State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky from Liberal Democratic Party of Russia has been accused of sexual harassment three times since the beginning of 2018. A Duma commission on ethics didn't find any violations in his behavior. This case has confirmed the need for a legal mechanism to bring officials to account for their actions.
On April 13, 2018, we held a round table with representatives of civil society, the media and NGOs, whose theme was the need to introduce a code of ethics for deputies. As a result of the event, we drafted and sent an appeal to the State Duma Control and Rules Committee with an appeal to adopt a code of ethics with a provision about the inadmissibility of any actions or encroachments on acts of a sexual nature against citizens with whom the deputy communicates in an official capacity. The Project and Training Laboratory for Anti-Corruption Policy of HSE, the Regional Public Organization Independent Charity Center for those who've survived sexual violence Sisters, the All-Russian Association of Women's Non-Governmental Organizations, the Consortium of Women's Non-Governmental Associations and Nasiliu.net joined the appeal.
You can read more about the initiative and support it here.****
To the chairman of the State Duma Control and Rules Committee Olga Savastyanova
Dear Olga Viktorovna,
At the end of February 2018, three journalists from Russian publications who regularly report on the work of the State Duma of the Russian Federation reported harassment by the State Duma deputy, head of the international affairs committee Leonid Slutsky (from the LDPR faction). One of those episodes was even captured on an audio recording.
The State Duma commission on matters of parliamentary ethics did not even take into consideration the applications of journalists on the merits, despite public demand.
The State Duma has not yet adopted a code of parliamentary ethics, although relevant recommendations are contained in the UN Convention against Corruption (Article 8), which Russia ratified in 2006. The Group of Countries Against Corruption (GRECO) also regularly recommends that Russia develop a code of ethics for deputies (in particular, in the Assessment Report "Prevention of Corruption of Members of Parliament, Judges and Prosecutors" of March 22, 2018).
In connection with this we ask you to develop, submit for public discussion, and then submit for consideration by the relevant bodies of the Council of the Duma draft Code of Ethics and Service Behavior for a deputy to the State Duma. We think that this project should, among other things, provide for the inadmissibility of any actions or attacks on acts of a sexual nature against citizens with whom the deputy communicates in an official capacity.
We also ask you to develop and submit amendments to the Regulations and other normative acts, including the 3-FZ "On the status of a member of the Federation Council and the status of a deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation", which provide for mandatory liability for violation of the Code of Ethics up to the termination of powers.