Andrey Rylkov Foundation Presents a Shadow Report to the Review of the Periodic Report of the Russian Federation
On 17th of January, 2017, the Shadow Report in relation to the review of the 6th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation (E/C.12/RUS/6) was submitted on behalf of the Russian Public Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reform to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
The report was drafted by the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Social Justice and Health (ARF) with technical assistance of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (CALN).
The report informs the CESCR about the next serious violations of Articles 3 and 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR):
- The Russian Federation did not fulfill CESCR recommendations given in paragraph 29 of June, 2011 Concluding Observations; Russian authorities retaliated against civil society organization which called upon them to fulfill these recommendations. As a result, HIV epidemic in Russia continues growing. Nearly two-thirds of European HIV cases are now in Russia. Up to 1.8 million of people who inject drugs remain a group of people most vulnerable to HIV, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis (TB), and lethal drug overdoses. Moreover, Russian authorities obstruct the activities of HIV and harm reduction service providing non-governmental organizations by labeling them “foreign agents”, which bares significant humiliating connotation in Russia.
- The Government of the Russian Federation does not ensure gender sensitive medical and social care for women who use drugs, including women living with drug dependency and drug dependent women with children.
Particularly the report provides the Committee with the information regarding:
- The ignoration by Russian authorities of the CESCR recommendation to apply human rights-based approach to drug users;
- The persecution by Russian state authorities of the civil society activists for promoting CESCR recommendations;
- The termination of OST program in Crimea;
- The ongoing litigation challenging the legal ban on OST in the European Court of Human Rights;
- The lack of access to OST for pregnant women who use drugs and the lack of HIV prevention and social support for women who use drugs;
- The Russian Government not providing any political, financial, or legal support to needle and syringe, and overdose prevention programs.
Earlier in 2010 ARF with support of CALN have already submitted the report to the CESCR on implementation by the Russian Federation of article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to access of people who inject drugs to drug treatment and HIV prevention, care and treatment programs which led to the inclusion into the Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Russian Federation of the recommendation to the State party “to provide clear legal grounds and other support for the internationally recognized measures for HIV prevention among injecting drug users, in particular the opioid substitution therapy (OST) with use of methadone and buprenorphine, as well as needle and syringe programs and overdose prevention programs”.
The Russian Public Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reform (Mechanism) is a consortium of more than 70 civil society activists, legal and medical professionals, which are committed to improve drug policy in Russia through legal and policy analysis, information sharing, and strategic litigation. From 2009 the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (ARF) serves as a Secretariat for the Mechanism.