Russia and Rights

Russia and Rights

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Russia and Rights

Overview

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the HIV epidemic is exploding. This is largely driven by the sharing of contaminated drug injection equipment, among other factors. Russia’s transcontinental location, and the fact that severe human rights abuses against at-risk populations are both normalized and legalized in the country, make it an important region to focus our efforts.

Sweeping legal and policy reforms are needed. In Russia, poorly drafted laws are abusively enforced with little regard for human rights. Discriminatory policies and practices continue to fuel the spread of HIV by targeting those least able to defend themselves. And although Russia has signed onto many international rights-based laws and declarations, these promises continue to be hollow at best — and completely perverted at worst.

We work in tandem with our Russian and regional partners to supply individuals — and the organizations that support them — with the knowledge and tools they need to defend human rights and prevent new HIV infections from occurring. But our reach is much broader than any one case. We are shifting the discourse around human rights one person at a time, wherever possible adapting individual successes to a variety of regional, national and international interventions for far-reaching reform.

We focus on the unjust criminalization of people who use drugs in Russia and the surrounding region, on securing equitable access to life-saving health services for this same community, and on ending the persistent stigma and discrimination they endure. But we are profoundly aware that, in Russia, human rights abuses and vulnerability to HIV are a part of a systemic problem that affects many other groups — women, sex workers, LGBTI communities, and many others — and our work is ever-expanding to respond to their concerns.

We use a range of different strategies to effect regional change. We bring landmark cases before the courts. We build strong coalitions among like-minded non-governmental organizations. We advocate wherever a platform exists and document our efforts using many different communications platforms. And we work directly with people who use drugs as part of an innovative “street lawyers” program that puts the power to defend human rights directly into the hands of those most affected.

To find out more about this work you can visit the website of our partner organization, the Andrey Rylkov Foundation.

О миссии, видении и ценности Канадской правовой сети по ВИЧ\СПИД.


Want to know more about the Legal Network’s work in other issues and regions of the world?


Parallel Submission for 62 Session with Respect to Russia

Full title: Parallel Submission for 62 Session with respect to Russia in addition to the Shadow Report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concerning the access of people who inject drugs to drug treatment and HIV prevention, care and treatment programs This document presents information gathered for the Committee by the Public Mechanism […]

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Legally Empowering Key Populations in Russia in the Context of HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care

Monitoring and Evaluation of Technical Assistance to Key Populations And HIV Projects in Russia in Removing Legal Barriers and Community Systems Strengthening Since June 2015, Russia’s non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations working on HIV issues have been implementing a three-year project titled “Improving access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services for key populations in […]

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Shadow Report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to the review of the 6th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation

With this report we would like to inform the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) about serious violations of Articles 3 and 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

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Case Information Sheet: Kurmanayevskiy et al. v. Russia

Unsafe injecting drug use is a primary driver of HIV infection in Russia. The inability of current or former injecting drug users to access prevention and treatment services is compounded by the highly punitive measures meted out by law enforcement, including frequent arrest and incarceration. These trying circumstances led three brave individuals to pursue access […]

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“Foreign agent” charges against Russian harm reduction NGO dropped, but HIV organizations still a target

September 13, 2016 A Moscow court recently dismissed the charges against Russian harm reduction NGO Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF) for failing to register as a “foreign agent.” While this is no doubt a victory for ARF, the charges were dropped on procedural grounds, which unfortunately does not prevent similar charges being brought against other HIV […]

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Turning Point: Annual Report 2015–2016

Highlights of our work in Canada and around the world from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016.

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“Просто Скажи НЕТ” наркополитике России

“В преддверии Специальной Сессии Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН 2016 (ССГАООН), Российская Федерация пытается создавать международные союзы с целью продвижения своего видения мер снижения спроса и предложения наркотиков, а также выработки “единой позиции для ССГАООН 2016.” Среди таких союзов стоит отметить Международный Съезд организаций, осуществляющих лечение и реабилитацию наркозависимости на основе стратегии полного отказа от немедицинского потребления […]

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“Just Say Nyet” to Russia’s Drug Policy

“In anticipation of UNGASS 2016, Russia is creating international alliances to promote its vision of drug demand and drug supply reduction, with a view to having ‘a unified position at the 2016 UNGASS.’ These include the International Congress of Drug-Free Organizations and the Russian-African Anti-Drug Dialogue. Countries that Russia approaches for participating in these or […]

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видео: Знать права, применять законы / Videos: Know Your Rights, Use Your Laws

See below for English. Представленные здесь материалы в совокупности направлены на то, чтобы стимулировать защиту своих прав людьми, затронутыми эпидемией ВИЧ-инфекции. Восемь видео и брошюра «ЗНАТЬ ПРАВА, ПРИМЕНЯТЬ ЗАКОНЫ» содержат очень краткую пошаговую информацию о том, с чего можно начать на пути к восстановлению своих нарушенных прав. Мы вправе на многое. Все люди рождаются свободными и […]

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Did Russia Cancel the Supremacy of International Law?

