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Russian Federation

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Russian Federation's compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. [109378]

The UK Government agree with the assessment published on 21 March 2003 by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of Russia's implementation of the Convention. The Committee welcomed positive steps taken by the Russian Federation to improve the legislative framework and adopt other positive measures to combat discrimination. The Committee also noted a number of concerns, including: the absence of a definition of racial discrimination in domestic legislation; reports of racially selective inspections by law-enforcement officials, particularly against those from the North Caucasus; and reports of violence by, inter-alia, extremist groups against ethnic minorities.

The UK Government support this assessment. We regularly raise the issue of racial discrimination with the Russian authorities, most recently during the bilateral human rights talks in September 2002 and March 2003.