NGO representatives stressed the need for transparent selection of a candidate for the office of the Ombudsman, and the need to actively involve members of the public.
On February 8, the session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations was held. During the meeting, it was recommended for VRU to adopt the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Movement and Free Choice of Place of Residence in Ukraine” (concerning providing a shelter to homeless persons) and adopt the Draft Law on Amendments to Article 16 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons”(concerning private home workers and local staff of foreign diplomatic missions).
Also, committee members discussed the state of preparation for the thematic review of laws on the rights of internally displaced persons and reviewed an appeal of the Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights. The theme was an appointment of a candidate of the interagency working group to address the systemic problems of the excessive length of the pre-trial investigation and court proceedings. Heorhii Lohvynskyi, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, was delegated to the group.
An important issue on the agenda was the election of a new Ombudsman. We recall that the term of the Commissioner Valeria Lutkovska expires on April 27, 2017. Respectively, the process of electing a new Ombudsman will begin by that date. NGO representatives said that the selection of candidates should be open and transparent, civil society must be involved. Human rights activists called on the chairman and members of the Committee to announce an open competition for the position of Commissioner. Arkadiy Bushchenko, Executive Director from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, and Borys Zakharov, Director of the Advocacy Center of UHHRU, delivered their speeches at the meeting.
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