The post of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation is established with the aim to ensure the guarantees of protection by the state of civil rights and freedoms, observance and respect thereof by state authorities, local self-government bodies, and officials (Article 1 of the Federal Constitutional Law No. 1-FKZ as of 26 February 1997 On the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation).

The main aim of the human rights commissioner institute is to facilitate implementation of civil and human rights and freedoms in the Russian Federation. The basic objectives to achieve this aim are as follows:

  • restoration of violated rights and freedoms – to correct some injustice committed in relation to a person and to restore civil and human rights and freedoms violated by state authorities, local self-government bodies, officials or civil servants;
  • mediation – to suggest a solution mutually satisfactory for the parties;
  • legislation – to improve legislation on civil and human rights and freedoms, and to adjust it in accordance with the generally accepted principles and norms of international law;
  • information and education – to promote education in and awareness of human rights and freedoms, forms and methods of their protection.

Functions of the institute of the commissioner for human rights:

  • control – to ensure independent control over observance of civil and human rights and freedoms by state authorities, local self-government bodies, civil servants;
  • consultation – to inform the above bodies about civil and human rights situation;
  • coordination – to organise coordinated actions of various civil and human rights bodies in the Russian Federation.

Therefore, the institute of the commissioner for human rights is a state body which is involved in all the four structural elements of the civil and human rights mechanism: in the protection, defence, promotion of civil and human rights, and provision of qualified legal assistance.

In addition, the human rights institute facilitates international cooperation. It is established by the Federal Law No. 101-FZ as of 15 July 1995 On International Agreements of the Russian Federation that the commissioner for human rights can suggest the Russian Federation entering into some international agreements relevant to the commissioner’s scope of competence.