Ukrainian Government has ignored a number of very important UPR recommendations


As civic organizations and coalitions of NGOs that prepared alternative reports on Ukraine’s observance of human rights as part of the Universal Periodic Review [UPR] procedure, we welcome the Ukrainian Government’s acceptance of many of the recommendations received during the second UPR cycle.

We would, however, note that the Ukrainian Government has ignored a number of very important recommendations, passing decisions to reject these recommendations.

We can cite as one example the highly baffling position taken by Ukraine’s Government in rejecting the recommendations regarding ratification of important international agreements such as the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court;  the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances; the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;  the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence;  the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and others.

It is important that even recommendations which did not speak of ratification, but only of Ukraine considering the possibility of ratifying international agreements have been rejected. One can thus conclude that the Ukrainian Government not only has no intention over the next four years of ratifying the above-mentioned international documents, but is not planning to make any attempts to move towards ratifying them. This is unacceptable for a country which has set protection of human rights as one of its priorities.

Considering that Ukraine has signed virtually all these international agreements, its position on putting off ratification of these documents demonstrates a formal attitude to the signing of international agreements which is not directed towards real implementation of their provisions. Unwillingness to ratify them also shows the country’s lack of goalposts in areas regulated by the provisions of those international documents.

Some recommendations regarding the use of selective justice in Ukraine have also been rejected with this demonstrating the Government’s reluctance to even acknowledge this problem, let along take steps to rectify the situation.

In addition, the Government has failed to take on board most recommendations aimed at protecting LGBT communities from discrimination which demonstrates the State’s position with respect to defending the rights of these people.  Nor has it accepted some recommendations on protection of women’s rights, such as the recommendation on special temporary measures, including quotas to achieve gender equality in spheres where women are not represented or are disadvantaged, and for women suffering multiple forms of discrimination. This is despite the fact that the recommendation fully complies with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Bearing in mind the importance of the recommendations which the Ukrainian Government has rejected, we would ask the Government to reassess its position on the rejected recommendations and take steps to resolve the main issues set out in these recommendations and do all that they can to bring the country closer to their implementation.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

The Chernihiv Civic Committee for the Protection of Human Rights

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