|Young migrants' rights top agenda at Moscow UNDEF-funded meeting
News from the Field, 23 December 2010
As ethnic tensions linger in Moscow following clashes between nationalists and migrants in early December, an UNDEF-funded project held a meeting to explore ways of protecting the human rights of child migrants in the Russian Federation. At a roundtable on 17 December in the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center in central Moscow, civil society and human rights leaders from Moscow, Perm, Saint Petersburg and Tula met with migration experts, government officials, and international organizations, including the International Organization of Migration, the International Labour Organization and the Red Cross.
As protecting the rights of migrant workers in Russia becomes an ever more acute challenge, the project began work in the second half of 2010, implemented by the Center for Assistance to Victims of Violence and Human Trafficking, based in Perm. It works to empower civil society organizations and trade unions representing migrants and ethnic minorities, in particular those from Central Asia; educates police, institutions, trade unions and social services in tools to prevent discrimination and xenophobia; trains civil society organizations in UN human rights conventions, international standards and practices, Russian law and court litigation, self-organization and self-help; and holds workshops with human rights NGOs in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Ukraine to exchange lessons learned and best practices. Other meetings in Perm and Moscow have brought together migrant civil society leaders, police and the Ministry of Justice, as well as officials from the Offices of the Ombudsman and Prosecutor.