Human rights survey, Ombudsman+ and Anti-discrimination Barometer: Three ways to support human rights in Ukraine

Apr 5, 2017

UNDP Ukraine is supporting the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, also known as the Ombudsperson, with many different activities. Find here three main highlights of our achievements:

Human rights situation surveyed

In October/November 2016, over 2,000 people from all 24 regions of Ukraine responded to a public opinion poll analyzing the overall human rights situation and the level of human rights awareness. Commissioned by UNDP and administered by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Ukrainian Sociology Services, the poll pointed to a lack of systematic knowledge about human rights and protection mechanisms, and low levels of confidence towards government authorities.

"This nationwide public opinion poll has highlighted main human rights challenges on which politicians, lawmakers and government officials, and human rights defenders should focus today […] People believe the situation regarding human rights and fundamental liberties has deteriorated greatly during the last two years since the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine”, emphasized Parliamentary Commissioner Valeria Lutkovska.

A new format: Ombudsman+

UNDP supported a platform of access to public information for the Ombudsman to reach out to all regions of Ukraine, knows as “Ombudsman+”. This includes a network of regional civic activists which are the eyes and ears of the Ombudsperson to monitor authorities in the territory. Last year, the Ombudsman+ network was actively involved, together with leading civil society organizations, in verifying the access to public information citizens have in compliance to the law on access to information.

The monitoring concluded that city and oblast councils as well as oblast state administrations are fully open about their expenses, but tend to avoid providing full information on procurement of goods and services (39% disclosure), land allocation (39% disclosure) and allocation of apartments to officials (25% disclosure). Citizens face regular difficulties when trying to access to city and oblast councils’ session agendas, schedules of planned session meetings, as well as minutes and protocols that detail person-by-person voting results.

Antidiscrimination Barometer

How to monitor the presence of tolerance or prejudices, perceptions of discrimination, discriminatory practices, and the effectiveness of existing solutions to protect against discrimination? A relevant methodology is necessary for monitoring to be systematic and reliable. UNDP supported the development of such a methodology for the so-called Antidiscrimination Barometer. This is a diversified tool that includes not only surveys, but also the assessment of judicial decisions, practices and legislation. Such approach provides for a comprehensive assessment of the problems related to discrimination in Ukraine.

Piloted in 2016 in the Kharkiv region by the Institute of Applied Humanitarian Research, the first application of the methodology pointed to discrimination towards the elderly (aged over 50) as the most widespread form of discrimination (45.8%), followed by discrimination based on disability (40%), ethnic origin (30.5%), and sexual orientation (36.7%).

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