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Dagestan Commissioner spoke on human rights institute activities

27 July 2017

On July 26, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Dagestan Ummapazil Omarova gave an interview to RIA «Dagestan».

The Ombudsman Institute is an additional mechanism for protecting the rights of citizens. How can you influence the situation having no real tools and administrative and financial powers?

This is the specific nature of the Institute of the Commissioner for Human Rights. I am not entitled to prosecute the way law enforcement agencies do, to fine like a state inspection does or make changes to the budget not being a legislative body.

On behalf of the State, the Ombudsman protects human rights guided by justice and the voice of conscience. This activity requires possession of a «diplomatic» language and human rights protection experience.

Undoubtedly, every appeal that was resolved in favor of a citizen is an indicator of the Commissioner’s interaction with governmental authorities.

More than half of complaints that come to me are those related to social rights violations (65.6 percent). As a rule, most of the problems in this area concern insufficient funding.

A stably high percentage of complaints relates to public services provision. People complain about low quality, water supply cuts, power outage, low voltage in the power grid, difficulties with installing meters etc.

In addition, in the context of budgetary financing cuts, the urgency of drug provision for privileged categories of citizens is growing. I wish to point out that a significant part of the problems existing in this sphere can be solved via a constructive interaction with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Dagestan.

Recently, cases of artificial creation of a «deficit» in the provision of medical services have become frequent, thus, when people who need certain types of examinations are forced to wait for months to be treated. At the same time, medical research is carried out in an expeditious manner for a fee. In my opinion, this is a kind of corruption.

Also in due time we received complaints of citizens about difficulties in obtaining state or municipal services. People had to stand in line for hours to get help, extracts, permits or other documents. With the advent of Multifunctional Centers (MFC), the number of such complaints has decreased. Most of the necessary documents can be issued immediately and on site, which also contributes to reducing corruption.

Citizens in coastal cities complain about pollution of the sea coast with garbage and other wastes. To resolve the problem we interact with the Office of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (Rospotrebnadzor) in the Republic of Dagestan.

Given the inaccessibility of qualified legal assistance for some categories of citizens, as well as the low level of legal culture of the population as a whole, can you tell us about your work in the field of legal education?

Knowledge of legal norms is necessary for every citizen for the full realization of his/her rights and freedoms.

Access to legal information can be ensured through libraries, especially at the municipal level, in remote rural areas. Annually, together with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Dagestan, we hold a national contest for the best work on legal education of citizens among public libraries.

To increase the legal awareness of citizens, we regularly conduct hot telephone lines with regard to the most pressing issues.

Since the previous year, the project of the federal Commissioner on legal education of the population is being implemented — in the issues of federal weekly «Arguments of the Week» include «The Commissioner’s Argument» legal column.

In our work, we pay much attention to the human rights education of the younger generation. Traditionally, together with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Dagestan, we hold an annual republican contest «Human Rights Through the Eyes of a Child» among pupils of general education institutions. Last year it was attended by about 300 students from 9 cities and most districts of the republic. I wish to emphasize that holding such events contributes to the formation of schoolchildren’s skills in research and development of civil initiative.

Ummmapazil Awadzievna, what would you wish for the inhabitants of the region on the eve of the Constitution Day of the Republic of Dagestan?

I think that to learn how to live according to the Constitution is the highest democracy, the experience that we all have to master. Our future is inextricably linked with ensuring the fullness of rights, preserving civil peace and harmony, love and respect for the Motherland — all this is embodied in the Basic Law of our Republic.

Adapted from the Press Service of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Dagestan

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