The Human Rights Council

CP@ohchr.org

The Human Rights Committee

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Petitions@ohchr.org

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

indigenous@ohchr.org

 

 

COMPLAINT

 

1. Information concerning the author of the communication

 

NGO Х — NGO Yakutia — Our Opinion

in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

 

First Name, Last Name of Chief of NGO Yakutia — Our Opinion: Stepan Petrov

Nationality: Sakha, indigenous people of Russian Federation

Address for correspondence on this complaint:

box 70, post office 27,  Yakutsk, Republic Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation 677027

Tel: +7(914)224-24-11

E-mail: post@yakutian.org, nashe_mnenie@mail.ru

Website: http://yakutian.org

 

Submitting the complaint:

On the author’s own behalf: Х

 

Complaint is made in the interest of Stepan Petrov, citizen of Russian Federation, residing in the Republic Sakha (Yakutia), representative of indigenous peoples Sakha, whose rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has been violated.

 

2. Information on the State concerned

Russian Federation

 

  1. SUMMARY OF VIOLATIONS

3.1. The essence of violations

Russia did not approve the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and refuses to recognize the indigenous rights, allegedly referring to contradiction between international norms and constitution. It was the result of application of the policy of «double standards».

Given the inability to ensure the right to decent life (adequate standard of living) majority of indigenous peoples of Russia live in poverty despite the existence of natural resources in their area of ​​residence.

Most Russian resource extraction companies operating on the territories of indigenous peoples focus on predatory extraction of resources and enrichment by any means in violation of industrial and environmental safety, environmental rights of citizens.

Indigenous peoples suffer from the negative social phenomena, such as adverse environmental conditions, alcoholism, suicide and crime.

Russian authorities only recognize rights of small-numbered indigenous peoples with less than 50,000 inhabitants but do not recognize rights of other indigenous peoples with more than 50,000 members.

In the absence of enactment of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples We can not implement indigenous rights under international law fully. This leads to unsustainable legal status of small-numbered indigenous peoples even whose rights are recognized. There is a risk of arbitrary unilateral revision of their rights that leads to unjustified restriction of their rights and a significant deterioration in their situation.

Adoption of the Declaration in Russia, where more than 190 peoples live, would effectively consolidate and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The Declaration does not violate the rights of other peoples and the territorial integrity of the State, but only help to ensure favorable living space of indigenous peoples, leading a traditional way of life and living in native habitats.

 

In these circumstances, I, Stepan Petrov, citizen of Russian Federation, residing in the Republic Sakha (Yakutia), representative of indigenous peoples Sakha,

state that the rights and freedoms of individuals and citizens guaranteed by international law, as reflected primarily in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, are violated in Russia.

These rights are also enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The refusal of the Russian Federation to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples violates rule of international law on the need to promote the rights of indigenous peoples.

 

3.2. Articles of the Covenant or Convention alleged to have been violated

 

I, Stepan Petrov, state that my following rights are violated:

1.) The right to decent life (economic rights)

guaranteed by Articles 23, 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 1, 7, 9, 11 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

2.) The right to access to justice (legal rights)

guaranteed by Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 14, 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 5 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

3.) The right to own, use and dispose of assets of the Republic (subsoil, property, enterprises, budgetary funds) and to obtain the adequate social and economic benefits from it to ensure adequate standard of living (decent life)

guaranteed by Articles 17, 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, articles 1, 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

4) The right to favorable environmental conditions of residence and preservation of physical health

guaranteed by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 

These rights are also enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

1.) The right to decent life (economic rights) in Articles 17, 23, 26, 32;

2.) The right to access to justice (legal rights) in Articles 3, 7, 17, 27, 32;

3.) The right to own, use and dispose of assets of the Republic (subsoil, property, enterprises, budgetary funds) and to obtain the adequate social and economic benefits from it to ensure adequate standard of living (decent life) in Articles 3, 23, 26, 32;

4) The right to favorable environmental conditions of residence and preservation of physical health in Articles 7, 23, 24, 29.

 

The refusal of the Russian Federation to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples violates Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 

 

  1. Exhaustion of domestic remedies

 

In 2006, Russia did not approve the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For a long time, many non-governmental organizations and civil society activists appealed to the authorities of Russia with a proposal to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

However, Russia refuses to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples by applying a policy of «double standards». Referring to the alleged contradiction between the constitution and international norms, Russia restricts the rights of indigenous peoples under national law, the actual results of which often violate their rights.

