Human rights defenders requesting President to take into account their proposals to National Human Rights Strategy
President of Ukraine
Dear Mr. President!
The non-governmental organizations, dealing with the protection of the human rights of victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine, express their deep respect for you and demand not to narrow the scope of the National Human Rights Strategy .
Adopted through the Decree of the President of Ukraine in 2015, the the National Human Rights Strategy needed updating. In the summer of 2020, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine began to develop amendments to the Strategy and form the action plan for its implementation. Representatives of the human rights NGOs and international partners were involved in the work.
During October, the Directorate for Strategic Planning and European Integration of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine held a series of meetings of thematic groups to develop an Action Plan for the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy for 2021-2023.
The Coalition of non-governmental organizations, dealing with the protection of the human rights of victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine, submitted proposals to the Action Plan, which includes about 90 measures to ensure the rights of internally displaced persons, protect the rights of residents of the occupied territories, residents of settlements located near the contact line in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, release persons imprisoned as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, ensure the rights of persons who have gone missing in unknown circumstances and members of their families, overcomethe negative consequences of the armed conflict caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.
The proposals, sent by experts working in the field of overcoming the negative consequences of the armed conflict, were taken into account partially.
In particular, the Ministry of Justice proposes to combine the protection of internally displaced persons, residents of the temporarily occupied territories and residents of the so-called “gray zone” in one group – ensuring and protecting the rights of persons affected by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. At the same time, following to the logic of the Ministry of Justice, the categories of persons who have gone missing during the conflict or who have been deprived of liberty as a result of the armed conflict are not considered victims.
However, although the text of the draft amendments to the National Human Rights Strategy includes some proposals submitted by NGOs, the draft Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy ignores these proposals.
Due to the fact that not all the measures planned for 2020 were implemented, NGOs proposed to update some of the measures and add new ones that would simplify access to education, administrative services, pensions, social benefits, intensify the mine action, introduce an evaluation mechanism for the needs of internally displaced persons and ensure the process of permanent financing of housing programs,etc.
Unfortunately, instead of developing high-quality and effective measures, the Ministry of Justice decided to focus on steps that are easier to implement and less conflicting to agree with other ministries. In particular, most of the measures proposed by the Ministry relate to the development and submission of draft regulations, although drafting of regulations alone does not change the human rights situation in Ukraine.
Such a plan, even if fully implemented, will not lead to the achievement of the goals set by the Strategy, which is a vector of Ukraine’s movement towards a democratic state governed by the rule of law. Instead, the draft of the updated Action Plan, which focuses on regulatory activities, transforms the document into a formal and technical one, focused exclusively on quantitative indicators and does not introduce systemic changes.
We once again draw attention to the fact that the adoption of certain regulations does not necessarily lead to enforcement of human rights and freedoms.
Moreover, the decision to adopt them is the power of Parliament, as the National Strategy is a national document that shows the intentions and specific actions of public authorities in certain areas.
We, the non-governmental human rights organizations, dealing with the protection of the rights of victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine, urge to take into account the provided proposals and develop amendments to the National Human Rights Strategy , as well as to the Action Plan for its implementation, taking into account the real needs of all categories of victims of the conflict caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.
We emphasize that in the process of preparation of proposals for the Action Plan ,we relied on our experience in the field of protection of the above mentioned persons and indicated their specific needs, therefore, the broad framework of the National Strategy proposed by the Ministry of Justice does not take into account the specifics of the protection of this category of citizens.
Proposals of NGOs can be viewed here.
NGO “Civil holding “GROUP OF INFLUENCE”
ZMINA Human Rights Centre
Charitable Foundation “Right to Protection”
Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services in Ukraine (CF SSS)
NGO “Donbas SOS”
Charity Foundation East-SOS Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)ПІДПИСАТИ