Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#14 - JRL 2007-80 - JRL Home
April 3, 2007
President Vladimir Putin met with Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin.

Vladimir Lukin presented the President his annual report on the human rights situation in the Russia. The report was compiled in February 2007 on the occasion of the 10th year anniversary of establishing the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman.

Vladimir Lukin noted positive developments in the human rights situation and emphasised that the government has placed increasing emphasis on social issues. The Ombudsman singled out changes in legislation adopted in 2006 as notable improvements and, first and foremost, amendments to the Labour Code and adjustments to judicial institutions such as jury trials and justices of the peace.

Vladimir Lukin also mentioned problems in the sphere of human rights. The Ombudsman noted that most complaints concern low wages and pensions, the impossibility of finding housing, and the lack of adequate health care. Vladimir Lukin also drew attention to problems linked with juvenile delinquency and neglected children. According to the Ombudsman, the Russian social services are designed to address the consequences of crime, drug abuse and neglect, while preventative measures are very weak.

The Ombudsman noted that conditions in detention centers are improving but criticized the high conviction rate in Russian courts. In answer to the Presidents question about the health care services in detention centres, Vladimir Lukin said that the situation is improving. Along with this, Vladimir Lukin criticized the government cabinet, saying that it does not want to change the situation whereby health care in penitentiaries is part of the penitentiary system rather than the public health system.

Vladimir Lukin also drew attention to social control over detention centres and noted that the corresponding law is being drafted. The Ombudsman considers it important that this law be examined by the Presidential Council for Assisting the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Institutions as well as the Ombudsmans office between the first and second readings. The head of state agreed with Vladimir Lukins proposition.