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UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Russian Federation (CEDAW 30-11-2021)
The Committee considered the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation (CEDAW/C/RUS/9) at its 1834th and 1836th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1834 and CEDAW/C/SR.1836), held on 2 and 3 November 2021. The list of issues and questions raised by the pre-sessional working group is contained in CEDAW/C/RUS/Q/9, and the responses of the Russian Federation are contained in CEDAW/C/RUS/RQ/9.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
- The Committee notes the implementation of projects in the State party to highlight success stories in the media about the achievements of women in various spheres of life. The Committee nevertheless notes with concern:
(c)The lack of a regulatory mechanism to address stereotypical and discriminatory portrayals of women in the media, especially as regards lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons.
- The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8 , para. 20) and recommends that the State party:
(c) Address the use of misogynistic language, hate speech against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, and sexist portrayals of women in public discourse, the media and on the Internet.
- The Committee notes with appreciation the information on the facilitation of birth registration procedures and legislative amendments to grant refugees and asylum seekers temporary residence permits, and on the procedure in place to grant citizenship of the Russian Federation to Russian-speaking nationals of the former republics of the Soviet Union. However, the Committee is concerned about the slow process of implementation and about reports that women still face barriers in obtaining citizenship and birth registration for their children, particularly refugee and asylum-seeking women, migrant women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, Roma women and rural women.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Effectively implement the Federal Act on citizenship and the Federal Act on the legal status of foreign nationals throughout its territory so that women can acquire citizenship of the Russian Federation and register children’s births, particularly refugee and asylum-seeking women, migrant women, Roma women and rural women, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women;
(b) Ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Disadvantaged groups of women
- .The Committee notes with concern discriminatory provisions in the Federal Act No. 135-FZ (2013) banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors”, which reinforce discriminatory stereotypes, stigmatization and hate speech in relation to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, particularly in the North Caucasus region. The Committee is particularly concerned about the reported increase in gender-based violence such as femicide, attacks, intimidation and harassment against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, including on the Internet, and restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. It further notes with concern reports of the prosecution and arrest of women based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and their limited access to justice due to fear of reprisals and lack of protection.
- The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/RUS/CO/8 , para. 42) and recommends that the State party:
(a) Repeal, within a clear time frame, all provisions in Federal Act No. 135-FZ (2013) that discriminate against women based on their sexual orientation or gender identity;
(b) Conduct public awareness-raising campaigns in all regions, particularly in the North Caucasus region, to address hate speech and stigmatization of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons in society and in the media and provide systematic capacity-building for law enforcement officials, including the police, on their duty to protect the rights of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons;
(c) Investigate, prosecute and adequately punish all acts of gender-based violence and hate crimes against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons and provide reparation to victims.