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Russian Federation - Human Rights Council - Domestic Violence - October 2017

Date: October 1, 2017
Country: Russian Federation
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Gender-Based Violence, International Advocacy, Women's Rights
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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In October 2017, The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a report to the Human Rights council during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Russian Federation, addressing the issue of domestic violence.

In the report, it states that Russia has failed to effectively address the widespread issue of domestic violence in the country. The failure is a result of the normalization of violence against women, especially within the context of the family, and lack of support for victims from law enforcement and the government.

In 2017, Russia reduced the amount of accountability for offenders by decriminalizing most forms of domestic violence, and additionally created laws that placed the burden of investigation and prosecution on the victim. Similarly, NGOs working to assist victims often are labeled as “foreign agents,” hindering their work to provide resources. Women who try to protect themselves from domestic violence are often mislabeled as criminals when using self-defense. These conditions serve to foster violence against women.

During the 2013 Periodic Review, Russia received several recommendations related to domestic violence, but has failed to implement any of them. Currently, there is no specific crime of domestic violence under Russia’s Criminal Code, and no specific domestic violence law providing protection or remedy for victims of domestic violence.

Recommendations made in the report include:

  • Adopt comprehensive federal legislation defining and prohibiting domestic violence in line with international standards;
  • Adopt legislation granting victims the remedy of a civil order for protection, including eviction, and ensure violations of such orders constitute a crime;
  • Ensure victims of domestic violence have access to adequate shelters, hotlines, crisis services, rights education, legal aid, and other services in both rural and urban areas;
  • Increase cooperation with, and funding for, NGOs that assist domestic violence victims.