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Moscow changes Legislation on Migrants Rights

The city government of Moscow prepares for laws on interethnic relations in the city of Moscow as a counteraction of discrimination on racial, ethnic and confessional characteristics. The draft can go into first reading in the Moscow City Council already in September. Moreover, as Yury Goryachev, vice representative of the Department of Education of Moscow, has informed Gazeta, that his department plans to finish work on the new concept of ethno-cultural education at the beginning of 2007. The draft, according to the plan of the officials, will promote not only the settlement of existing conflicts, but also the transformation of migrants into patriots of Moscow and Russia.

This is probably why a significant part of the bills actually repeat clauses of the Constitution. If new laws come into force and lets say the police adhere to the clear postulates, then the attitude of migrants to Moscow will undoubtedly improve.

However, already in the list of the main principles of the ethnical relations, there is one condition: the rights of migrants are acknowledged, but it is also subject to the necessity of strengthening the spirit of the Russian community and the general cultural space in the city of Moscow. That is, if the foreigner does not become fond of Russia of his own, he will be forced to like it. There is nothing reprehensible in that idea: the time has come to respect our customs. The methods offered are just too one-sided. For example, a register of national public associations will be created. Though nobody is obliged to go there, it is only there possible to count on assistance from the city and other kinds of support.

The draft is hardly more concrete concerning discrimination - acts against the friendship of the peoples will lead to a fine: For simple xenophobic persons, it is up to the minimum size of 15 daily fines, and double for xenophobic agitators and leaders.

We should not forget that money also matters in the Moscow city government. Consequently, through the draft, the executive authority will have to establish a new budget line for expenses on acts of discrimination. Money, in particular, will go to city programs, monitoring, and advertising in mass-media of any pattern of ownership. In general, this is what has to be developed.

The city authorities will give special attention to the education of the migrants: schools can make them patriots. One of the basic ideas of the new concept, as Yury Goryachev has explained to Gazeta - not only to install national traditions within the children having migratory background, but also to generate a Russian and Moscow identity. It is planned to bring cultures together and on the other side to introduce a course with the principles of interethnic dialogue and harmony at schools.

From next academic year onwards, there can be one more innovation: one-year schools for children of migrants in which they will be taught Russian language and to adapt to the new conditions of life. Then, they are sent to ordinary schools. According to Goryachev, there will be first of all 12 such schools in different districts of city. However, the head of the commission of the Moscow City Council on Science and Education, Evgeny Bunimovich, complained yesterday that the question of financing is not yet solved.

Source: Gazeta
Issued by: Moscow Bureau of Human Rights


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