Human rights defender
Nataliia works as a volunteer journalist in a human rights project called “Equality Dignity Pride” that promotes LGBTIQ rights as well as rights of invisible and vulnerable groups. The project team organizes the Barents Pride, the only Pride event for Russian activists, held in Kirkenes Norway, and the Dignity Festival, an event against social stigmas.
From 2017 to 2020 Nataliia was a journalist for a human rights project called “Woman. Prison. Society’ that aims to help women, children and LGBTIQ-people whose lives are tied to places of detention. This includes former prisoners and their children, women whose relatives are serving sentences and women in detention.
Human rights violations in Russia
Civil society in Russia faces a lot of state repression. Deputies signed a law that enables individual journalists, activists and bloggers to be classified as foreign agents. Since its implementation in 2015, dozens of NGOs have been forced to shut down, including one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations. Attempts to tarnish the reputation of human rights defenders include broadcasts of so-called “investigation reports” on state television channels.
Threats and challenges
While homophobia and societal stigma towards the LGBTIQ population in Russia are not new, the 2013 so-called “gay propaganda” law, only worsened the situation. It threatens NGOs and activists supporting rights on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression with criminalization. Unfortunately, due to this situation Nataliia and her team have experienced threats, pressure and insults.