Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Claims Women’s Rights in Russia Need Improvement
Monday, February 7, 2005 9:55 AM

Based on meetings with representatives from the Federal Government and civil society, as well as through testimonies taken from victims of human rights violations, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women Yakin Ertürk has concluded that the Russian Federation had a number of improvements to make with regard to its human rights record.

While Ms. Ertürk commended the Government for ratifying the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, she also pointed to the persistent problems of violence against women in the home, discrimination against women, and in particular, those women in Chechnya who have been subjected to "disappearance," extrajudicial execution, torture, and ill-treatment allegedly by members of the Russian security.

In response to her observations, the Special Rapporteur issued a list of recommendations to the Russian Federation Government, including:

-Prioritize women's rights in judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, policies and programmes;
-Amend legislation in conformity with international standards and enact legislation specifically criminalizing domestic violence and provide shelters for those in need; -Launch gender awareness campaigns and provide training to law enforcement officers and security forces;
-Provide political and financial support to civil society initiatives promoting human rights;
-Ensure that all laws, policies and practices to counter terrorism fully meet fundamental principles of international law and international human rights standards;
-Investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible for violations of human rights and provide compensation to victims or their families;
-Ensure safe and voluntary return of IDPs;
-Establish a protection programme for human rights defenders, witnesses and victims who are at risk of harm.

Please click here to read the U.N. Press Release documenting these recommendations.

Compiled from: Women's Rights in Russia: UN Official Sees Need for Improvement, www.penelopes.org, February 2005.