I have repeatedly appealed to the Russian authorities with a proposal to implement the right to decent life (economic rights) and access to justice (legal rights), as well as other rights guaranteed by international law, but to no avail.

 

 

  1. Facts of the complaint

 

The essence of violations would be considered on example of the actual results of my human rights activities.

Each violation relates to a specific part of the population.

But for a clear and unambiguous definition of the applicant (author of communication) conclusions would be formed as violations of the rights of a particular applicant, that is, me personally.

 

1) Violation of the economic and legal rights

 

The rights to decent life (economic rights) and access to justice (legal rights) guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are violated in Russia.

Gross, massive and long-term violation of the rights of Russian citizens to decent life and access to justice by the Russian authorities was uncovered and proven in the report of our NGO «Yakutia — Our Opinion» with using the necessary statistical and factual data.

The report was presented at the 30th session of the Working Group of the UN Council on Human Rights on the Universal Periodic Review in May 2018 where the human rights situation  in Russia was considered.

The original report is on the website of the Human Rights Council at the following link:

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRRussianFederationStakeholdersInfoS30.aspx

Violation of the right to decent life (economic rights) is the low living standard of Russia’s people that is a consequence of the undervaluation of minimum social standards, the low real purchasing power of income, the overestimation of prices and tariffs,  the unreliability of average statistical data.

According to official statistics 13.3% of Russian citizens had incomes below the subsistence level. However, according to independent estimates till 80% of Russians have incomes below the subsistence level due to understatement of minimum social standards.

Social injustice, mass poverty, growth of negative social phenomena (alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, and crime), corruption arbitrariness and lawlessness in Russia could lead to massive uncontrollable acts of violence, armed conflicts and bloody civil war.

It threatens international security, human rights, the rule of law.

 

Violation of the right to access to justice (legal rights) lies in the fact that Russian citizens are often unable to implement their legitimate rights and achieve justice.

The mechanism for considering citizens’ complaints is that in the majority of cases reports of corruption crimes at regional level are returned to the same regional level, that is, in fact to the same regional corruptioners.

Russian judicial system allows confirming unjust judicial decisions on falsified cases.

In Russia there is no effective system for handling citizens’ complaints and addressing violations by public authorities, law enforcement and judicial authorities.

Thus, exhaustion of remedies occurs, when federal government, law enforcement and judicial authorities refuse to consider citizens’ complaints on human rights violations substantially in the form of submitting unmotivated come-offs as well as redirecting them to the same offenders at regional level.

One of my activities is counteraction of corruption crimes of senior officials living in my region — the Republic Sakha (Yakutia) that significantly worsen population’s life.

I and other civil society activists — independent anticorruptioners often faced with obstruction of justice, procrastination and deliberate delay in consideration of high-profile corruption cases by law enforcement and judicial bodies. This leads to the establishment of corrupt tyranny and lawlessness in law enforcement, judicial and governmental bodies.

 

As a result, I can not implement my rights to decent life and access to justice.

Violation of my right to decent life (economic rights) is that:

— I do not have access to jobs with wages that can sustain an adequate standard of living (decent life).

Violation of my right to access to justice (legal rights) is that:

— most my applications on the corruption offenses and other human rights violations are not considered properly in accordance with legislation by judicial, law enforcement and government bodies.

 

2) Violation of the right to own, use and dispose of assets of the Republic (subsoil, property, enterprises, budgetary funds) and to obtain the adequate social and economic benefits from it to ensure adequate standard of living (decent life) 

 

I have this right as representative of the indigenous people Sakha according to paragraph 2 of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that stipulate: “All peoples may freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence”.

I was deprived of this right as a result of unfair privatization of state property in Russia, when majority of the state property was seized by a small number of people.

Over the past 27 years of economic reforms in Russia as a result of the criminal actions of corrupted officials of Yakutia strategic assets have been stolen and money obtained by criminal means have been transferred abroad.  

Under the project «Countering corruption offenses in the Republic Sakha (Yakutia)” (in Russian) http://yakutian.org/ap_main.htm I found that main activities of organized criminal groups in Yakutia are criminal enrichment and suppression of the unwanted. They take control of all major revenue sources (financial flows, lucrative public procurement, profitable enterprises) to enrich illegally.

