Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe

EUDEL speaking points on Russian draft law decriminalising domestic violence

31/01/2017 - 14:31, UNIQUE ID: 170207_11
Remarks

EUDEL deeply regrets the Russian Duma bill that attempts to trivialize domestic violence, and urges Russia to respect the right to life and physical integrity of the most vulnerable of its citizens. Enclosed you will find EUDEL speaking points on Russian draft law decriminalising domestic violence (when talking changes possible).

1276th Meeting of the Committee of Ministers (1 Feb 2017)

 

EUDEL speaking points on Russian draft law decriminalising domestic violence

 

 

  • It is with concern that we learnt today the adoption by the Russian Duma of a bill decriminalizing some forms of domestic violence.
  • While most countries in Europe are taking measures to reinforce the fight against domestic violence and violence against women and raise awareness of this serious form of human rights violation, the Russian Duma bill goes in the opposite direction by attempting to trivialize domestic violence. It seems to us to be a misguided decision in the light of the human hardship suffered by victims and the consequences for society and economy as a whole.
  • In this regard, we share the concerns voiced by the Council of Europe's Secretary General Jagland in his letter to the Russian legislators of 16 January and in particular his statement that "reducing ‘battery within the family’ from a criminal to an administrative offence, with weaker sanctions for offenders, would be a clear sign of regression within the Russian Federation and would strike a blow to global efforts to eradicate domestic violence.”
  • According to Russian Interior Ministry statistics about 40% of grave crimes in Russia are committed within the family.
  • Against this background, the EU urges Russia to respect the right to life and physical integrity of the most vulnerable of its citizens and to take steps to tackle the problem of violence against women and domestic violence and by considering the signing and ratification of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the "Istanbul Convention" which includes in its multidimensional approach the obligation to criminalise many forms of violent behaviour against women. Russia is one of the only four members of the Council of Europe that have not signed it. [NB – the other three non-signatories are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova; all EU MS have signed the convention but 14 of them have not yet ratified it.] 
  • While this legislative change is in itself worrying, its implications become clearer when seen in the wider context of regressive steps being taken by the Russian authorities in recent years.
  • We also regret the recent listing of the NGO "ANNA Centre" as a foreign agent. This NGO has been working on addressing violence against women, especially domestic violence, since 1993.

 

 

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