The Local Human Rights Index monitoring tool was developed by UHHRU as well as other civil society organizations to be universally useful and convenient
We consider it a success that such powerful expert community as the Legal Development Network (LDR) has joined the first comprehensive monitoring of our finished tool. For two months now, three LDR teams have been monitoring local self-government in Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnytskyi and Chernihiv oblasts.
The role of representatives of UHHRU’s Local Human Rights Index project lies in rendering assistance in monitoring, providing advice and approving publication of reports on the website of the Index. Now we present to you the Legal Development Network.
Monitors are gathering information on local self-government activities by studying local government websites as well as meeting with officials and heads of territorial communities. During these meetings, they discuss practical monitoring issues as well as access to required information for the monitors. In addition, monitors collect and analyze data on the work of local courts from the perspective of human rights. In order to do this, they determine the most frequent reasons for lawsuits filed by local residents and communities.
Public monitors are also studying best practices in local policies and programs from the standpoint of human rights and the needs of vulnerable population groups. They study whether the public is involved in the decision making process and how human rights mechanisms are used in local government activities.
“Public monitoring of the observance of human rights in the activities of local self-government is carried out using the Local Human Rights Index tool,” says project expert Viktoriya Ilchyshena. “It helped us reveal a number of human rights violations in the daily activities of local governments. This is extremely important for developing solutions aimed at addressing systemic weak spots in this area. Within the framework of the project, we monitor various levels of local self-government: small united territorial communities, cities of oblast significance and cities with population of over a million.”
Based on the results of this work, we plan to publish a TOP 10 of best practices and TOP 10 of human rights violations by local self-government bodies.
To represent the situation in communities as objectively as possible, monitors carry out experiments in schools, centers for administrative services, employment and social security institutions, as well as kindergartens and hospitals.
“The experiments constitute a study of the situation in the field, at the place where services are provided,” explains project expert Nataliya Kulikova. “It shows us how services are provided, whether they meet the standards set by the law, and what problems exist with their provision. So, this involves a study of the situation at hand, as well as the opinions of those who had a chance to make use of these services.”
LDN monitors have already carried out experiments in Dolyna, Bolekhiv and Vytvytsi (Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast), at the center for administrative services of Kamianets-Podilskyi Rayon State Administration (Khmelnytskyi Oblast), as well as in Chernihiv Oblast: in Chernihiv, Mykhailo-Kotsiubynske and Nosivka.
Experts will prepare and publish detailed reports based on the results, on the website of the National Human Rights Index. The recommendations given in the reports will help local authorities and concerned citizens to tackle existing local problems together.
This activity is carried out by the Legal Development Network within the framework of the grant project Public Monitoring of Local Governments: Partnership in the Implementation of Human Rights, which is carried out with the support of the American people provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the framework of the New Justice Program.
Author: Serghiy Rybak, communications manager, Legal Development Network
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