personal data. In the course of handling such appeals and inspecting relevant institutions, the commissioner is denied access to necessary information with reference to personal data protection legislation.

Considering allegations of human rights violations via social networks and other websites as well as handling complaints against local executive authorities are also issues of great concern for ombudsmen.

Moreover, the participants of the conference have also discussed the draft law on basic principles of regional ombudsmen’s activity which is currently being developed.

The event will result in edition of a sourcebook which commissioners from different regions of the Russian Federation will be able to use.

Adapted from the Press Service of the Commissioner for human Rights in the Yaroslavl Region

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