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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Site: Companies Violating Rights

A web site that advises people living in Moscow without city registration is challenging international companies to review their hiring practices.

Moscow Illegals, which calls the city's registration laws a "variety of modern slavery," announced this week a campaign to solicit names of Western firms that reject applicants lacking Moscow registration.

"Representative offices of Western companies that continue to violate the rights of nonresidents will be reported to their owners and in the mass media," the statement on reads.

Though the Constitution guarantees freedom of movement, City Hall has retained its requirement of Soviet-style propiskas for nonresidents. Companies that take employees without registration are subject to city fines, lawyers say.

The organization writes on its web site that it received complaints about two telecoms, Siemens and Motorola, for including city registration in their criteria for job applicants.

Alla Gridasova, head of human resources at Motorola, said the company's hiring practices are designed to comply with local legislation.

The company offers jobs to unregistered people from outside the city, provided they are prepared to register before signing an employment contract. "If a job offer is made to a non-Muscovite, we inform the candidate that he/she is obliged by the Moscow authorities to get registered," she said by e-mail.

Siemens wiped the criteria off its web site about a month and a half ago during routine editing of content, said a web site editor who asked not to be named.

A lawyer for the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights organization, said registration rules inconvenience both employers and nonregistered residents.

"It's a real problem for companies … because even if they need a qualified person and this person has no registration, this company can't hire him," said the Helsinki Group's Irina Sergeyeva.