17 June 2021
by Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora international human rights group:
In connection with the expected decision on compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus in Moscow and the Moscow region, the question of its legality arises. The chief sanitary doctors are issuing decrees on the mandatory vaccination of service industry workers.
Our lawyers explain the legal basis.
Notably, employees can refuse to be vaccinated, but in this case, employers are obliged and have the right to prevent these employees from performing work responsibilities.
On the issue of the prospects for judicial review and appealing to the European Court of Human Rights, there may be claims with regard to the validity of including certain categories with respect to compulsory vaccination or the level at which decision-making takes place – whether it is parliament or the head of the executive branch, at the regional or federal level, whether there are exceptions, and so on. That is to say, the details are important, but under certain conditions the authorities have the right to introduce such requirements.
As far as the ECtHR is concerned, on 8 April in the case of Vavřička and Others v. The Czech Republic, the Grand Chamber of the Court did not establish evidence of a violation of the human rights convention in the compulsory vaccination of children.
Furthermore, the ECtHR recognized as lawful the administrative punishment of parents for refusing the compulsory vaccination of their children. In the presence of such a position, an application to the EtCHR would essentially be pointless.
Translated by Tyler Langendorfer