Fifty years ago today–December 10, 1948–the United Nations General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Several Russian media have noted the anniversary, and others have run related stories. One concerned a report just released by a presidential commission about the human rights situation in Russia during 1996-1997. Using the results of surveys taken by the Public Opinion Foundation, the commission found that 75 percent of those polled said human rights are not observed in Russia, 17 percent said they are observed and 8 percent were undecided. Forty-four percent of those polled said the human rights environment had worsened over the past few years, 32 percent said it was unchanged, 14 percent said it had improved, and 10 percent were undecided. The top five rights which respondents said were being observed in Russia were freedom of conscience and religion (cited by 35 percent of the respondents), freedom of speech (33 percent), freedom of movement and domicile (25 percent), the right to private property (25 percent) and the right to education (22 percent). The top five rights which respondents said were not being observed were the right to life and security (44 percent), the right to employment (43 percent), the right to environmental safety (33 percent) and the right to social security in the event of a disability (29 percent). The presidential commission noted that 60 percent of those polled said that they had not personally experienced a rights violation (Russian agencies news agency, December 9).
…WHILE NEWSPAPER CLAIMS SOME HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IGNORE INTERESTS OF RUSSIAN STATE. ”