The pre-sessional working group of the regular session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) met in Geneva on 27 February, 2017. Representatives of the Russian LGBT Network and other human rights organizations participated in the meeting. The Russian LGBT Network consisting of an independent alliance of LGBT activists presented its report on the discrimination of LGBT persons in the workplace. Additionally, an oral statement was given about LGBT teachers being fired from their jobs.
CESCR will later analyze the official report delivered by the Russian Federation, as well as other alternative reports and oral statements issued by several nonprofit organizations. It will draw up a list of questions to Russian representatives to be asked in September 2017. All these questions will address Russia’s fulfillment of international obligations that the country assumed after it signed and ratified the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Among the Russian participants were representatives of the Russian LGBT Network, the Transgender Legal Defense Project, the nonprofit organization Phoenix Plus, the Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial, the Fund Open Institute of Public Health, the Project April, (the Russian Movement of Activists and Advocates for Sex Workers’ Rights) “Silver Rose”, the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Social Justice and Health, the Russian Public Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reform, and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA).
As a reminder, in September CESCR will examine such questions as the conditions of LGBT and MSM persons in Russia (the so-called “propaganda law”, “foreign agents law”, restrictions in family law, universal use of hate speech), discrimination of LGBT persons in the workplace, and the lack of reliable information about the extent of the HIV epidemic among MSM and transgender persons, the conditions of transgender individuals in Russia (regarding healthcare and changing identity documents).