According to Human Rights Watch, “a draft law made public on November 29, 2019 fails to address serious gaps in Russia’s response to domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today.”
Human Rights Watch noted that:
In a December 6 letter to the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Human Rights Watch urged the council to amend the bill to bring it in line with international standards and include key protections for victims. If adopted, the bill would be Russia’s first law addressing domestic violence.
“The domestic violence bill is long-awaited, but in its current form largely misses the mark by not addressing several issues crucial to providing effective protection for domestic violence victims,” said Yulia Gorbunova, senior Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Without providing victims with sufficient protection and recourse measures, the law risks being no more than an empty shell.”
Human Rights Watch made several recommendations for amending the bill, among them to introduce a complete and comprehensive definition of domestic violence, including physical, sexual, economic, and emotional abuse. Human Rights Watch also called to amend the provisions of the bill concerning protection orders and urged for measures on protection and access to justice for victims of domestic violence every step of the way, beginning when they first seek help from the authorities. The bill should ensure that the list of people who may be affected by domestic violence includes close relatives and extended family and former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the abuser shares or has shared a residence with the victim.
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