By Mikhail Golichenko, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network February 23, 2016 The amendments to Russia’s Federal Constitutional Law on the Constitutional Court, which came into force on December 15, 2015, simply enshrined into law a principle that was already implicit: the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has the right to verify the […]

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Знать Права, Применять Законы

Практическое пошаговое пособие по расширению правовых возможностей людей, живущих с вич Или подверженных риску инфицирования вич, их близких и тех, кто их поддерживает. Настоящее пособие было подготовлено в рамках регионального проекта «ВИЧ, права человека и всеобщий доступ к профилактике, лечению, уходу и поддержке в Восточной Европе». Related Publications KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, USE YOUR LAWS (ENGLISH […]

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Know Your Rights, Use Your Laws

This handbook was written by a team of legal experts and reviewed by community activists working for improving the human rights situation of people with HIV and key populations most at risk of HIV. It is intended for people with HIV, people who are at higher risk of HIV, as well as their partners and […]

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Tuberculosis, Stigma and Drug Control: A case from Russia

By Mikhail Golichenko, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network February 4, 2016 In December 2015, I attended a judicial workshop on human rights and tuberculosis (TB) organized by the University of Chicago Center in Delhi. It was a great gathering of civil society activists, judges, lawyers and medical practitioners from more than ten countries including […]

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Submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the UK’s relations with Russia

“HRI, EHRN, ARF and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network welcome the opportunity to provide input to the Committee’s inquiry into the UK’s relations with Russia. We view this inquiry as a significant time to draw attention to the importance of prioritising health and human rights of Russian people who use drugs within the context of […]

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Updates from Russia: Intervening at the European Court of Human Rights and recent successes

November 2, 2015 The HIV epidemic in Russia and Eastern Europe is home to the world’s most rapidly expanding epidemic. Taken together, Russia and Ukraine account for over 85 percent of the people living with HIV in the region. In this critical context, the Legal Network continues to work with its partners on the ground […]

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Russian Drug Policy as a Distorting Reflection of the UN Drug Conventions — Submission to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, May 2015

This paper is drafted by members of the Russian Civil Society Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reforms in Russia, with technical assistance of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and in response to the letter of April 16, 2015 from Nathalie Prouvez, OHCHR Chief of […]

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#JustSayNyet: Say No to Russia’s Drug Policy

September 28, 2015 In Russia, discriminatory drug policies and their practical applications continue to fuel the spread of HIV by targeting those least able to defend themselves. The Russian government’s response to the world drug “problem” has been a distorted reflection of United Nations drug conventions. The result has been an ugly form of unrestricted […]

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Adding fuel to the fire: How Russia’s discriminatory laws are worsening the HIV epidemic

February 26, 2015 Despite widespread recognition that the so-called “war on drugs” has failed, we continue to read stories from around the world of the unjust criminalization, discrimination and the dehumanization of people who use drugs. In Russia, bad laws that infringe the rights of people who use drugs are fueling the HIV epidemic. People who […]

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Sex Workers, Unite! (Litigating for Sex Workers’ Freedom of Association in Russia)

The existing legal framework in Russia makes sex work and related activities punishable offenses, leaving sex workers stigmatized, vulnerable to violence, and disproportionally affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In light of international human rights standards, in particular the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, we examine in this paper whether […]

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Video: Putting human rights into human hands in Russian-speaking countries

Russia has the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic, driven by injection-drug use, and fuelled by discrimination, criminalization and horrific human rights abuses. This video — produced by the Levi Strauss Foundation’s HIV Advocates program — lays out the work of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries. Our goal, as Senior Policy […]

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Video: Empowering through networks in Russian-speaking countries

How does a researcher at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in Toronto defend the human rights of a person who uses drugs in Russia? Through indispensable partner organizations and the initiative of people who use drugs empowered to stand up for their own rights. In this video produced by the Open Society Foundations, Senior Policy […]

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