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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma to Pass Europe's Social Charter

The State Duma is set to approve the European Social Charter, a key Council of Europe document protecting civil rights, after excluding sections on the rights of migrant workers and the right of the needy to receive free welfare and health care.

Approval of the excluded sections will be postponed for financial and legal reasons, Duma deputies said.

The Duma's Committee on Family, Women and Children has recommended that the deputies approve a bill ratifying the 1996 charter, the committee said in a statement posted on the Duma's web site.

"The charter's ratification will create additional guarantees that the social and economic rights of citizens are secured and protected and provide guidelines for reforms in the social sphere," said a note attached to the bill and posted on the web site.

The Duma committee has recommended postponing approval of a chapter requiring the state to create agencies that would provide legal information to migrants free of charge, as well as to secure equal work and living conditions and salaries for migrants and the other citizens. The committee has also recommended that the approval of chapters that guarantee the right of free welfare and health care for the needy be postponed.

Approval of the excluded chapters would necessitate additional budgetary expenses and the passage of numerous amendments to Russian law to bring it in line with European law, said the note attached to the bill

A date for a first reading of the bill hasn't been scheduled.