Based on the abuse of official position and use of confidential information corrupted  officials of Yakutia create fraudulent schemes of illegal enrichment, such as:

-illegal and unreasonable transfer of the state assets to affiliated shell companies that prejudice the public interest and the budget of the Republic by:

-sale of share (or shares) of profitable and strategic infrastructure state-owned enterprises at nominal value but not at market value (as in the case of JSC «Horizon-RT», JSC «Yakuttsement»);

-illegal change of owners of profitable and strategic infrastructure state-owned enterprises through additional issue of securities and transfer of a blocking share stake to shell companies (as in the case of JSC «Yakutgazprom»);

-privatization of shares of profitable and strategic infrastructure state-owned enterprises through transfer of shares to the authorized capital of commercial entities that can not be controlled by Parliament in violation of budget law (as in the case of JSC  «Alrosa-Nyurba» whose shares have been transferred to JSC «RIC plus»);

-creation of monopolies on the basis of affiliated companies in profitable areas (oil and gas, electricity, housing and communal services, processing of waste and recyclables, other areas of supply of various goods and services) in order to derive illegal profits by overestimation of  tariffs and the estimated costs in violation of pricing methodology established by law that can be qualified as embezzlement of funds of consumers of housing and communal services, electricity, fuel and other resources, budgetary funds (as in the case of JSC «Sakhatransneftegaz», JSC «Tuymaada-oil», JSC «Yakutgazprom»);

-providing State guarantees at the expense of the republican budget for the debts of loss-making enterprises, the heads of which are relatives, countrymen and others close to authorities of Yakutia (in the case of JSC «Tuymaada-Agrosnab», JSC «Tuymaada-oil»,  JSC airline company «Yakutia»);

-sale of property and land at low prices to affiliated entities to create a business or for subsequent sale for state needs;

-land and property fraud;

-abuses in housing programmes  (programmes of resettlement from old and dilapidated housing, granting of housing for privileged categories, etc.);

-bribery;

-transfer of agricultural land to land for individual housing construction, building of protected areas;

-illegal reimbursement of VAT and other expenses for which compensation payments are provided from the state budget.

As a result, long-term functioning of these corruption mechanisms significantly worsens life of the population of Yakutia that is manifested in the following:

-unreasonable growth of tariffs for housing and communal services, electricity, gas, petrol and other vital resources;

-direct theft of state assets, inefficient use of funds from the privatization of profitable companies and other assets;

-inefficient spending of budget funds due to the abuse of officials;

-high risk of technogenic disasters on the life-supporting facilities because of the failure of programs of equipment modernization and capital repairs.

 

Violation of my right to own, use and dispose of assets of the Republic (subsoil, property, enterprises, budgetary funds) and to obtain the adequate social and economic benefits from it to ensure adequate standard of living (decent life) 

lies in the fact that I am deprived of the following rights, enshrined in paragraph 2 of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

— right to become the owner of the strategic and profitable enterprises acting in Yakutia and exploiting its natural resources (oil, gas, diamonds, gold, etc.);

— right to receive bonuses and incentives in the form of payments from resource extraction companies and of various benefits in the consumption of their products (petrol, gas, electricity, heat energy), as is the practice in developed countries, such as Norway, the United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates and others, where the extraction of natural resources benefit the people but not only pollution of nature and enrichment of oligarchs as in Russia;

— right to consume housing and communal services, electricity, fuel resources for  economically justified prices and tariffs, but not for prices and tariffs that are unreasonably and illegally inflated with criminal assistance of state bodies of Yakutia, inaction of deputies and law enforcement officers.

 

3.) The right to favorable environmental conditions of residence and preservation of physical health

 

I live in Yakutsk, but also like to travel around the republic, including Viluisk districts in the western Yakutia.

However, there my health and life are subjected to the following threats:

1) the threat of falling of carrier rockets launched from the Vostochny spaceport (Amur Region, Russia) including with toxic fuel – heptyl on me;

2) the threat of radiation impact on me due to the possibility of ignition of forests on territories of underground nuclear explosions;

3) the threat of my poisoning from drinking water from sources poisoned by technological waste of the diamond mining company «Alrosa» (Russia’s largest diamond company with State participation) and phenol formed as a result of flooding of forests in the construction of the Vilyuisk hydroelectric power station.

 

Due to the threat of carrier rockets falling inhabitants of Yakutia repeatedly requested to change the trajectory of carrier rockets launched from the Vostochny spaceport in order to exclude the territory of Republic Sakha (Yakutia) from area of impact of fragments of space rockets and ensure a citizens’ right to free movement without the threat of falling fragments of space rockets with toxic fuel — heptyl.

Representatives  of the space agency directly said that compensate for damage to property and loss of life.

