UN UPR shadow report on Russia submitted by the IBAHRI

Saturday 30 September 2017

Member States of the United Nations (UN) have their human rights records evaluated under cycles of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UN describes the process as ‘State-driven … under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.’1 Included in the procedure is the opportunity for civil society stakeholders to contribute shadow reports on the State under review.

The Russian Federation was up for its third cycle under the UPR procedure in May 2018.

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) submitted its shadow report to the UPR Working Group with specific focus on allegations of human rights abuses against the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. In the report, the IBAHRI drew attention to provision within the Constitution of the Russian Federation for the State to guarantee equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation, among other identities and circumstances noted. The Russian Federation is also a signatory to all major UN human rights treaties while the country’s Constitution Court has expressly held that the imposition of limitations on human rights on the grounds of sexual orientation shall be banned.

Nonetheless, regional and federal laws against ‘gay propaganda’ continue to be in force, leading to spikes in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. The IBAHRI report makes particular reference to the events in Chechnya during the beginning of 2017, when approximately 100 men were allegedly detained and tortured in secret facilities on account of their real or suspected sexual orientation.

Read the full submission with recommendations.

1 https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/upr/pages/uprmain