4 October, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 07/17/2012
Russia, bill for more control over volunteers
by Nina Achmatova
After the Law on NGOs, a draft bill which requires volunteers to sign an agreement with charitable organizations before working in the field. Experts say Kremlin bothered by growing movement.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - As the ranks of the army of volunteers from all over Russia continue to swell are they head for Krymsk, the city hardest hit by the floods of July 6, the authorities are studying a new law for the first time to give voluntary work legal status. Human rights activists, however, are alarmed: the initiative, they say, is intended only to put this spontaneous movement under the strict control of the Kremlin, which already in a recently passed law tightened its hold on foreign funded NGOs.

The summer fires of 2010, electoral fraud in December, the indiscriminate demolition of historic buildings in Moscow and more recently the floods in the Krasnodar region (over 170 dead), are just some of the events over the past two years that have mobilized an unexpected number of volunteers, committed to making up for shortcomings and failures of local and central authorities, especially in times of emergency. Moscow views this broad and transverse movement, which is garnering praise and admiration in every sector of society, as a potential factor for "destabilization". As was admitted in no uncertain terms by the mayor of Krymsk in the aftermath of the disaster, when hundreds of Russians began to flock to the southern city.

According to statements byopposition deputy Ilya Ponomarev, the Russian Public Chamber is preparing a draft law in which volunteers are required to sign agreements of cooperation with an organization that deals with charitable acts, and with local authorities. The bill aims, officially, to "protect volunteers", providing that individual organizations have to ensure their transportation, meals and accommodation. According to Ponomarev, however, the new law could result in "serious problems" for volunteers, with the authority that might try to curb their activities in an attempt to  keep tabs on rumors spreading of any eventual government responsibility in local disasters. The draft law will reportedly be submitted in August and then discussed by the chambers in the autumn session, according to Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper. Currently there are no laws governing the voluntary sector.

"It is hell," said the photographer and famous Tweeter activist Dmitry Aleshkovsky. Alexei Mukhin, head of the Center for political technologies disagrees. "This is a pragmatic, not political decision - said the expert, close to the Kremlin - the actions of the volunteers should be adjusted to avoid conflicts between them, relief workers and government agencies."

For Grigory Kuksin, Greenpeace Russia, it is still too early to judge "what is clear for now is that this bill seems excessive and unnecessary". The activist, a leader in coordinating volunteers during the 2010 fires, fears that "the authorities want more control over the volunteers, who are well organized and see what is really happening in the country."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/07/2011 RUSSIA
A former Orthodox priest among challengers to Putin and Medvedev for the Kremlin
by Nina Achmatova
More millions of displaced people in Sindh as military confirms killing of volunteers
by Fareed Khan
01/02/2005 THAILAND
Buddhists pray for the dead, elephants help in post-tsunami recovery
09/09/2004 IRAQ - ITALY
NGOs in Iraq: staying put to rebuild country and coexistence
by Bernardo Cervellera
05/25/2015 RUSSIA
Russia faces debate on the legalization of polygamy

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.