Protection of migrant workers

26 May 2017

An essential task of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is international co-operation. Only collaborative work with foreign colleagues and sense of common purpose may lead to success.

In January, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova received an appeal from Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov for protection of rights of migrant workers employed in Moscow.

According to the Ombudsman, owners of several trade outlets violated the rights of migrants, illegally deprived them of liberty, detained them offering violence and, in fact, exploited the migrants as slaves.

Having scrutinized the appeal, Tatiana Moskalkova sent inquires to internal affairs bodies, prosecution authorities and preliminary investigation bodies. Moreover, the Office of the High Commissioner carried out an on-site inspection in the Centre for Interim Detention of Foreign Citizens of Russian MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow. During the inspection, they talked to the detainees.

To detect violations of migration laws, the officials of the Directorate for Migration Affairs inspected the outlets where the affected migrants had worked. However, no violations were detected: one of the shops was closed; the other was run by authorized persons.

Following Tatiana Moskalkova’s request, the Head of the Investigation Division of the Central Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee for the City of Moscow in the Eastern Administrative District reversed his denial to initiate a criminal case against the former owners of the outlets and ordered an additional inspection.

At the same time, heads of the MIA subdivisions agreed to interaction in case they obtained information about use of forced labour and detention of Kazakh citizens by employers.

The First Deputy Prosecutor of Moscow demanded the Head the Central Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee for the City of Moscow eliminate the criminal procedure violations.

On May 24, Tatiana Moskalkova received a letter of thanks from Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov.

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