On 30 January 2018 Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman’s Office) held a roundtable where methodology of the new human rights monitoring instrument at the local level was presented, in connection with the armed conflict in the East and the need for post-conflict recovery.
Local Human Rights Index monitoring targets the level of territorial communities. It analyzes the way local authorities (local self-government) in settlements perform their duties in the context of human rights protection. The project aims to support the decentralization reform in connection with post-conflict recovery.
The event was attended by representatives of state and civil society institutions interested in working with the project.
Speakers from the Ombudsman’s Office: Bogdan Kryklyvenko and Olena Smirnova stressed the importance of observing human rights at the local level. They put special emphasis on the need to conduct human rights related studies in settlements affected by the armed conflict. It has been noted that monitoring initiatives in this regard, jointly implemented with the UHHRU, show considerable progress after three years. The methodology of the Local Human Rights Index can be used for evaluating implementation by Ukraine of the recently adopted PACE 2198 (2018) resolution “Humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine”.
UHHRU project team members: executive director Olexander Pavlichenko, head of analytics Oleg Martynenko, Andriy Galay, Bogdan Moysa and Taras Shcherbatiuk noted that the Local Human Rights Index allows evaluating and disseminating efficient and inefficient practices in settlements, providing recommendations on the best approaches and encouraging local activists to cultivate human rights in their cities. In regard to post-conflict recovery in frontline settlements, the Index allows evaluating general human rights (from fundamentals to involvement in local self-governance) as well as special ones, such as the right to a proper standard of living and integration of IDPs and other people affected by the conflict. In particular, the rights of these groups are systematically analyzed in the Strategy on Integration of Internally Displaced Persons up to 2020 adopted at the end of 2017.
In addition to discussing the tools provided by the Local Human Rights Index, the event featured results of test monitoring activities in Uzhhorod and Bilozirska united territorial community in Cherkasy Oblast, plans for the near future and opportunities for engaging interested organizations.
In particular, within the next three months, test monitoring studies will be conducted in seven settlements of Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Sumy oblasts, the results of which will serve as a basis for public events held for active representatives of local communities, local and central government bodies, and media. Monitoring studies will be conducted in large cities (Dnipro, Sumy, Mariupol), two united territorial communities, and cities of Pokrovsk and Toretsk.
The aspect to be studied will be proper standard of living, which belongs to fundamental human rights according to the instrument’s methodology. This category of rights is especially relevant for conflict-affected settlements.
Prepared by Andriy Galay, Local Human Rights Index project coordinator
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