The post of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation is established with the aim of providing the guarantees of the protection by the state of civil rights and freedoms, their observance and respect by state bodies, institutions of local self-government and officials. The High Commissioner is independent and not accountable to any state bodies or officials. In case the state of emergency or martial law is declared on the whole territory of the Russian Federation or a part thereof, it shall not cancel or limit the mandate of the High Commissioner.

Within their term of office the High Commissioner cannot be brought to court, detained, arrested or searched, unless it is approved by the State Duma. The High Commissioner has the right to visit, without impediment, state and local self-government bodies, enterprises, establishments and organisations, military units and public associations; to request and receive the necessary documents and materials; to receive explanations from officials and civil servants; to conduct investigations into the activities of state authorities, local self-government bodies, and officials; familiarise themselves with criminal, civil, and administrative cases, including dismissed ones. The High Commissioner has the right to meet, promptly and without impediment, with the officials of state and local self-government bodies, enterprises, establishments and organisations, regardless of their property form, heads of public associations, high-rank officers and the administration of penitentiary facilities.

Within their authority the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation:

  • considers the complaints of Russian citizens, aliens and stateless persons residing on the territory of Russia;
  • investigates the complaints about decisions or actions (inaction) of state authorities or local self-government bodies and officials, in case the applicant had already appealed against decisions of court or an administrative body, but does not agree with the decisions reached on their complaint;
  • does not consider the complaints about the decisions of the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and legislative (representative) bodies of the Russian territorial entities’ state authorities;
  • takes appropriate measures acting on available information about mass and gross violations of human rights and freedoms, or if a case has either a special social significance or is connected with the need to protect the interests of people unable to use legal means of protection without assistance.