Meeting of Human Rights Commissioners Coordination Council devoted to interaction between authorities and public institutions

17 June 2016
Meeting of Human Rights Commissioners Coordination Council devoted to interaction between authorities and public institutions

On 17 June, a meeting of the Coordination Council of Russian Commissioners for Human Rights chaired by High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova took place at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

The meeting of the deliberative body of Russian human rights commissioners was devoted to the issues of interaction between civil society institutions and authorities. Representatives of the legislative and executive powers, including those of the Council of the Federation, State Duma, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prosecutor General’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia participated in the meeting. Besides, the plenary session was also attended by representatives of the Civic Chamber, Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Paralympic Committee of Russia. The speakers answered multiple questions of the audience.

Tatiana Moskalkova spoke in the conclusion of the plenary session. "In spite of the wide range of constitutional and legal means of human rights protection, the practice shows that such rights are largely violated," the High Commissioner said. "They mainly occurred in the field of labour and pension rights, housing and utilities services’ pricing, criminal procedure and penitentiary systems, medical services and medication provision." The High Commissioner has been following on the situation: from 1 January 2015 to 31 May 2016 the High Commissioner has submitted 545 petitions to federal arbitration courts, general jurisdiction courts, and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. This number does not include the petitions submitted to city, district, military area and garrison courts. At the end of her speech, the High Commissioner cited academician Andrey Sakharov: "Protecting rights means you understand that you cannot do anything, but you do it anyway, and then something turns out to be successful."

The participants in the plenary session discussed prospective directions of the interaction between commissioners and other authorities: prosecution, penitentiary bodies, civil chambers, human rights defenders and international organizations. They also discussed the current joint projects' activities, in particular, the monitoring of access to justice and the Russian Next Generation PMC Project.

The guests and participants in the meeting efficiently exchanged their views on the main issues of the human rights agenda in the country and some of its regions. Human rights commissioners from Saint Petersburg, republics of Dagestan, Crimea, Tatarstan, Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area presented their reports. Among the focal problems listed by the regional commissioners were the problems related to overhaul works, labour rights, and rights in the field of migration.

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