Pavel Chikov: "Despite being in a minority, [human rights] organisations had always set the tone and agenda of public opinion as well as forming and influencing it, but they have been effectively wiped out thanks to the efforts of the authorities"

posted 16 Feb 2017, 14:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Feb 2017, 14:04 ]
"In reality there’s very little to say, since NGOs no longer exist in the sense of the term as it was used when they began to spring up in the early 1990s. After the Law on Non-Governmental Organisations was adopted in the mid-1990s (the Federal Law On Non-Governmental Organisations N 7-FZ was adopted by the State Duma on 8 December 1995 and ratified by the President on 12 January 1996; note by Polit.ru), there was an explosion of these organisations in various areas of public life, and hundreds of thousands were established. Yet NGOs in the traditional sense of the term have ceased to exist. 


"In practical terms, the measures put in place by the federal authorities over the past ten years or more have changed not only the quality and content but also the ethos and meaning of the work carried out by NGOs, and in recent years their numbers have dropped sharply by 25-30%. The latter observation is based on official figures from both Rosstat and the Ministry of Justice. The first and most important thing to note is therefore that the NGO sector has undergone a fundamental change in both qualitative and quantitative terms, and some of the types of organisation which used to belong to this sector, and the types of work they used to carry out, have effectively disappeared. 

"The organisations which disappeared were primarily human rights NGOs if we understand this term in its broader sense, or in other words those organisations which had traditionally been the main mouthpiece for the Russian NGO sector since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite being in a minority, these organisations had always set the tone and agenda of public opinion as well as forming and influencing it, but they have been effectively wiped out thanks to the efforts of the authorities."

- Pavel Chikov, chair of Agora International

Source:
'The Benchmark for NGOs,' Moscow Helinski Group [original source: Polit ru] , 3 February 2017
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