As of today, Ukraine has completed implementation of the Action Plan on Implementation of the Human Rights Strategy by 29%, a monitoring conducted by 11 civil society organizations concludes. Human rights defenders recommend to introduce changes into the Action Plan to streamline human rights protection and improve coordination between the state bodies.
On December 10, 2018, at the beginning of the Human Rights Week in Ukraine, top officials from the Ministries of Justice, Social Policy and Internal Affairs, human rights defenders and representatives from UNDP and UNHCR have discussed Ukraine’s achievements in the implementation of the Human Rights Strategy till 2020 and recent results of the UNDP-supported Human Rights Progress Study.
“Ukraine’s human rights protection has seen significant progress. Adoption of the National Human Rights Strategy till 2020 and the Action Plan envisages promotion of peace, justice and the sustainable development. Human rights must be mainstreamed in all policies, even at times when martial law is adopted in some oblasts”, called for Blerta Cela, UNDP Deputy Country Director.
Adopted in 2015, the National Human Rights Strategy aims at improving state capacities in human rights and freedoms protection, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
Serhiy Petukhov, First Vice-Minister of Justice, has mentioned the following steps in the Strategy’s implementation. The methodology for implementation review was developed by the Ministry of Justice, and the Ukrainian parliament adopted a breakthrough legislation on prevention and counteraction to domestic violence. The Government Commissioner on Gender Equality Policy was appointed in 2018 to coordinate the work of ministries and other central and local executive bodies and ensure equal rights and opportunities for women and men in social and political life. In addition, the Directorate for Human Rights, Access to Justice and Legal Awareness was created within the Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice and tasked with shaping the state policy in human rights, access to justice and legal awareness.
“In close cooperation with the civil society and international partners, we are working on updating the Action Plan to achieve more precise formulation of measures to be introduced. There is a plenty of work to be done, and joint efforts are essential for accelerating the progress”, stressed Serhiy Petukhov.
The amendments to the Action Plan refer to the freedom of association, child’s rights and protection of displaced populations, implementation of the international humanitarian law, tackling gender-based violence, human trafficking and all forms of discrimination.
“Ukraine has implemented the Strategy only by 29%. The most noticeable progress has been achieved in ensuring the right to liberty, the weakest one in protection of the rights of people living in the non-government controlled territories in eastern Ukraine”, said Ksenia Semyorkina, legal expert from Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention) has yet to be fully ratified by the Ukrainian parliament, Semyorkina added.
Photos: Andrey Krepkikh / UNDP Ukraine