Reading material:

For decades within its own borders, Russian authorities have undermined and attacked independent civil society, persecuted human rights defenders, activists, lawyers, and opposition and dissenting voices, banned independent media, silenced journalists, and have effectively outlawed any form of peaceful protest.

It has never been more dangerous to be a human rights defender in contemporary Russia. This environment, at least in part, enabled the Russian authorities to launch a renewed invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. At the same time as the danger has increased, protections have decreased. The judiciary is not independent and cannot provide effective protection for human rights. Victims of Russian human rights violations no longer have the ability to bring their cases before the European Court of Human Rights, and Russia has even failed to turn up to United Nations Treaty Body reviews, specifically those of the Human Rights Committee, in 2022.

Ahead of the first Interactive Dialogue by the new UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation at the Human Rights Council, this in-person side event at the 54th session allows for an opportunity to discuss critical updates on the human rights situation in Russia, as well as further action to respond to Russia’s human rights crisis and to the legitimate calls for support from domestic civil society. The panel will focus on the following key questions:

  • What are the most pressing human rights issues in Russia today?
  • Why should the Human Rights Council look to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur during the 54th session?