Rights and freedom in Russia

Published: Monday, 16 September 2019 Print
Moscow Kremlin.

Social and civil rights in Russia

Russian political system has been of interest to many, especially in the West. Russia’s civil liberties might never reach the level of the Western countries, but things are not as terrible as in some other countries.

Although Russia is a member of Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights, there are many reports that these rights have been violated towards the Russian people.

To better understand how Russia has adopted their human right policy, let’s see what social and civil rights they have incorporated in their policies.

 

Social rights

Russian constitution enables a wide range of social and civil rights. Social rights stand for equality and dignity of every human being. Everybody has these rights no matter race or other distinctions.

To better understand what Russia stands for when human rights are considered, let’s look at some of the key social rights.

  • Individual privacy;
  • Have a reasonable standard of living;
  • Have access to food;
  • Receive health care;
  • Be included in social and cultural life.

 

Civil rights

Civil rights in Russia ensure that people are free from infringement by governments, social organizations, and other people. The main civil rights in Russia are:

  • Freedom of expression;
  • Freedom of religion;
  • Freedom to assembly and association;
  • Freedom to move;
  • Get a proper education;
  • Have a job, appropriate salary and choice of employment.

These rights include the right to a minimum wage as well as general welfare for each of the citizens. Furthermore, rights to have a safe work environment and to be protected against unemployment are proclaimed.

 

Meeting the international standards

It has been difficult to meet certain social guarantees since the economic crisis keeps persisting in Russia. The economic struggle is not the only factor that plays a role in this. The growing tension between global economies keeps pushing Russia to change many of its policies, including civil rights.

Even though equality is proclaimed in front of the law, sometimes Russian government keeps struggling with injustice. Freedom of religion and individual privacy are proclaimed to be under the honored human rights. However, we hear more and more reports all over global media that the Russian government is corrupt, and these rights are often overlooked.

The printed word is watched and controlled by the Russian government. Other means of communications like radio, telephone, and telegraph are also controlled. News that go outside of the country are highly controlled to manipulate Russian political position.

With all of this in mind, it is hard to judge what is really happening with the social and civil rights inside this country. Now that the whole world is watching Russia to understand their motivation and state, we discover some of the true nature of the human rights violation among many other things.

 

Current social and civil rights situation in Russia

Russian people are currently living in an extreme human rights crisis that has become more severe during the last years. National security in Russia has been heightened and that posed a great impact on citizens’ social and civil rights in Russia. In the past years, Russia has changed the law and their policies to restrict freedom of religion, assembly, and free speech. All of these events are inching towards a social awakening that might threaten the whole state of Russia.

Mass protests in Russia.

This leads to even more desperate attempts from the Russian government to control the situation through restricting social and civil rights. Russian government has already made the first changes in the law to legalize some social and civil rights violation in Russia. For example, in 2017, the people who got punished for attempting to gather and protest were two times higher than the year before.

Another example of this is domestic violence. In February 2017, Russia partially decriminalized domestic violence by determining a fine instead of prison time in case of violence and abuse. These Russian social and civil right policy changes still occur. To understand the scale at which these changes are applied, let’s look at how the year of 2019 has been turning out for Russia and its people. Freedom of assembly in Russia is still abused and the situation is not becoming better. Even in the most peaceful protests, people were getting arrested and fined. With all of these events happening, trust in the president is reaching the lowest level throughout the last decades.

A study that was done in May 2018, showed that an unbelievable 94% of Russians no longer rely on help from the Russian government. All of this is pointing towards the social awakening of Russian people. However, the Russian government keeps its power by changing the policies. This has led to more protests being held every year across all of Russia. Thus restrictions and violation keep persisting and worsen. Social and civil rights in Russia are currently under large pressure. The whole world is keeping an eye on the situation that is unraveling in Russia. While the whole world is not acting upon this situation, human rights violations keep happening and become normal.

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