The Coalition ‘Justice for Peace in the Donbas’ strategized how to improve access to justice in 2017

Feb 22, 2017

Kyiv, 6-7 February 2017 – 17 Coalition member NGOs dealing with conflict-related human rights violations reviewed their legal work in 2016 and agreed on the further steps for more effective redress, support and prevention.

The Justice for Peace in Donbas Coalition  was created in 2014 with support of UNDP and other partners. The majority of these NGOs are human rights organisations and initiatives documenting the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed conflict.    

In order to ensure proper documentation of violations, the Coalition applies the professional data storage and tracking software that was purchased and installed with UNDP and other partners’ support. The database already includes over 200 cases of human rights violations, and is used to identify the appropriate legal remedies (e.g., ECHR, IHL, domestic criminal and civil case law) for survivors, many of whom are IDPs or representatives of other vulnerable communities in Donbas.    

Coalition members strive to improve access to justice for those who suffered the most during the conflict, including victims of illegal detentions and tortures, released prisoners, immigrants unlawfully deprived of property, as well as to facilitate their reintegration into Ukrainian society.

Since its inception in late 2014, the Coalition has gained recognition of Ukrainian and international partners. In cooperation with a wide range of governmental actors and international stakeholders, the Coalition works to improve access to justice, provide legal support to the affected population, and promote peace and reconciliation.

During the meeting, the Coalition reviewed the achievements of the past year and defined priorities for 2017. In 2016, the Coalition managed to boost its communication and advocacy capacities and improve monitoring and documentation mechanisms. The Coalition’s members also took part in UNDP-organised trainings on digital security and documentation . In addition, the Coalition has developed and launched a new webpage where citizens can directly report about human rights violations. Coalition has produced 11 thematic reports and 2 monitoring reports on human rights violations. With UNDP’s support, one of these reports was circulated among the members of the UN Security Council and of the UN General Assembly.

Based on the achievements of the previous year, the Coalition defined the following priorities for 2017:

  • To continue collecting information on human rights violations in Eastern Ukraine (through database development);

  • To provide legal, social, medical, and psychological assistance to survivors;

  • To ensure internal and external advocacy;

  • To prevent impunity and assist in fostering dialogue and peace through cooperation with national and international law enforcement agencies;

  • To start education and awareness-raising campaigns.

The initiative is supported by the Democratization, Human Rights and Civil Society Development Programme, implemented by UNDP Ukraine and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the International Renaissance Foundation.

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