Russia ratifies CRPD

10 May 2012, Budapest. Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev signed the federal law on ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). MDAC welcomes Russia’s step towards becoming a State Party to the CRPD and calls on the Russian government to fully implement the Convention and to “take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities” Article 4(1) b) CRPD).

MDAC has been working in Russia since 2003 and has actively advocated for ratification and implementation of the CRPD.  MDAC has challenged the Russian guardianship system, which still allows for only full deprivation of legal capacity, at the domestic, regional and international levels:

  • In 2007, MDAC published a report “Guardianship and Human Rights in Russia: Analysis of Law, Policy and Practice” in which it was clearly demonstrated that Russia fails to comply with human rights standards;
  • In 2008, the European Court of Human Rights issued a landmark decision in the case of Shtukaturov v. Russia in which the applicant was represented by MDAC. The Court found that denial of legal capacity of the applicant and his subsequent placement in a psychiatric hospital violated several articles of the European Convention;
  • In February 2009, the Russian Constitutional Court declared Russian legal capacity legislation unconstitutional;
  • In October 2009, the UN Human Rights Committee pointed out in its concluding observations that Russia should review its policy of depriving people with mental disabilities of their legal capacity (para 19);
  • In 2010, MDAC has published legal capacity related policy papers to provide technical support to the government and parliamentarians;
  • In April 2011, as a result of the Shtukaturov judgments and MDAC’s advocacy in coalition with Russian NGOs and DPOs, procedural safeguards were introduced to protect people with disabilities placed under guardianship and detained in psychiatric hospitals.
  • In September 2011, MDAC filed an application on behalf of client I.D. at the European Court of Human Rights challenging her placement under plenary guardianship despite evidence that she had support in decision-making.
  • In October 2011, MDAC lodged a Constitutional Court complaint on behalf of the same client; a hearing in the case is scheduled in June 2012.

MDAC encourages Russian policy and law-makers to adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights of people with disabilities recognized in the CRPD and in particular, to reform its legal capacity law to eliminate  restrictions on the rights of people with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities that are inconsistent with the CRPD.

To get to know more about our work in Russia, please contact us on .

MDAC’s work in the Russian Federation is supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

Russia, crpd, advocacy
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