Executive summary of Monitoring report on implementation of the National HR Strategy (as of July 1, 2016)
of Monitoring report on implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy (as of July 1, 2016)
The Monitoring report on implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy (as of July 1, 2016) is the second review of the actions implemented by the authorities, scheduled in the Action Plan for the National Strategy. The document was prepared by participants of the Memorandum of Cooperation between representatives of the civil society and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
The analysis included actions to be implemented in the IV quarter of 2015, I and II quarters of 2016, as well as those with deadline extended.
Thus, there were analyzed 204 actions, among which:
- implemented – 23;
- not implemented – 72;
- implemented in the reporting period – 17;
- partially implemented – 27;
- under implementation – 60;
- implemented in certain areas – 3;
- technically implemented – 1;
- risk of non-implementation – 1.
The analysis of the National Human Rights Strategy implementation in the second quarter of 2016 arouses some suspicion about the real intentions of the state to achieve the objectives stipulated in the Strategy.
“The Human Rights Strategy is the second most important document in Ukraine, after the Constitution. In general, we are optimistic. However, the Action Plan implementation reveals insufficient coordination between government officials and human rights activists. In addition, in today’s environment, it is difficult to comply with some of the commitments made by the government,” said Arkadiy Bushchenko, UHHRU Executive Director, COP of the USAID Huamn Rights in Action Project at the presentation of the Report.
“Currently, the drawbacks that were not considered during the Action Plan preparation are starting to emerge. The strategy was created through democratic procedure – by a majority vote. In fact, it was mostly an expert work, which had to harmonize different concepts and determine what resources in general were needed to implement the Action Plan: both financial and intellectual ones,” says Arkadiy Bushchenko. “The Government’s attempts to avoid the implementation of certain actions within the Action Plan generate a platform for dialogue, including changes to be made in the Action Plan: to clarify why it is impossible to implement certain actions and improve the document.”
In general, implementation of all sections of the Action Plan tends to be disappointing. It’s hard to say it is not implemented at all, however, no seriousness with respect to the strategic document is observed as well. No information was provided on some actions that had to be implemented, but were not, in the previous reporting periods, yet it is impossible to find information in open sources. Another problem is that responsible authorities misunderstood some actions stipulated in the Action Plan, and in responses regarding their implementation they provided information about some other issues.
“Some performers, in fact, allege the impossibility or inexpediency of the Action Plan implementation, forgetting that all the central executive authorities developed that document together with national and international non-governmental organizations,” said Olga Gvozdiova, Coordinator of “Donbas SOS” NGO.
The following actions can be regarded as well-implemented:
- Approval of the State social program against human trafficking for the period till 2020.
- Approval of the legal act on adoption of the discrimination complaints records system for central and local authorities.
- Creation of the working group to develop the procedure of compensation for property damaged during the anti-terrorist operation.
- Approval of the Law of Ukraine “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on documents confirming citizenship of Ukraine, certifying identity or special status of a person aimed at the visa regime liberalization for Ukraine by the EU.”
- Approval of the Action Plan for 2016-2017 to implement the Strategy for overcoming poverty.
Regarding the implementation of the section about combating discrimination and hate crimes, the analysis of the action implementation for the first and second quarters shows some progress, since 2/3 of 11 analyzed actions are under implementation, one has been fully implemented, and one third of the actions have not been.
The Action Plan’s implementation with regard to “new challenges” for the state (i.e. ensuring the rights of citizens residing in the uncontrolled territory of Donbas and the occupied Crimea, the rights of internally displaced persons) is almost completely ignored by the authorities.
Mikhaylo Chaplyha, a representative of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, states that in 2016 there is a deterioration of the human rights situation for internally displaced persons due to introduction of new discriminatory regulations. “Another issue is the problem of exercising the right of access to public information by citizens,” said Mr. Chaplyha. At the same time one of the few positive events for the last six months is the recent establishment of the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs.
Compared with the first quarter, the performance rating has not changed. Based on the results, only 21% of the actions have been implemented.
Human rights activists are concerned that the delay in the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy by the executive authorities would lead to its failure. On December 10, 2016, the Government will be reporting to the President on the Action Plan’s implementation. At the same time, there will be presented an alternative report of the Public monitoring platform. The document will be brought to the attention of the executive authorities, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the President and the public.
Valeriya Lutkovska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, encourages the public authorities to cooperate, “We encourage the authorities not to fear reports on implementation, to be transparent and open. It is only those who do nothing that make no mistakes. Show real picture and listen to proposals given by members of the public.”
The activity of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union on the implementation of the Nation Human Rights Strategy and the subsequent Action Plan is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Human Rights in Action Project.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 50 years. In Ukraine, USAID’s assistance focuses on three areas: Health and Social Transition, Economic Growth and Democracy and Governance. USAID has provided 1.8 bln. technical and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since 1992.