Intergovernmental and U. S. Monitoring
There has been almost no monitoring of Russian state practice from human rights organizations. There have been no significant reports or campaigns from the big human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International. The Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights have included trafficking in women as part of their campaign since 2003, but they have written no reports on trafficking in or from Russia. None of the major Russian human rights advocates has researched or campaigned against trafficking, including those organizations, such as the Moscow Helsinki Group, that had criticized the Russian response to domestic violence. In general, despite earlier interest in sexual assault in Russia, these organizations were now willing to leave trafficking monitoring to others. One small exception is the late 2007 Violence Against Women Monitoring Program of the Open Society Institute, which includes an assessment of Russia’s antitrafficking efforts, albeit mostly based on others’ empirical research.
More attention to the trafficking in adult women has come from intergovernmental organizations. In collaboration with the IOM and the OSCE, women’s crisis centers in Moscow and Kazan have produced informational booklets on trafficking, contrasting Russian practice with international documents and practice in other countries in the region.47 The ILO released a 2004 report on Coercive Labor in Contemporary Russia: Unregulated Migration and Trafficking in Persons (Tiuriukanova 2004). While not focusing just on trafficking in women, the report illustrates the links made by the ILO between sex trafficking and other coercive labor, including the trafficking of men to and within Russia as construction workers. Other monitoring has come through the CEDAW process. Only in 2006 did any of the international organizations release something akin to a human rights monitor, when a working group under the aegis of the United Nations and the IOM published Human Trafficking in the Russian Federation: Inventory and Analysis of the Current Situation and Responses (Tiuriukanova 2006)d8 Although assessing Russia’s response based on a human rights and victim-centered approach, the report is only a review of the limited existing literature and includes no victim testimonies. As of 2008, the Council of Europe will monitor implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, but as of June 2008, Russia had not even signed the convention.
The only sustained monitoring of Russia’s problem has come from the United States’ TIP reports released yearly starting in 2001. Although the first couple of reports were remarkably vague on details about country responses and focused almost solely on sex trafficking, by 2003, the reports were specific about the Russian government’s failure to comply with what the United States established as minimum standards for addressing trafficking in persons, including trafficking beyond sex trafficking, based on the 3 Ps. However, unlike human rights reports, these do not focus on the human rights violations themselves or victim testimony but on government inaction. With no voice, the trafficked women and girls are cast as poor passive victims inherently vulnerable to trafficking.