The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a Suggested List of Issues on the ”foreign agent” law and domestic violence in Russia for the 78th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
The Russian Federation’s foreign agent law limits space for civil society, including women’s organizations. The State Party continues to suppress of the work of civil society, including women’s rights organizations, through broad “foreign agents” registration requirements. Although the Russian Constitution provides for freedom of association, the State Party continues to use the foreign agents law to harass, stigmatize, and even halt the operation of NGOs that engage in purported political activity. Women’s organizations, such as NGOs serving victims of domestic violence, are among the NGOs the government has listed as foreign agents.
Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women remain a serious problem in the Russian Federation. A 2016 law elevating domestic violence to public prosecution status obligated police and prosecutors to pursue a case after just one complaint. In 2017, however, the State Party decriminalized first offenses of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence face not only the barriers of inadequate legislation, but also poor police response and insufficient victim resources. Moreover, The Russian Federation has not effectively responded to the uptick in domestic violence cases during the coronavirus pandemic, putting victims of domestic violence in further danger.
The authors of the report of the list of issues suggest the following questions for the Government of Russia:
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