The Presidential Human Rights Council (HRC) held its first plenary meeting this year. Council commissions (11 of them) presented plans for the year, their members, in particular, declared their readiness to “fight Russophobia”, “support NGOs”, “ensure the rights of military personnel” and “protect journalists”. During the meeting, it turned out that letters to soldiers in the NVO zone “go for two or three months”; judgments in civil cases are "enforced in 27% of cases"; migration policy in the Russian Federation is “inefficient”; The country needs a "ban on child labor". In addition, members of the Human Rights Council have created a "temporary working group on special operation issues", which will deal with the placement of the wounded in hospitals and assistance to the relatives of the victims.
The HRC meeting began with a statement by its leader, Valery Fadeev, about the inadmissibility of depriving citizenship or property of those who left the Russian Federation. Relevant proposals have been put forward by State Duma deputies in recent days. They “should not be welcomed in the HRC”, at least as long as such initiatives are contrary to the Constitution, Mr. Fadeev emphasized.
The HRC was established in 2004 and rotates every two years by presidential decree. Last rotation happened in November 2022: seven people were removed from the council, including academician of the Russian Academy of Education Alexander Asmolov, historian and journalist Nikolai Svanidze, founder of the Committee against Torture (included by the Ministry of Justice in the list of foreign agents) Igor Kalyapin. Instead, ten recruits entered, including military commander Alexander Kots, secretary of the Moscow POC Alexei Melnikov and a member of the presidium of the Free Donbass movement Elena Shishkina. After the rotation about leaving the HRC declared Vice-President of the Moscow Chamber of Lawyers Henry Reznik. Taking into account Mr. Reznik (technically, he will remain in the composition until the next rotation decree), there are 48 people in the council today, they work in 11 permanent commissions - on environmental issues, politics, the social sphere, the law enforcement system, etc. The chairmen of the commissions in January represent colleagues work plan for the coming year.
The first speaker at the plenary session was Svetlana Makovetskaya, head of the commission for the development of civil society institutions. In the field of view of human rights activists, she said, there should be NGOs, including the “case of the Moscow Helsinki Group”, the liquidation of which today seeks Ministry of Justice
In addition, the commission will deal with "grassroots democracy" in the regions, studying the reform of local self-government and the issues of openness of state authorities (or rather, their closeness from citizens when responding to complaints and requests).
The “stuck law on domestic violence” (the State Duma has not been able to adopt amendments to the Criminal Code with penalties for domestic violence for several years) should not interfere with the work of the commission on personal rights, said its head Tatyana Merzlyakova. According to her, this year the commission will focus on issues of "female violence", namely the reasons why women commit crimes (often in self-defense). The commission plans to work on the problems of "children's rights" in schools and families. Another area of work is "the right of servicemen to information." The speech, Mrs. Makovetskaya explained, was about the participants of the NWO and their families.
Criticism, in particular, was caused by the field mail of the Ministry of Defense: "Our children did not receive many letters for the New Year." “It's true, letters go for two or three months, if they don't get lost,” Elena Shishkina supported her colleague.
The commission on labor rights plans to keep jobs for the mobilized, said Boris Kravchenko. He admitted that he was “overwhelmed” with such appeals, including because of “abuses” during the mobilization. In addition, he and his colleagues intend to oppose the reform of the law on education, which involves "involving children from the age of 14 in the work." “Will such a decision open the gates to the massive use of child labor?” - urged to think Mr. Kravchenko.
The Commission on Social and Cultural Rights will pay attention to the problems of prosthetics for victims in the NMD, healthcare in the LPR and DPR, and the promotion of a draft law on psychological assistance in 2023, Irina Kirkora said.
The head of the commission on human rights in the information sphere, Pavel Gusev, in turn, plans to protect journalists "working on the front line", as well as colleagues in the regions.
The problems of "digitalization of justice" and non-execution of court decisions will become a priority for the commission on civil participation in the development of the judicial system, Anatoly Kovler said. He noted that in civil proceedings, the percentage of execution of court decisions “is only 25-27%”, and in courts, many decisions are drawn up according to templates, which hinders an individual approach to the specifics of each case. The Commission on Environmental Rights will continue to work to clarify the environmental rights of citizens, protect the rights of environmental NGOs and support green initiatives, Sergei Tsyplenkov promised.
Kirill Kabanov, who heads the commission on civil participation in the development of the law enforcement system, spoke about the "ineffectiveness" of the migration policy of the Russian Federation and the plans of the State Duma to adopt new laws regulating it. “If the amendments are adopted, they will pose a threat to national security, which we are talking about in the conclusion prepared by the Security Council,” Mr. Kabanov said. The aforementioned norms, developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labor, propose changing the procedure for granting citizenship. “The law reduces the possibilities of control over the migration process and introduces the concept of “long-term stay”, which means the following: a person allegedly stayed here for ten years, showed fake documents about this and can bring his family. We simply can’t pull it even from the point of view of security, ”Mr. Kabanov explained to Kommersant.
Valery Fadeev, in turn, allowed migrants to unite along religious and ethnic lines, but in no way in opposition to Russian laws and public safety.
The last speaker was Kirill Vyshinsky, head of the commission for international cooperation in the field of human rights. The only issue that he outlined for himself for the coming year is the fight against Russophobia. The commission will have to deal with the issues of its manifestation outside the Russian Federation and organize an appropriate meeting "with the power bloc."
The four-hour meeting of the HRC ended with the creation of a "temporary working group on special operation issues." The group was headed by the head of the executive committee of the "All-Russian People's Front" in the Moscow region, Yulia Belekhova. “A huge number of questions about hospitals, a separate topic is children, questions of helping those whose dad died,” she outlined the work plan, assuring that the members of the HRC “won’t replace the group on NWO through the State Duma.”