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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Drexel: Researchers Investigate Children’s Rights and Discriminatory Laws in Russia

In 2013, what has become known as the “gay propaganda law” – a law banning the distribution of materials related to “nontraditional sexual relations” to minors – was passed in Russia. Despite having been deemed discriminatory and in violation of human rights, the law remains intact.

In an article in the Health and Human Rights Journal, Ms. Caroline Voyles, a PhD student in the Department of Community Health and Prevention, in partnership with Dr. Mariana Chilton, professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, used Mr. Maxim Neverov’s case to discuss the health and rights implications of the enforcement of this law. Mr. Neverov, a 16 year-old child and political activist, was fined for posting a picture deemed as propaganda.

Ms. Voyles and Dr. Chilton examined human rights documents to demonstrate that while a state has the obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill its human rights obligations, this particular case demonstrates how Russia is instead dangerously rejecting, neglecting, and regressing in its commitment to supporting children’s rights. Among the rights violated are those related to the right to information, to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and to life. This work contributes to the international discussion about the harmful effects of the law on sexual and gender minorities and their allies and to advocate for its repeal.

Their paper builds on Ms. Voyles’ previous experience as a scholar of Russian language.

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