Sergei Mitrokhin: The bill on protection of applicants on corruption must be supplemented
YABLOKO’s Anti-Corruption Policy Centre took part in the public discussion of the bill on the protection of the rights of the applicants on corruption. Draft amendments to the law “On Combating Corruption” were proposed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation. The lawyers of YABLOKO’s Anti-Corruption Policy Centre positively assessed the initiative of the Ministry of Labour, but also recommended to extend the law on schools and universities students, as well as medical patients, by means of developing a clear mechanism of protection against retaliation for reporting corruption.
The bill seeks to protect citizens who reported corruption in the government and other state bodies, as well as in public organisations. Amendments in the law guarantee confidentiality of applicants, provide them with free legal aid, protect them against dismissal by the employer. The Centre considers these measures insufficient.
“The bill is essentially correct, but it is still rough. It is only about protection of the labour rights of the applicants on corruption and says nothing, for example, about the protection against expulsion from a University, early discharge from a hospital or other reprisals. The list of possible harassment is wide and can not be limited to the phrase “and so on”, the main measures of protection should be pointed out,” Sergei Mitrokhin, member of YABLOKO’s Federal Political Committee and head of the Centre, said.
The bill introduces the concept of “persons assisting in combating corruption”. This definition covers not only employees of companies where corruption is possible, but also civil society activists and journalists. The law does not mention protection of the applicants’ relatives and facilitating persons.
“The campaign for the adoption of such a law has been going on for many years. In June 2016, we also proposed the adoption of such a bill within the framework of the initiatives on combating corruption in Russia. Now the main task is to make it work, so we have proposed nine amendments,” Alexei Karnaukhov, deputy head of the Centre and lawyer, noted.
In addition, the bill offers a possibility for a public prosecutor to participate in the meeting of the commission on combating corruption. The Centre offers to oblige the representatives of the prosecutor’s office to attend the meetings.
Previously, Transparency International also drew attention to the problem of implementation of the measures envisaged: “The existing practices of protecting the applicants on corruption in the public sector (in particular, on the basis of President’s Decree No 309 of April 2, 2013) have shown to be inefficient”.
Following the discussion, Sergei Mitrokhin forwarded the proposals on the bill to the Russian Government.
Posted: February 21st, 2017 under YABLOKO against Corruption.