They explained that the trajectory had been selected due to tiny population. Another reason is not to risk the more populated areas. It is a apotheosis of cynicism and hypocrisy of Russian officials. It turns out that the inhabitants of Yakutia could be killed by rockets with poisonous heptyl. There is violation of the constitutional right to equality and discrimination on a territorial basis.

The threat of ignition of forests is a result of underground nuclear explosions carried out in the Soviet era.

12 underground nuclear explosions were conducted on the territory of Yakutia. Two of them — «Crystal» and «Kraton-3» in 1970s were officially recognized as emergencies. As a result, the surrounding areas were subjected to radioactive contamination. It is necessary to carry out the rehabilitation works for utilization of the «dead wood». However, it has not been done.

Now there is a problem of possible ignition of forests on territories of underground nuclear explosions and subsequent radioactive contamination of additional territories.

In both cases, Russia, as the successor of the USSR, does not recognize the damages, does not wish to pay compensation to local population, to restore the contaminated areas and to change the trajectory of rockets.

Accidents and their negative impact on health of yakutians are hidden. Mortality from cancer that is a direct result of nuclear explosions is disguised as diseases of other etiologies.

The Chernobyl disaster, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the focus of attention of the world community. Affected people got decent treatment and compensation. Environmental monitoring and rehabilitation of territories had been conducted. Long-term studies are also conducted .

In Yakutia people and territories that affected by nuclear explosions and heptyl have not received the proper help: treatment, rehabilitation, compensation, monitoring and recovery. Yakut victims of Soviet nuclear arms race and poisoning heptyl quietly die and negative consequences threaten future generations.

 

The Vilyuisk hydroelectric power station was built in the 1960s, phenol was formed as a result of flooding of forests poisoned water.

For decades, the Vilyu river is contaminated by technological waste of diamond industry with the complicity of state regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

In August 2018 another accident have occurred at «ALROSA» objects on rivers Irelyakh, Small Botuobiya and Viluyi as a result of which the dam burst and water contaminated by technological waste of «Alrosa» fell into the rivers. Excess of pollutants has increased tenfold and the water became undrinkable.

Initially, the damage was estimated at 28 billion rubles, as the accident occurred due to violations of standards of industrial and environmental safety by the company.

After the accident the head of the «Alrosa» stated that «the company’s shareholders’ position is the incident occurred as a result of natural disturbances.» It turns out that he had expressed the position of all the shareholders including Yakutia.

However, instead of fair compensation payment the government of Yakutia and «Alrosa» reached an agreement on payment of 150 million rubles per a year that is a meager amount and is comparable with the cost of several flats in Moscow. This is 187 times smaller than the original level of damage — 28 billion rubles.

In addition, «Alrosa» lawyers dispute the majority of penalties for damages and win, because the courts stand on their side, while agreeing with the legal position of the company that the «breakthrough of dams in August was caused by abnormal rainfall and floods in Yakutia, that is a natural force majeure, and not a consequence of any wrongdoing in the Alrosa  production activity’.

I think it is a cynical manifestation of irresponsibility and certainty of impunity on the part of «Alrosa» management.

Thus, most violations and accidents on «Alrosa» objects in recent years, including the loss of life, are not random, but natural, as a result of systematic violations of industrial and environmental safety.

It leads to the following conclusions:

— originally «Alrosa» managers would not plan to pay fair compensation and do not perceive Yakutia, as a full shareholder;

— authorities of Yakutia are unable to defend the interests of the affected population, agreeing to a meager compensation;

— russian courts stand on the side of resource extraction companies to the detriment of the population’s interests.

In Yakutia the similar environmental pollution occurs in gold mining, oil and other companies when land and water sources are polluted by technological waste and oil with impunity.

All this testifies to the fact that large Russian resource extraction companies  operating in Yakutia, such as «Alrosa», aimed at predatory extraction of resources and the enrichment by any means in violation of industrial and environmental safety, environmental rights of citizens.

Obviously, in the case of exhaustion of remedies in Russia, such coarse, massive and long-term violation of the environmental rights of the inhabitants of Yakutia require the adoption of appropriate measures of influence on the resource extraction companies  violating human rights under international law.

In the case of inaction, these environmental problems, have arisen due to irresponsibility and impunity of the resource extraction companies, legal nihilism and discretionary actions of certain Russian high-ranking officials, could cause a mass extinction of Yakutia’s population due to the negative impact of technological waste of industrial production.

