Concluding Observations, CRC/C/RUS/CO/4-5, 31 January 2014: Russian Federation
24. The Committee is also concerned at the recent legislation of the State party prohibiting “propaganda of unconventional sexual relationships”, generally intended protect children, but which encourages the stigmatization of and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, including children, and children from LGBTI families. The Committee is particularly concerned that the vague definitions of propaganda used lead to the targeting and ongoing persecution of the country’s LGBTI community, including through abuse and violence, in particular against underage LGBTI-rights activists.
25. The Committee recommends that the State party repeal its laws prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality and ensure that children who belong to LGBTI groups or children from LGBTI families are not subjected to any forms of discrimination by raising the public’s awareness of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Sexual exploitation and abuse
35. The Committee remains concerned about the large number of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the State party, and the lack of cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and the social system to prevent such offences or to rehabilitate victims of sexual violence and sexual abuse. The Committee is also concerned about the sexual abuse of children who belong to LGBTI groups because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
36. The Committee recommends that the State party establish interdepartmental cooperation at the federal, regional and local levels, in particular between law enforcement agencies and social services structures in order to prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of children and to provide timely and effective rehabilitation to victims of such crimes. The Committee also recommends that the State party take urgent measures to investigate all information relating to the sexual abuse of children, including LGBTI children, and prosecute and punish the perpetrators of such crimes under the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code.
55. The Committee is concerned at the high incidence of suicide and of drug and alcohol addiction among adolescents in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the reports of coercive treatment of transsexual and homosexual persons, in particular children, and an attempt to diagnose transsexuality as psychiatric disease, as well as the lack of sexual health information for LGBTI children.
56. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take urgent action to strengthen its efforts to prevent suicide among children and young persons, including by increasing the psychological counselling services available and the number of social workers in schools and communities, and ensure that all professionals working with children are adequately trained to identify and address early suicidal tendencies and mental-health problems;
(b) Take measures to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among children by providing them with information about the negative health consequences thereof;
(c) Put an end to the coercive treatment of transsexual and homosexual persons, in particular children, and to attempts to diagnose transsexuality as a psychiatric disease, and provide LGBTI children with easy access to necessary sexual health information.
Education, including vocational training and guidance
59. The Committee welcomes the fact that the age of compulsory education was raised from 15 to 18 years of age in September 2007. However, the Committee is concerned that the benefits of free and compulsory education do not extend to all children in the country. In particular, it is concerned about:
(e) Violence and bullying in schools against children who belong to LGBTI groups.
60. Taking into account its general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(e) Take urgent measures to prevent the bullying of LGBTI children in schools by educating children and school staff and punishing the perpetrators.
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CRC-Russian Federation-2014-eng