The long-awaited register of indigenous peoples entered into force
14:53 7 мая 2020
Категории: News in English
On the 7th of May Russia is introducing the mechanism for registration of indigenous ethnic minorities. The Federal Agency for the Affairs of Nationalities will be busy with creation of the register.
The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East has been working on the unprecedented mechanism for preservation of rights of indigenous ethnic minorities of Russia for more than five years. The people’s program “Indigenous 2021” was created in 2017 on the basis of the results of interaction with regions. The lack of a procedure for confirmation of ethnic identity was placed at the top of the list of indigenous issues. The information was given in the information center of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East.
The register will be used by the authorities to implement rights of indigenous ethnic minorities. Thus, a representative of indigenous peoples will have the opportunity to “prove” his/her ethnic identity once and not to provide a number of documents to specialized agencies each time, when implementing rights for traditional fishing, hunting and other measures of state support. Therefore, it is necessary to develop changes to the corresponding specialized legislation.
“The entry of the federal law into force allows the Association to gradually move to further systematic work on improvement of the situation of indigenous peoples. First of all, it touches upon traditional fishing, rules of traditional hunting, pension provision, issues of interaction with specially protected natural territories that are created on territories, where indigenous peoples reside, and issues of education. These are the first five items that require major changes to laws and regulations. And in parallel with forming of the register we must bring in the changes to the specialized legislation”, commented Grigory Ledkov, the president of the Association.
The transition period will last for two years. Lists for registration of persons from among indigenous ethnic minorities should be formed during this time. They are based on the application procedure. People will be added to the list and removed from it only on their initiative and on the voluntary basis. In addition, the register, as a tool for implementation of provided rights and guarantees, will allow conducting the accounting policy.
The history of “the register of indigenous peoples” is recalled. The draft law has a long way to go that is built on searching for a constructive solution to one of the most pressing issues of indigenous ethnic minorities. Since, it is required to confirm ethnic and national identity with documents in order to implement guaranteed legal rights for traditional fishing, hunting, pensions and other guarantees of the special legal status of indigenous peoples recognized and protected by the Constitution. Exactly the lack of the accounting policy and of the unified procedure for confirmation with documents makes indigenous peoples “poachers”, makes conditions for creation of “pseudo-communities” and prevents from improvement of the sectoral legislation in terms of ensuring of rights of indigenous peoples.
Therefore, in 2015 the Association, searching for a solution to the issue, held visiting activities in regions, where indigenous peoples reside, in order to generalize regional law enforcement practices and to hear urgent needs. It is worth noting that the most effective regional program of such accounting policy was developed in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, where 18795 people (5146 families) lead the nomadic lifestyle today.
As a result of the work and the appeal of Grigory Ledkov to the President of Russia, the Government of the Russian Federation was instructed to finalize draft normative legal acts aimed at improvement of the procedure to classify citizens as indigenous ethnic minorities of the Russian Federation.
In the first reading the draft law was approved only in November of 2019. Amendments were prepared for the second reading; they were discussed at the sitting of the Coordinating Council of the Association. On the 22nd of January of 2020 the State Duma adopted the law “On amendments to the Federal Law “On guarantees of rights of indigenous ethnic minorities of the Russian Federation” in terms of establishing of the procedure for registration of persons belonging to indigenous ethnic minorities” in the third reading. On the 3rd of February it was approved by the Federation Council, and on the 6th of February the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed the corresponding changes. It begins its work 90 days after its official publication.