In October 2004 the sociological company Levada-Centre has carried out a poll to see what human rights are most valuable to Russians and compared the outcome with the poll ten years ago. Over the ten years, the share of those seeing crucial the right to free education, medical help, old-age and sickness ensurance has increased from 64 to 74 percent. The share of those seeing crucial the right to state-guaranteed subsistence wage -- from 33 to 41 percent. Fewer people now see as important the right to live (54 against 63 percent) and that to private life and inviolability of the home (45 against 55 percent).
In the interview to the Vedomosti newspaper, Levada-Centre deputy general director Alexei Grazhdankin explains the difference by the Russians no longer fearing direct threat to life because there is more "order" in the country now than ten years ago. However, social reforms are coming to the fore, being deeper rooted in social conscience also owing to the reform of the system of benefits. Most Russians see this reform as a threat.
Yuri Dzhibladze, director of the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, explains the growing concern over the social rights by the fact that in 1994 the Soviet system of medical service and education was still operational and over the last ten years has been broken up. In his opinion, the most of the population understand civil freedoms as "abstract and unrelated to everyday life" and is ready to "shrug them off".
According to Ella Pamfilova, chairperson of the human rights commission under the president, civil and political rights are indeed moving to the background for the Russians.
During the period from October 15 to 18, Yuri Levada's analytical centre (Levada-Centre) polled 1,600 Russians in 128 populated centres in 46 regions. The 2004 poll was, as the one ten years ago, representative-sample.