The European Union – Russian Federation human rights consultations

On 4 May 2011, the Euro­pean Union and the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion held their thir­teenth round of human rights con­sul­ta­tions in Brus­sels. The con­sul­ta­tions were held in an open and con­struc­tive atmos­phere.

The EU and Rus­sia focussed in par­tic­u­lar on the rule of law and the work­ing of civ­il soci­ety as well as coop­er­a­tion in inter­na­tion­al fora and the fight against dis­crim­i­na­tion. The EU and Rus­sia also dis­cussed the rights of the child.

The EU raised a num­ber of con­cerns relat­ed to spe­cif­ic human rights issues in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, includ­ing issues per­tain­ing to racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion, LGBT rights, state­less per­sons, the free­dom of asso­ci­a­tion, expres­sion and assem­bly as well as con­tin­u­ing impuni­ty, espe­cial­ly regard­ing cas­es involv­ing human rights defend­ers, jour­nal­ists and in the North­ern Cau­ca­sus. Both sides pro­vid­ed clar­i­fi­ca­tions on indi­vid­ual cas­es of con­cern in the EU and Rus­sia, notably on the probe into the death of lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky at the pre-tri­al deten­tion cen­tre of the Butyrskaya prison in 2009. There was an exchange on how EU and Rus­sia could increase their prac­ti­cal coop­er­a­tion in a num­ber of areas, includ­ing the fight against dis­crim­i­na­tion, racism and xeno­pho­bia as well as on children’s rights.

In line with estab­lished prac­tice and so as to incor­po­rate the views of civ­il soci­ety into the con­sul­ta­tions, the EU met rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Russ­ian NGOs in Moscow on 13–14 April and inter­na­tion­al NGOs in Brus­sels on 6 April.

The next round of EU-Rus­sia human rights con­sul­ta­tions should take place in fall 2011.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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