 

Violation of my right to favorable environmental conditions of residence and preservation of physical health is that:

-my health and life are threatened in Yakutia because of uncontrolled aggressive anthropogenic and technogenic impacts on the environment,

in particular, I am exposed to the risk of deterioration of physical health due to the cumulative negative impact of the catastrophic consequences of predatory extraction of natural resources, construction of hydroelectric power stations and oil pipelines, nuclear weapons testing, falling of highly toxic elements of space rockets on me.

It also affects the interests of population. Therefore, I have issued the appeal for protection of environmental rights of citizens of Yakutia «(in russian)

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1709421842504207&id=100003092240941 ).

 

Above violations of human rights are the most pressing and relevant to the population of Yakutia. 

The facts provided by me relate to most of the population of Republic Sakha (Yakutia).

We describe the population coverage of above problems.

According to the Federal State Statistics Service population of Republic Sakha (Yakutia) is 962.8 thousand people.

1.) The population coverage of the problem of violation of the right to decent life (economic rights).

According to official statistics in 2018 20,3% of population (195.4 thousand people) had incomes below the subsistence level. According to independent estimates till 80% of citizens have incomes below the subsistence level due to understatement of minimum social standards. In rural areas of Yakutia, the unemployment rate is over 50% and employment is possible only in the public sector institutions, few large farms, small service organizations.

2.) The population coverage of the problem of violation of the right to access to justice (legal rights).

According to statistics at the beginning of 2018 the number of convicts in Yakutia amounted to 4986 people, 3539 people contained in detention. According to estimates of the General Prosecutor’s Office about 20% of convicts are illegally prosecuted. Thus, the rights of about one thousand inhabitants of Yakutia might be violated. Also, there is high level of appeal against court decisions in the republic.

3.) The population coverage of the problem of violation of the right to own, use and dispose of assets of the Republic (subsoil, property, enterprises, budgetary funds) and to obtain the adequate social and economic benefits from it to ensure adequate standard of living (decent life)

It covers almost the entire population of Yakutia, more than 900 thousand people, except for a few thousand of corrupted officials, MPs, law enforcement officers and judges of Yakutia involved in embezzlement and illegal transfer of the state assets, as well as their relatives and associates.

They got stolen property and launder it through creation of legal business and they enjoy many privileges and preferences established by law (service housing, free transportation, benefits for housing and communal services, private health and social services).

4.) The population coverage of the problem of violation of the right to favorable environmental conditions of residence and preservation of physical health

The above three environmental problems affected mainly the inhabitants of Viluisk districts (Vilyusky, Verkhnevilyuisk, Nyurbinsky, Suntarsky districts), whose population is about 93 thousand people.

This situation causes damage throughout the region and the world as Viluy river flows into the Lena River which ranks third in the pollution of the Arctic Ocean after the rivers Ob and Enisei. Thus, the Russian company «Alrosa» and other mining companies-violators of environmental rights, polluting rivers of Yakutia, are directly related to the pollution of the world ocean waters and increased the negative consequences of the melting of glaciers that has a negative impact on all the inhabitants of the planet.

About 65% of Yakutia’s population lives in cities (Yakutsk, Neryungri, Mirny, etc.) where various industry enterprises are placed. Thus, more than half of the population of Yakutia in one degree or another are faced with violations of environmental rights.

It may be noted that only those living in remote areas of Yakutia not experience environmental problems.

 

Thus, these problems need to be addressed at the state level.

However, their decision at the national level is difficult because of the functioning of public administration that is not interested in solving the real problems and the protection of citizens’ rights.

According to the Constitution the Russian Federation is a federal state, which has the following structure: President, legislative, executive and judicial bodies, and public authorities of all subjects of the Federation.

Unfortunately, federal officials and deputies often take decisions in the detriment of the regions and their populations, lobbying interests of resource extraction companies. Infringement of the rights of regions clearly demonstrates the unfair tax policy, when more than half the taxes and payments go to Moscow. As a result, self-sufficient regions are subsidized and are forced to ask for financial assistance from the federal government.

Despite the fact that much of the natural resources are mined in Siberia and the Far East, mainly the oligarchs — the owners of resource extraction companies, who transfer the cash to offshore accounts abroad, enrich. These oligarchs are proteges of senior federal officials.

In these circumstances, the role of management of regions increases. However, in regions federal center appoints dependent heads which can be manipulated. Basically, they are  proteges of local corrupted ruling circles for whom there is dirt and it helps to manipulate them. In fact, most regional leaders do not protect the interests of the regions and the public, and serve the interests of the federal oligarchic groups, promoting predatory seizure of resources and suppressing the local population.

