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Amnesty's campaign on human rights in Russia

Russian Federation: Resource Centre plays key role in Amnesty International's campaign on human rights

Amnesty International has established its presence in the Russian Federation with the opening of the Russian Resource Centre in Moscow, an integral part of its current campaign on human rights in the country. The campaign will run until the end of 2003, but the Centre will continue its existence after that.

The Resource Centre aims to be a showcase for the activities of the more than one million-strong membership of the organization in 140 countries by presenting their contribution to the promotion and preservation of human rights worldwide and their actions as part of the campaign on Russia.

"One of our main goals is to raise awareness about human rights violations and impunity in the Russian Federation, including the lack of redress for the victims. At the same time we want to change the perception of Amnesty International as a western organization by informing the Russian public of cases and campaigns it has undertaken in other countries and the results it has achieved," Sergei Nikitin, Director of the Russian Resource Centre, said.

Crucial to Amnesty International's work, the Resource Centre has already started work on an area crucial to Amnesty International's work: close cooperation with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their mission to increase the awareness of human rights issues in the Russian Federation, to place them at the centre of the public debate and to mobilize as many people as possible. In March 2003, Amnesty International and Russian NGOs held a roundtable on campaigning against racism and discrimination, in which concrete action points for future cooperation and joint campaigning were identified. In May 2003, Amnesty International launched its campaign on violence against women in cooperation with Russian NGOs working on the same issues.

"We are planning further projects with Russian NGOs that will offer training and education in human rights issues and will provide materials to enable Russians to join Amnesty International and the organization's campaigns. We want the Resource Centre to be a focal point and base for human rights activists from the Russian Federation and thus stimulate the growth of civil society in the country," Sergei Nikitin added.

Amnesty International's new Russian language website, , is providing up-to-the-minute information on Amnesty International's work around the world, including the organization's flagship annual report. The site also allows interested members of the public to take part in Amnesty International's campaigns on-line.

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