Report for the List of Issues in relation to 9th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation to Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

The report for the List of Issues in relations to 9th periodic report of the Russian Federation to CEDAW pre-sessional working group was submitted on behalf of the Russian Civil Society Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reforms by the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Social Justice and Health with technical assistance of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and in cooperation with the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association.

The Russian Federation fails to fulfill the international obligations under CEDAW convention without addressing the disproportionate effects of drug criminalization on women who use drugs. Drug criminalization prevents equal access of women who use drugs to health services and drives vulnerability of women who use drugs to gender-based discrimination, including gender-based violence. The State Party does not provide independent mechanisms of monitoring of human rights violations against women who use drugs. Moreover, the State Party persecutes civil society organizations that conduct such monitoring. Following 2017 CESCR recommendations, the State Party should consider decriminalizing drug possession for personal consumption and ensure that women who use drugs have access to gender-sensitive harm reduction and other health-related, social and family support services without discrimination.

In the light of the foregoing, the report submitters urge the Committee to request the Russian Federation to provide information about all measures undertaken to reduce vulnerability of women who use drugs to discrimination and violence.

Questions for the List of Issues:

Article 2: How does the State Party ensure equal protection and non-discrimination for women from disproportionate drug enforcement?

Article 5: What measures does the State Party employ to address specific vulnerability of women who use drugs to gender-based discrimination and violence?

Article 12: What measures were undertaken by the State Party to implement 2015 CEDAW recommendations to ensure the substitution therapy programs for women who use drugs?

Article 12: How did implementation of Article 69 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation (deprivation of drug dependent people of their parental rights) affect implementation of Article 12 (2)?

Article 12: Which measures does the State Party undertake in order to protect women who use drugs from discrimination when enforcing social restrictions related COVID-19?

The report is available in English.