UN welcomes adoption of the National Human Rights StrategyAug 31, 2015
On 25 August, President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree approving the first National Human Rights Strategy ever developed in Ukraine.
This comprehensive document provides a five-year roadmap to address both decades-old, systemic human rights issues and more recent conflict-related challenges that have followed Maidan’s “Revolution of Dignity”.
The Strategy contains 24 strategic areas that span the whole spectrum of human rights. They include preventing and investigating torture and ill-treatment, fighting impunity, increasing efficiency of the law enforcement and the judiciary, ensuring the right to a fair trial, combating discrimination, promoting the rights of national minorities and indigenous peoples, ensuring gender equality, supporting human rights in the territories not controlled by Ukraine, safeguarding the rights of internally displaced persons; ensuring the right to health care and upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, association, and religion.
The elaboration of the Strategy is the result of collaborative efforts that have involved, since November 2014, the Government, civil society groups, the institution of the Ombudsperson and international organizations working under the auspices of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.
The United Nations, in particular the UNDP and the OHCHR, have cooperated with the Government in the preparation of the Strategy by providing expert support, convening platforms to ensure inclusiveness of the process and ensuring that the Strategy reflected the human rights concerns identified by UN human rights mechanisms during their reviews of Ukraine’s policies.
Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine, praised the “truly symbolic character” of the adoption of a human rights strategy “at a time when Ukraine faces one of the gravest challenges since its independence”. He welcomed “an important step towards a paradigm shift in the relations between the government and its citizens based on the recognition of the supreme value of the human rights” and pledged continued UN support.
The UN in Ukraine calls on the Government to maintain the positive momentum created by the development of the Human Rights Strategy and to show equal commitment to the adoption of an effective Action Plan to implement the Strategy based on an inclusive and participatory process involving all the segments of Ukrainian society.