International cooperation plays an important role in the work of High Commissioner for Human Rights, but sometimes in order to resolve a contentious issue, years of negotiations are required.
Since 2012, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation has received numerous collective appeals from the applicants, whose payments of money to reimburse harm caused to health during labor activity in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan were delayed.
In June 2014, a letter was sent to the Government of Russia with a request to work out an alternative mechanism for transferring funds to compensate for the damage to compatriots.
According to the response, the Government of the Russian Federation instructed the Ministry of Labor of Russia, the Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to work out this mechanism.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, having obtained consent from Russian relevant ministries and agencies, addressed letters to the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
On May 5, 2015, information was received that the High Commissioner’s proposal was supported by the Russian Foreign Ministry and would be submitted for discussion at the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan.
On February 15, 2017, the 18th meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission for Economic Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in Tashkent. According to Point 14, until March 20, 2017, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan were assigned to appoint responsible operators for making payments for compensation for harm to the health of citizens of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as to agree on the form and mechanism of monitoring enforcement of the Agreement on mutual recognition of rights to compensation for harm caused to employees by an injury, occupational disease or other health damage related to the performance of their work duties (as of September 9, 1994).
On July 12, 2017, from a telephone conversation with the applicants, we became aware that the payments were renewed on a regular basis, and all the existing debts were paid off.
A Memorandum on the establishment of the Eurasian Alliance of Ombudspersons is soon to be signed. It is the Eurasian space in the sphere of human rights protection that is now ready to raise our mechanisms of interaction to a higher level of efficiency. This regional integration community will expand the capacity of ombudspersons to protect the rights of our citizens who migrate, travel, and work in the territory of other states.
I hope that thanks to the new international organization, cooperation between ombudspersons will accelerate exponentially and any applicant will be able to receive assistance within the shortest possible time.