Proposals of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union concerning the List of Issues Prior to Reporting to be raised before the Government of Ukraine by the UN Committee on the Rights of Rights of Persons with Disabilities as regard preparation of the periodic report of II-III cycle on implementation by Ukraine of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ukraine ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 16, 2009. This international agreement entered into force for Ukraine on March 6, 2010. During its XIV session, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prepared Concluding Observations in relation to the initial report of Ukraine on the implementation of the Convention. In 2017, Ukraine adopted a simplified reporting procedure for the II-III cycles of the state report on implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Ukraine must report on implementation of the Convention in 2020. Until then, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is preparing questions for the Government of Ukraine, accepting proposals on them from NGOs, including UHHRU. With its proposals, UHHRU aims to draw the Committee’s attention to the serious obstacles in the area of observance of the rights of persons with disabilities under conditions of the international armed conflict in the east of Ukraine.

In the course of implementing the UN Convention, the Government of Ukraine has included a number of the Committee’s recommendations in the list of long-term activities. Among other things, these activities included a notification system that would use accessible information channels, as well as the issue of escorts for people with disabilities during emergencies. To this end, legislative acts have been adopted to lay the foundation for the legal regulation of the protection of people with disabilities in emergency situations. However, the actual steps taken in order to implement the planned activities cannot be considered successful.

The increase in the number of civilians with injuries or disorders, as well as in the number of IDPs with disabilities, has not resulted in an effective policy on ensuring the rights of these groups. Moreover, the obstacles to observance of their rights, such as restrictions on the voting rights of IDPs or the payment of pensions and social benefits to them, are further exacerbated by disability- induced challenges. Thus, IDPs with disabilities must first pay rent for housing and buy essential products, and only then seek out funds on medical treatment and rehabilitation. This often stops them from getting the necessary rehabilitation services altogether. Their situation becomes even more complicated by the fact that it is impossible to obtain medical documents located in temporarily occupied territories. This makes it difficult to extend the disability status and get appropriate rehabilitation services.

The law provides for free services for establishing disability, as well as for the right of persons with disabilities to be examined by the disability determination services (Medical and Social Expert Commission, or MSEC) at their place of residence, while in practice, affected civilians are forced to spend their own money on examinations, tests and transportation. Another factor that limits their access to services is that MSEC bodies are mainly located in administrative centers of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, without the option of home visits. Moreover, long-term in-patient check-ups, usually once a year, as well as frequent revisions, may result in a withdrawal of the disability status.

In order to address these other issues that people with disabilities face, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union developed proposals regarding the list of questions that the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities could address to the Government of Ukraine.

Developed proposals are available HERE (in Ukrainian).

This work was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience, and advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity. USAID has partnered with Ukraine since 1992, providing more than $3 billion in assistance. USAID’s current strategic priorities include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health care systems, and mitigating the effects of the conflict in the east.

For additional information about USAID in Ukraine, please call USAID’s Development Outreach and Communications Office at: +38 (044) 521-5753. You may also visit our website: or our Facebook page at


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