Thus, we can conclude that in the regions of Russia, including Yakutia, public authorities (executive, legislative, judicial) of federal and regional level actually act: 

-not in the interests of the regions and their inhabitants;

-but  in the interests of the federal government and large companies, the purpose of which is to “squeeze all the juice out” of the regions, that is enrichment by any means at the expense of natural resources, profitable businesses and other sources.

 

In these circumstances, we need additional legal instruments, one of which may be the rules of international law concerning the rights of indigenous peoples.

Due to refusal of state bodies at all levels to protect the rights of citizens it is necessary to  consolidate stakeholders in the protection of their rights —  indigenous representatives on the basis of public organizations (associations) of indigenous peoples.

I have been working and will continue working on the implementation of the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

However, given the greater efficiency of local and targeted enforcement I consider it expedient to use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention No.169 and other international means concerning the rights of indigenous peoples in solving above and other actual problems.

Their implementation should be linked to the implementation of the provisions of the International Bill of Human Rights, which includes the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Reasonableness of adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is established in article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

This will allow more effectively address the problems of individual communities — the indigenous and other peoples living in specific areas.

However, Russia did not approve the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and refuses to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples, allegedly referring to the contradiction between international norms and the Constitution that is the result of applying a policy of «double standards».

Adoption of the Declaration in Russia, where more than 190 peoples live, would effectively consolidate and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The Declaration does not violate the rights of other peoples and the territorial integrity of the State, but only help to ensure favorable living space of indigenous peoples, leading a traditional way of life and living in native habitats.

 

There is currently no understanding of the need for the implementation of international indigenous rights at the federal level. But at the regional level it is possible to note some positive examples of the application of the Declaration in the work of state bodies.

For example, the Constitutional court of Republic Sakha (Yakutia) adopted the Decision No.4-p of October 21, 2016 in the case on the interpretation of the provisions of article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia).

The Decision stated that the territory of Yakutia is the native land and historical homeland of the Sakha people, the source of its economic well-being, unique cultural and linguistic identity. One element of the legal basis for this decision was the Declaration.

This decision was supported by the public organization “Somogo Kuus (United Force)” that protects economic, legal, ecological, political rights of indigenous people Sakha and other peoples in Yakutia.

In July 2017 in the joint statement of the public organization “Somogo Kuus (United Force)” and the NGO «Yakutia — Our Opinion» at the Substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council

Chairman of the public organization “Somogo Kuus (United Force)” Dmitri Dmitrievich Ivanov appealed to the international community to influence the Russian authorities with a view to recognizing the status of indigenous people Sakha and the rules of international law relating to the indigenous rights by Russia.

I believe that the adoption and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would help to stabilize the socio-economic and political situation in many Russian regions, where indigenous peoples live.

In general, the implementation of international law will ensure a harmonious progressive development of human potential and the full involvement of the country in the global integration processes.

 

       6. Measures for redress

 Based on the above, I, Stepan Petrov, as the Chief of the Applicant – NGO «Yakutia — Our Opinion», offer to appeal to the Russian government:

  1. to recognize the status of indigenous peoples with more than 50,000 members;
  2. to approve the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  3. to implement the rights of indigenous peoples of Russia in according to provisions of international law on indigenous peoples;
  4. to eliminate the above violations of my rights of the citizen of the Russian Federation, guaranteed by the International Bill of Human Rights, in conjunction with the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

  1. LIST OF DOCUMENTS

1.) The written statement for HLS AMR at the 2017 ECOSOC Substantive session (July 2017)

2.) The Judgement No.4-p of October 21, 2016 of Constitutional court of Republic Sakha (Yakutia) in the case on the interpretation of the provisions of article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

3.) The statement of Chief of NGO Yakutia — Our Opinion Stepan Petrov on the theme “On  the need to recognize the international rights of indigenous peoples by Russia” at the 11th UN Session of  Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples  (July 2018)

Video of statement

4.) The submission of NGO Yakutia – Our Opinion to the UN Universal Periodic Review for the 30th session of the Working Group on the UPR (May 2018) (the state under review – Russian Federation)  (May 2018)

 

DECLARATION AND SIGNATURE

I hereby declare that the information furnished in the complaint is true and correct

to the best of my knowledge and belief.

 

Stepan Petrov 

Yakutsk, Russian Federation

February 1, 2019