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First meeting of Russian Human Rights Commissioners chaired by Tatiana Moskalkova

16 June 2016
First meeting of Russian Human Rights Commissioners chaired by Tatiana Moskalkova

On 16 June, the first meeting of the Council of Russian Human Rights Commissioners chaired by High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Tatiana Moskalkova took place in Moscow.

The participants in the meeting discussed a range of problems faced by human rights commissioners at present. These problems mainly include the coordination of their activity with state authorities and local self-government bodies. Many human rights commissioners also expressed their concern about the attempts to dilute the status of the human rights commissioner by creating "aside" commissioners, which may lead to disorganization of the human rights protection work.

The participation of commissioners in the upcoming elections was not passed over. Tatiana Moskalkova said that on 13 July the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia would sign an agreement with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova and asked her colleagues to make their proposals and suggestions while the agreement is being drafted. The High Commissioner also called upon her regional colleagues to focus, apart from the current activities, on the elaboration of legislative human rights protection initiatives.

Following the meeting, the participants adopted some decisions aimed at development of the state human rights institution and improvement of the laws on human rights commissioners. In particular, a workgroup will be established to determine human rights commissioners’ performance criteria.

To reach its other objectives, the workgroup will summarise the practice of interaction between the commissioners and legislative and executive authorities, and analyse the best practices of implementation of human rights commissioners’ reports by the authorities.

Besides, the workgroup will consider the need to create councils for human rights and civil society in each constituent entity of the Russian Federation. The Council resolved that at the next regular meeting in October 2016 the participants will consider the results of the monitoring of voting rights’ observance during the election campaigns in the forthcoming September.

In addition, by October the participants will develop proposals regarding creation of a common human rights commissioners’ information platform for exchange of experience, and regarding unification of the information materials drafting methods.

For reference: the Council of Russian Human Rights Commissioners was established after emending the Federal Constitutional Law On the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation as of 6 April 2015. In accordance with Article 36.2, the consultative deliberative body includes a human rights commissioner representing each federal district of the Russian Federation.

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