9 November 2012
Yesterday, 8th of November, in Geneva the United Nations Committee Against Torture began the review about human rights situation in Russia. Besides investigating the official report prepared by the Russian authorities, the Committee also examines the so-called alternative reports submitted by non-governmental organizations. This year three Russian LGBT organizations presented their reports.
For several months, LGBT organization Coming Out, charity foundation Rainbow and the Russian LGBT Network collected and analyzed data on cases of ill-treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The organizations explored various sources – stories of specific people, court decisions and other information. The result of the joint work was the report including questions for the official Russian delegation and recommendations for correcting the problems. The report can be found here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/ngos/LGBT_RussianFederation_CAT49.pdf.
Kseniya Kirichenko from the LGTB organization Coming Out, along with other representatives of the civil society, held a presentation on behalf of the LGBT coalition about the major themes of the alternative report: the absence of legislation, inadequate handling of crimes and hate speech, illegal forced medical procedures required from transsexual people in order to change their documents, as well as forced attempts to "cure" homosexuality.
It is noteworthy that LGBT issues were addressed not only by the LGBT organizations. The Center for Reproductive Rights drew attention to the forced sterilization of transgender people in Russia, and a representative of the civil rights society Memorial spoke about the persecution LGBT rights defenders. This is a further evidence that the rights of the LGBT people is not merely a question of a specific group but of universal human rights.
The result of the session will be the concluding observations of the UN Committee Against Torture for the Russian Federation: a list of the major problems recognized by the Committee, and proposals for their solution to the Russian authorities. Already three times a UN Committee has pointed to the violation of the rights of the LGBT people in Russia: the Human Rights Committee in 2009, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2010, and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2011.
LGBT Organization Coming Out
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation