Analytics and Interview

On 16 January 2015 late in the evening the website of the Ministry of Justice published a statement that the NGO Committee Against Torture had been added to the register of non-profit organizations designated as ‘foreign agents’.
Tanya Lokshina is the Russia program director at Human Rights Watch and Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement: As the crisis in Ukraine escalated this spring, the Kremlin’s vicious crackdown on civil society also escalated. Space for independent civic activity in Russia is shrinking dramatically, but international policymakers and the media have been understandably too distracted to do much about it. Since early spring, it seems as though every week brings a new pernicious law or legislative proposal.
Earlier this year, the correspondent of Youth Human Rights Movement from Germany Jakob Stürmann interviewed Konstantin Baranov, member of the Coordination Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement. They discussed so called “law against homosexual propaganda” and the overall situation of LGBT in Russia.  

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Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy have been held in Russian jails for two years already under fabricated charges of ‘terrorism’. We consider it being necessary to express solidarity with those who are persecuted due to their pro-Ukrainian views, civic stand and desire for freedom in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Helsinki Committee of Armenia has published “Human Rights in Armenia 2014” Annual Report. The report reflects on the Right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Political Persecutions, Freedom of Conscience and Religion, The Rights of the Child, Protection of Labor Rights.
«We have a few questions for you,» a border guard told Sinaver Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist, at the Armyansk checkpoint in northern Crimea on Jan. 23. Kadyrov was on his way to Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to fly to Turkey for medical treatment. It was the beginning of an ordeal that ended with a local court expelling him from Crimea, his home of almost 25 years.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

Mark Twain


Youth Human Rights Movement

On the situation in the YHRM Network

Дата публикации: 

In January 2020 the Coordination Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement made a decision to close the Network, triggering a discussion about that decision among YHRM participants.

In the 20 years of its existence the YHRM Network has introduced tens and hundreds of young people in Eurasia to human rights movement, and a number of YHRM participants in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine continue human rights work in their countries’ leading organisations. Despite the fact that some of the projects and initiatives launched by the YHRM kept running and some of its participants continued their human rights and civil work in the past few years, the Network itself ceased to exist as an actually functioning community. It became obvious that the Network’s participants had to move on and the Youth Human Rights Movement had to make room for new initiatives and groups.

The discussion about the Network’s closure among its participants coincided with the making of allegations against Andrey Yurov, one of the founders of the Network and its Honorary President until 2019, whose actions towards his colleagues and seminar attendees crossed the boundaries of professional and human ethics. Andrey Yurov had neither actually nor nominally been a part of the Network’s management and activities for several years, but we are truly sorry that his actions might also have taken place within the Network’s space. We are deeply shocked by the information which is being revealed and genuinely sympathise and empathise with those who have been affected by those actions.

It is becoming obvious that the Network’s closure without any response to current events would be impossible. This situation is currently being discussed among YHRM participants. The co-chairs of the YHRM Coordination Council suggest creating an independent contact group of professionals who are not involved in the situation to allow for submitting information about any relationships within the Network that resulted in trauma and find ways to help those who went through such relationships. It also appears important to discuss the standards and principles that could help to avoid similar situations in different groups and communities working in human rights and/or civic engagement. We would be truly grateful for any advice or help in this matter.

It grieves and pains us that the Network’s story has to end on such a sad note, but we want to believe that those hundreds, or even thousands, of activists from different countries who have worked in or collaborated with the YHRM over the years will also remember the bright and happy pages of its history associated with our shared successes, solidarity, and mutual support.