Following the agreement between the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Government of the Russian Federation, a human rights presence was established within the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in the Russian Federation in January 2006. The High Commissioner's two visits to the Russian Federation in 2005 and 2006 provided opportunities to consolidate and strengthen the cooperation with national partners. Throughout the year 2007, comprehensive consultations concerning contents and forms of longer-term cooperation to promote human rights in the Russian Federation took place with OHCHR’s counterparts in Moscow. As a result, a Framework for Cooperation with the Russian Federation for 2007 and beyond was elaborated and approved, through an exchange of letters between the High Commissioner and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in August 2007.
The Framework clusters around four areas:
- rule of law;
- equality and tolerance;
- education and information on human rights;
- mainstreaming human rights within the UN Country Team in the Russian Federation.
In March 2008, a Senior Human Rights Adviser was deployed in Moscow to oversee and guide the planning and implementation of concrete activities within the agreed framework and as part of the UN Country Team.
OHCHR Moscow established partnerships and networks with government institutions at the central level and in Russia’s regions, UN agencies, civil society including NGOs, academia and other interested parties to put the Framework into practice.
2010 Activities of OHCHR in Russia
- International Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Moscow on 16 March 2010 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Professor John Ruggie, came to Moscow for the first time to lead the forum.
- Inter-University Resource Center for Human Rights Studies opened in the premises of the People Friendship University of Russia in the framework of the joint Human Rights Masters Programme.
- Guest lectures of human rights experts from EIUC (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization) organized for the students of the Masters Programme at Russian partners universities (RUDN, RGGU, MGIMO).
- A review meeting on the pilot phase of the Human Rights Masters Programme conducted in August 2010 with the participation of EIUC (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization). The first year of the programme has received high evaluation, its lessons and achievements were discussed. The new course will start in September-October 2010.
- A roundtable on the Universal Periodic Review process and its recommendations to the Russian Federation held in July 2010 together with the Russian International Law Association at the Chamber of Accounts of the RF.
- All major UN human rights instruments and OHCHR publications available in Russian compiled into a special edition of a CD-Rom and presented to the public during the XXIII Moscow International Book Fair at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre on 1-6 September 2010. The CD-Rom is expected to support the work of government bodies, academia and civil society organizations working in the area of human rights. It will also be distributed to libraries including in the regions where access to the internet is not widespread.