Human Rights Activists Asked the President to Extend the Period of Preparation of the National Strategy on Human Rights (appeal is opened for signature)

To the President of Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko


Dear Mr. Poroshenko,

The human rights community hopefully accepted your initiative on development of the National Strategy on Human Rights as defined by the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 811/2014 as of October 15, 2014.

Society expects the strategy will begin the process of systematic and consistent solving problems in human rights, the existence of which is evidenced by numerous decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the conclusions and recommendations of the monitoring bodies of international organizations, the requirements of Maidan, and find effective means of solving new problems related to the occupation of the territory of Ukraine and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

It is important that the strategy is the result of social consensus, based on the equal participation of all parties (governmental authorities, institutes of the civil society and the Authorized Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) and mutual accountability for the process and its effects. This is possible only in the case of broad involvement of citizens, institutes of civil society, and all government agencies.

The experience of European countries (and this was demonstrated during a meeting on the development of a national action plan on human rights in Ukraine, organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, held on December 1, 2014) shows that policy-making in the field of human rights is to be built around a person, in his/her direct participation and active involvement of all stakeholders.

International experience shows that it is important not only to obtain a high-quality end product – a draft Strategy, but also the process of development itself, during which the new mechanisms of efficient and equitable interaction of all stakeholders are formed. The process of drafting the Strategy should be an example of solidarity for creation of a better future of our country, to launch a new culture of cooperation between the state and civil society on the public policy formation.

Unfortunately, the deadlines specified by the President, do not allow for a complete, high-quality and equal participation of civil society in the process of the Strategy development. As a result, much of civil society remain on the sidelines of this important process, which in its turn can lead to negative consequences for the public associations and initiatives. The thing that has been called to become a bright moment of unity and mutual creation can become a source of conflict and misunderstanding due to ineffective communication.

For these reasons, the human rights organizations and other civil society institutions believe that the time, set aside for developing and submitting the draft Strategy to you for consideration according to established procedure will not ensure a proper level of transparency and efficiency of a social dialogue.

Given the above, we kindly ask you to extend the period for preparation of the Strategy.


Faithfully Yours,

Executive Director

of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union                                          Arkady Bushchenko


The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group                                             Oleksandr Pavlichenko


Head of

the Centre for Civil Liberties                                                                        Oleksandra Matviichuk


Executive Director of

Amnesty International in Ukraine                                                                Tetiana Mazur


Chairwoman of the Centre for Civic Education

“Almenda”                                                                                                   Olha Skrypnyk


The Social Action Centre/No Borders Project                                             Irena Fedorovych


Head of the NGO “Institute for Legal Research and Strategies" Andrii Rokhanskyi

Human Rights LGBT Centre “Nash Svit” (“Our World"), Oleksandr Zinchenkov

Iryna Dumych, Centre for Civil Liberties, Euromaidan SOS

Heinrich Repp, NGO “Dzherela Prava”

Lawyer, Anastasiia Zernova

Head of the Odessa Separate Division of the NGO "Association of lawyers providing free legal aid", lawyer Kateryna Karmazina

Roman Lykhachov, lawyer, Head of Chuhuiv City and District NGO “Chuhuiv Human Rights Group”

Tetiana Ratushna, lawyer, post-graduate student of the Pierre Mendès-France University in Grenoble

Volodymyr Kutsenko, lawyer

Oleksandr Byshkov, lawyer

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