Project information

Strengthening Minority Rights- Russia

To ensure that internationally accepted human rights standards are implemented in the treatment of minority and indigenous peoples across Russia. The project will strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to monitor the human rights situation in Russia & to engage with decision-makers.

30 months

Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Violent struggles for secessionism and a resulting deterioration in basic security, with corresponding costs in terms of social cohesion, afflict several minorities in the North Caucasus. Increased racial discrimination and xenophobia across Russia have impacted upon a number of minorities living outside of their traditional homelands. Government attempts to define and channel debates on national identity continue to posit problematic distinctions between ethnic Russians and other citizens.


    The project will strengthen the awareness amongst minority groups of their legal rights and of Russia’s legal obligations toward them. It will train civil society actors to effectively influence decision makers. The initiative will also address the challenges of ensuring compliance with international standards and the urgent need for effective monitoring by civil society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Strengthen the capacity of CSOs to conduct advocacy and monitor the human rights situation in Russia


    » One national training (at least 15 participants) on international minority standards & Russia’s legal framework for minority rights.
    » A second training for CSOs on monitoring strategies.
    » Three workshops for 36 people representing regional CSOs and communities.
    » Develop a monitoring toolkit (CD-Rom and online).

    66 minority and human rights activists trained on international/domestic measures guaranteeing their human rights and effective methodologies to advocate for their implementation.

    Aim 2

    Make decision-makers more aware of human rights standards & of their obligations toward minorities.


    » Produce a summary of Russia’s international commitments on minority rights which synthesises recommendations of various monitoring bodies.
    » A review (500 copies in Russian, 200 in English) as a tool to promote synergy of action between stakeholders - in particular inter-governmental actors
    » Produce a progress report which monitors the implementation of recommendations and identifies good practice.
    » Four national advocacy campaigns on anti-discrimination legislation, police violence, identity rights and recognition of migrant communities.

    1 report summarizing Russia’s international commitment on human rights & 1 progress report summarising research by partners on the implementation of recommendations.

    Aim 3

    Improve coordination and cooperation between civil society actors working with minorities in Russia.


    » A project steering committee to assess project progress, evaluate work and provide guidance on the development of activities.

    Success will be when Russian civil society actors strengthen their cooperation & coordination efforts on minority rights issues.

  • Impact


    This project will build the capacity of new and fragile civil society actors in their understanding of human rights standards and the obligations of the state under international law. Thus it will contribute to strengthening democratic reform in Russia and improve state policy in the human rights area. The initiative will enhance the inclusiveness and pluralism of civil society to ensure better protection of human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance at the local level.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest, outbreak of disease, or major environment disaster. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Staffing costs UK and local staff
      £25,000 Capacity building two national training sessions and three workshops
      £20,000 Report publication research, translation, and dissemination of materials
      £25,000 Advocacy four national advocacy campaigns
  • Background


    The Russian Federation, particularly the regions of Republic of Karelia and Murmansk Oblast; Khabarovsk Krai; St Petersburg; and Voronezh and Krasnodar Krai.


    The research, publications and advocacy carried out in this project will benefit minority and indigenous groups across Russia. Minority groups in Russia make up 20% of the population which means that up to 30 million people will indirectly benefit from this action.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG is currently implementing the EC funded Global Advocacy, which consists of intensive trainings covering minority rights, advocacy and media work; national, regional and international advocacy at international fora; and the production of shadow reports. To date, 30 Russian activists and CSO representatives have participated.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    International Project – Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM)

    YHRM is an expert in conflict resolution and in sensitising marginalized communities to international human rights norms.