Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender persons permanently face manifestations of discrimination and violence in many spheres in Russia. Nevertheless, the Russian authorities deny the existence of the problem with discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, take no measures to combat homophobia in the society and to prevent hate crimes on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in spite of widespread homophobia and transphobia in the Russian society. As public opinion polls indicate, 32% of adults in Russia consider homosexuality as a disease or some result of psychic trauma, 43% of adults think of it as a bad habit (in this regard, the given rate has a 5% increase if compared with the information accumulated in a similar 2010 poll). 81% of the Russians responded that homosexuality is morally inadmissible when asked the question 'Do you think homosexuality is morally admissible or morally inadmissible?'


NGO Alternative Report 2013 for the United Nations Committe on the Rights of the Child. Commentary to the Fourth and Fifth Periodic Report by the Russian Federation CRC/C/RUS/4-5 Prepared by the Interregional Social Movement ‘Russian LGBT Network’. Written by Maria Kozlovskaya. 


This report compiles alternative data on the situation of LGBT people in Russia, using the St. Petersburg region in particular to illustrate the problems regarding the implementation of the prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The report examines three main problems, namely: (1) hate crimes and hate speech committed on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as coercive medical interventions in relation to (2) transsexual and (3) homosexual people. Submitted for the 49th session of the UN Committee against Torture Geneva, Switzerland 29 October – 23 November 2012


Human rights defenders active in the Russian Federation are concerned about the worsening in last six month of the already bad situation with the execution of the right to freedom of expression by members of minority groups and all those advocating the views not shared by governmental officials. Members of the LGBT community became the first victims of a new “witch hunt”. In a number of Russian regions (the Ryazan Region, the Kostroma Region, the Arkhangelsk Region, the Magadan Region, the Novosibirsk Region, the Samara Region, the Krasnodar Territory, and St. Petersburg) legislation introducing administrative punishment for the so-called “promotion of homosexuality among minors” was enacted. A similar bill is currently under consideration at the federal level as well. The recent experience shows that when applied in practice these laws, given the legal vagueness of the concepts contained in them, are used in arbitrary fashion to prevent the expression of opinions and peaceful assembly of citizens in support of equality irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The police detain people for making public calls urging the authorities to investigate crimes on the grounds of homophobia, for carrying rainbow flags in the street or even for making plans to stage a demonstration in support of the LGBT persons’s rights.