Executive summary of Monitoring report on implementation of the National HR Strategy for the I quarter of 2016
of Monitoring report on implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy of Ukraine for the I quarter of 2016
The Monitoring report on implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy is the second review of the actions implemented by the authorities, scheduled in the Action Plan for the National Strategy enforcement. This document was prepared by participants of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the civil society representatives and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (currently, around 60 CSOs and independent experts have joined the Memorandum).
The review contains data on implementation of the actions agreed in the Action Plan, which deadline falls on the reporting period, namely the first quarter of 2016. Thus, the monitoring results show that the actions to be taken are implemented as follows:
- implemented – 4;
- not implemented – 29;
- under implementation – 3;
- partially implemented – 9;
- implemented with the extended deadline – 1.
There are also 8 actions with the extended deadline being under implementation, but there is a risk of their inconsistency with the results expected within the National Strategy.
Thus, the following actions have been implemented indeed:
1. The Strategy for overcoming poverty until 2020 has been adopted.
2. The correctional programs for people, who commit domestic violence, have been developed and adopted.
3. The draft law on amendments to the Code of Ukraine on administrative offences has been elaborated and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to settle the issue related to administrative liability for discrimination, determination of administrative fines and entities subject to their imposition.
4. By the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine dd. 12/25/2015 No. 899 “On approval of multidisciplinary working groups for development of medical standards (unified clinical protocols) of medical care based on evidence-based medicine in 2015-2016” there has been established the multidisciplinary workgroup to study medical and technological documents on standardization of medical care on “transsexualism”.
“During this period – the end of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 – only 10% of the planned actions have been completed. This result is not very encouraging. There are huge risks of incomplete or incorrect understanding of the Action Plan,” commented the representative of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Mykhaylo Chaplyha during the report presentation on June 14, 2016.
The officials often explain the non-implementation of the Action Plan through the lack of understanding of certain provisions. However, there are such actions taken by the ministries that the experts cannot explain. For example, the discriminatory Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 637 that, in particular, obliges a temporarily displaced person to prove his/her physical presence within three days, when he/she is visited by officials for the purpose of verification of the actual place of residence.
Generally assessing the Action Plan’s implementation, Arkady Bushchenko, the UHHRU Executive Director, Head of the USAID Human Rights in Action Project notes, “The situation is not catastrophic, neither comforting. It seems that the authorities have not taken the document in earnest, as if it is another piece of paper lying on the shelf.”
Another problem mentioned by the expert is the non-readiness of central executive bodies for cooperation with civil society organizations.
“As a rule, when the civil society is willing to work with a specific department or ministry, one person competent within a very narrow area is designated. And he/she cannot provide full information, and, more to that, unable to ensure effective cooperation ties with different departments,” said Chaplyha.
Among the ministries, which “could do more, but failed to do” and showed a complete lack of communication with the civil society, Mykhaylo Chaplyha named the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The formal approach to the Action Plan implementation and the desire to quickly report are also listed as problems identified by civil monitors.
“The reports often tick that we have formally approached and discussed this issue... However, it is just a sham. The civil society has the opportunity to participate in the discussion of regulations, it is necessary to inform in public about this, to announce mechanisms and way of communication of the authorities with non-governmental organizations,” says the Ombudsperson’s representative.
The central executive bodies most often defined the action as such being under implementation, arguing that a legal act is getting approval from other regulatory bodies.
At the same time, the Commissioner’s representative notes that the CSOs did not work adequately on their part.
“We faced the phenomenon: the civil society broke a lance quite fervently for every comma, every sentence of the Strategy, and later of the Action Plan. It was a very serious “battle”, and we developed a quality document. However, when it came to analysis – how various laws correspond to the essence or how positively/negatively certain provisions affected the achievement of the Strategy objectives, the CSOs participated poorly. But, this affects to what extent the Strategy will be a living document ...” said Mykhaylo Chaplyha.
According to monitors, only about 20 independent experts and CSOs from all over Ukraine have taken an active part in monitoring.
Since the results of the monitoring must include not only criticism, but also express expert opinion, there have been developed recommendations to help the government decide on its future actions. Therefore, the civil society encourages the State to follow these recommendations. The experts emphasize that the main goal of monitoring is not to punish, but to convince that everyone will benefit if the Action Plan is implemented: society, CSOs and authorities in particular.
Consequently, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights prepared a draft letter to the Cabinet of Ministers with a proposal to encourage certain ministries and state agencies to take more active measures for the purpose of the Action Plan enforcement.
“We rely on the fact that the Prime Minister and the President are interested in creating a positive image of the country. And we are ready to hold a work meeting with them on how important it is to implement the National Action Plan, which is also in the interests of the State,” said Mykhaylo Chaplyha.
“It is important for us that human rights become an integral part of governance and would not be perceived as a burden,” said Arkadiy Bushchenko.
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.