UN Committee demands to halt increasing racial discrimination and violent practices against ethnic minorities

Press release

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), an independent body which monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, has just released uncompromising recommendations regarding the increase in discriminatory practices and violence against migrants and ethnic minorities in Russia.

Following the review of Russia’s recent report, the Committee has made observations condemning the treatment of ethnic minorities, notably Roma, Africans, Georgian, Chechens and other persons originating from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Recommendations made by CERD reflect Russia’s failure to comply with a number of its obligations under the Convention, notably as regards as the primary responsibility of the authorities themselves not to engage in discriminatory practices as well as to take appropriate action to combat discrimination and ethnically motivated hate speech made by public officials, media or politicians.

Furthermore, The UN experts Body asks Russia to:

- stop arbitrary application of the Law on Combating Extremist Activities and effectively combat extremist organizations which assault ethnic minorities;
- adopt special measures to promote access by Roma to employment, housing, and education; legalize existing Roma settlements and provide adequate housing during forced evictions;
- protect migrant and minority workers against exploitive work conditions;
- sanction officials who practice ethnically selective administrative checks and deny registration1 on ethnic ground as well as provide effective remedies to victims of discrimination;
- revise its legislation and policies which deprive indigenous peoples of their right to preferred, free and non-competitive access to land, fauna and biological resources.

FIDH and its Russian partners, Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial, Human Rights Center Memorial, Center for the Development of Democracy & Human Rights, Civic Assistance Committee, SOVA Center and other NGOs, which had provided the CERD with alternative reports to that submitted by the Russian Government,2 call on the Russian Government not to ignore the criticism and recommendations made by the CERD and other international authorities and to use them as a basis for necessary changes in legislation and practices in the field of racial equality and non-discrimination. On their part, FIDH and the Russian NGOs which made submissions to the CERD express their willingness and readiness to engage in dialogue with Russian Government on implementation of CERD’s concluding observations and recommendations.

Press contact - FIDH:
Paris - Karine Appy, +33 1 43 55 25 18 / Geneva - Julie Gromellon, +41 79 331 24 50

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