Report to be delivered at the conference in Turin on October 17,
2014 on the topic «Role of the European Social Charter in consolidation of social rights during the period of crisis and at the recovery stage»
Dear Chairperson! Dear participants!
The Russian Federation, having ratified the European Social Charter in 2010 (two thousand ten), regards implementation of its provisions as an essential means to ensure and promote social rights.
During the 2008-2009 (two thousand eight - two thousand nine) economic and financial crisis, Russia assumed a policy aimed at maintaining and even increasing basic social benefits. Thus, social and labour pensions were raised, followed by the further increase of social allowances and wages of social workers.
Currently, Russia has been proceeding with improvement of its social rights system to render it more up-to-date and efficient.
The Government of the Russian Federation has approved new versions of the following State Programmes: Assistance in Employment, Social Support of Citizens and Accessible Environment.
Since January first, 2015 (twenty-fifteen), there will be a new procedure of formation of citizens’ pension rights and granting pensions within the framework of compulsory pension insurance system. The reform will provide a decent pension rate regarding the principle of social justice and will enhance joint responsibility of the State, employers and employees for the pension provision level.
The system of unemployment benefit payment is being further improved, benefits yet remaining low due to highly liberal conditions of their granting. This year criteria of unemployment benefits granting will be optimized to render them more targeted. Besides, unemployment benefit rate will be increased. Therefore Recommendations of the Committee on Social Rights experts are being implemented. In fact, conclusions of the Committee on Social Rights experts help a lot to see weak points of our system and to improve legislation and law enforcement practices.
Russian Federation pays special attention to social protection of vulnerable groups of population including people with disabilities. In 2012 (twenty-twelve) we ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This resulted in adoption of more than 10 corresponding laws and over 30 (thirty) amendments to legal acts.
Moreover, in 2012 (twenty-twelve) the Federal State Programme
«Accessible Environment» was launched. It is aimed at ensuring barrier-free access of disabled persons to every day facilities and services as well as creating specially equipped workplaces for the disabled. The implementation of the Programme is provided with about 4 billion euros for 5 years.
Russian Government focuses on the development of inclusive labour market and removal of barriers faced by underrepresented in the labor market groups of population willing to work. This refers primarily to people with disabilities and women with small children. In particular, the new Law on Social Service, aimed at improving social service for families with children, has been adopted. The elaboration of the law was performed following the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on children’s rights and social services friendly to children and families.
Another important activity area of the European Social Charter provisions implementation is improvement of the Russian legislation and law enforcement practices on occupational safety and health issues.
In December 2013 (twenty-thirteen), there were adopted laws stipulating a unified procedure of objective labour conditions evaluation. As a result, it became possible to comply with the requirements set forth in Part 4, Articles 2 and 3 of the Charter in corpore. This refers primarily to reduction of working hours duration in workplaces where it is not yet possible to eliminate risks. More generally it refers to measures for economic stimulation of employers to improve labor conditions through direct correlation between decrease of the rates of contributions, which are paid to the Pension Fund, and reduction job hazard level. The laws provide for determination and modernization of outdated manufactures with “contaminating technology” and old- fashioned equipment in order to reduce hazard.
In conclusion, I would like to underline once again that fulfillment of obligations taken under the European Social Charter, in particular, those in the sphere of social rights, remains a priority for the Russian Federation since the Charter goals and objectives perfectly correspond to the policy pursued by the Government in this sphere.
Thank you for your attention!