About project

“The Organization of a Public Campaign to Combat Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism, and Ethnic Discrimination in the Multinational Russian Federation”

The Moscow Bureau on Human Rights presents a three-year project “The Organization of a Public Campaign to Combat Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism, and Ethnic Discrimination in the Multinational Russian Federation”. The main sponsor of the project is the European Commission of the European Union.

The most important task today is not to allow the igniting of inter-religious and inter-ethnic hostility, neither by any state organ in Russia nor by radical, extremist and neo-fascist factions and movements. Inter-religious and inter-ethnic hatred and conflict generated in this way could undermine democratic development and socio-economic changes in Russia and also the creation of true civil society, able to defend human rights effectively. Today the level of inter-ethnic peace and inter-religious concord is an indicator of the degree of maturity in all the component parts of Russian state and society, as well as of the sovereignty of law and the condition of human rights. Chauvinism, ultra-nationalism and political extremism form the breeding ground of the inter-religious and inter-ethnic hostility. There is a great danger in exploitation of xenophobia in electoral campaigns at every level, and also in a justification for local policies regarding migration. Xenophobia, as well as the human rights violation, creates an unfavourable climate for investment, hamper economic and social progress both in the country as a whole and in particular regions. Special concern arises from the absence of the appropriate reaction to xenophobia on the part of the courts and other agencies of law-enforcement.

This project takes into account international achievements and tasks in this field, as they have been formulated by the World Conference against Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Hatred (Durban, South Africa, September 2001), by conferences of the UN on this problem in Stockholm (2000, 2001) and Vienna (June 2003), and through other forums. Participants and partners of this project include The Centre of Parliamentarism and Human Rights, The Centre for International Collaboration, International Society on Human Rights (Russian section), as well as the office of the Federal Commissioner for Human Rights, the Presidential Commission for Human Rights, the Central Institute of Public Opinion (directed by Yu. Levada), the Research Institute of General Prosecutor s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, The Ministry of Press and many others.

The project envisages special seminars to provide instruction on monitoring, annual meetings of all the participants for opininon exchange both on the methods and results of monitoring and on actions being undertaken against the people, organizations and movements which stir up inter-religious and inter-ethnic hostility. We are planning to update the data bank for registration and preservation of the monitoring results, and to create corresponding websites in both Russian and English. Reports on our activities will be supplied to both a worldwide and a local public, as well as to official organizations. There is also envisaged the setting up of a hot line in order to consult the victims of attacks and persecution on racial and religious grounds and to help them appeal to the courts and the Prosecutor s Office. Special juridical departments will be opened in the capitals of the seven Federal regions. We also envisage the development and testing of educational programmes to foster a spirit of toleration among schoolchildren and students, in order to expose specially dangerous xenophobic myths.

The realization of this wide-scaled and continuous project will contribute to the creation of an effective state and public organizations coalition in the struggle against chauvinism, political extremism, and all forms of xenophobia, as well as against the hate language and the crimes arising from inter-ethnic and inter-religious hatred.

Director of the project
Alexander Brod

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