ZMINA joins diplomatic meeting with OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

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Liudmyla Yankina, Project Coordinator at ZMINA Human Rights Centre, met with Margareta Cederfelt, President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and Tobias Thyberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, to discuss human rights and democracy in Ukraine.

Tobias Thyberg, Oleksandr Zaslavsky, Margareta Cederfelt, Tamara Martseniuk, and Liudmyla Yankina

The diplomatic dinner took place at the Embassy of Sweden in Kyiv on October 12.

Liudmyla Yankina briefed the President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on the security situation in Ukraine in relation to civil society, highlighting specific problems and cases of persecution. Yankina also talked about the mechanisms used by ZMINA to protect the persecuted activists and human rights defenders and about how it was possible to strengthen Ukrainian legislation to make mechanisms for bringing to justice perpetrators of hate crimes work finally.

In turn, Tamara Martseniuk, sociologist and lecturer at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, touched upon the situation with violations of women’s rights, in particular in military units. She also outlined the problems of gender inequality and sexism in the Parliament and the level of readiness of people in Ukraine to change towards gender equality. Oleksandr Zaslavsky, director of the analytical department at NGO Laboratory for Legislative Initiatives, spoke about how to assess the quality of democracy in Ukraine in general, how active the Ukrainian society was in participating in political processes, and characterized the overall parliamentary democracy.

Margareta Cederfelt urged never to remain silent when injustice occurs, especially when it comes to human rights violations.

For the Ukrainian human rights environment, the highest-level meeting with the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was a unique opportunity to present in detail a list of existing problems and threats that exist for civil society in Ukraine. This meeting is valuable precisely because of the opportunity to outline the current situation without the involvement of mediators, when it is possible to provide a comprehensive overview and answer all questions in the format of dialogue,” Liudmyla Yankina said.