Russian Federation: Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights - time to act

Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is one of the most pervasive, yet hidden of human rights abuses. It is rooted in a global culture of discrimination which denies Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights their fundamental rights. No political or economic system or culture is exempt when it comes to allowing and justifying violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights - in the USA a woman is raped every six minutes, in Russia about 14,000 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are estimated to be killed in domestic violence annually. This year, more than 15,000 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights will be sold into sexual slavery in China.

'Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is a violation of human rights that cannot be justified by any political, religious, or cultural claim.'

Figures released by Russian Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's non-governmental organisations show how Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's right to life and freedom from violence are threatened, on a daily basis, in the home and their right to physical, mental and sexual integrity denied. For example they report that:

  • Every day 36,000 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the Russian Federation are beaten by their husbands or partners.
  • Every 40 minutes a woman is killed in domestic violence.

'The number of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights dying every year at the hands of their husbands and partners in the Russian Federation is roughly equal to the number of all soldiers who died in the 10-year long war of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan,' Natalya Abubikirova, Executive Director of the Russian Association of Crisis Centres said. 'We think that violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is a problem of national importance. Fifty-three per cent of Russia's population are Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and we must not tolerate the indifference with which society and state are treating this problem. Our goal is to change the culture of discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights so that we can improve the situation of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.'

Both Russian and international organisations have highlighted the need to address domestic violence in Russia as a priority. At the start of its campaign on human rights in the Russian Federation, Amnesty International called on the Russian authorities:

  • to make domestic violence a distinct criminal offence;
  • to introduce training for law enforcement officials;
  • to recognise and prosecute violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, including domestic violence and trafficking of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

'International standards are clear - violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights must not be tolerated, and governments have a responsibility to act. The Russian government must cooperate with the Russian Association of Crisis Centres for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to establish a strategic and comprehensive program of action to tackle violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.'

'2003 should be the year when the Russian authorities take concrete steps to protect Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and show that domestic violence will not be tolerated,' the international human rights organisation said.

Action is being taken in some regions of the Russian Federation where members of the Association of Crisis Centres have established cooperation with local government structures. Law enforcement officials in these regions have shown their commitment to deal with domestic violence. Learning from and building on this cooperation shows the way forward - but much more needs to be done by the Federal government.

'Action by the Russian government, in consultation with non-governmental organisations could start with measures to improve collection of police data on violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and make it public, and to put into place a training program for law enforcement officials.'

Amnesty International's members around the world will show their solidarity with Russian Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights on 8th March, International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's Day, for example by holding demonstrations and vigils, and by organising lectures with representatives of Russian Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's organisations to insist on ending domestic violence.

Further information about our campaign for justice for all in Russia is available online. This includes actions that you can take to help prevent violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights

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