On March 30, the results of Local Human Rights Index monitoring visit to Mariupol were presented and discussed.
UHHRU Mariupol-based legal aid brought together representatives of local government, social service centers, OSCE monitoring mission, local NGOs and media as well as students at the Mariupol State University.
Project coordinator Andriy Halay explained the main purpose of the Index. It is supposed to determine what local authorities do to ensure the observance of human rights, as well as to provide specific recommendations in this regard. He also noted that Mariupol received high marks for its standard of living.
Representatives of UHHRU Mariupol-based legal aid center conducted an anonymous survey among the residents of the city. Ihor Kurilchuk, head of the monitoring mission’s working group, commented on the poll’s results: “In their survey, the monitors focused on the issues that require additional coverage by the city’s media and local self-government bodies, such as the quality of the hot line on social issues”.
LAC’s assistant Anna Parkhomenko mentioned the following positive impressions from the mission: the local council and executive bodies are open to working with the public; the city has a program aimed at ensuring fundamental human rights and combating poverty; basic rights of IDPs are receiving proper attention (they are provided with temporary housing and with access to social and medical services).
Particular attention was given to issues on providing temporary housing to IDPs, allocating land for ATO participants, providing homeless people with care and shelter in winter, as well as other issues exacerbated by the aggression against Ukraine.
The monitoring team has identified the key items that need to be finalized:
improving efficiency of local programs by instituting mechanisms for their evaluation;
improving technical capabilities of the hotline;
expanding the means of informing the population about socio-economic issues;
better targeting of social protection (for instance, through the differentiation of the temporary housing fund to the actual number of people in need of it, particularly from among the IDPs)
The Local Human Rights Index is a mini-project of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union aimed at supporting decentralization reform.
The development of the monitoring system involved a group of experts on human rights and local self-governance. The modern international models of human rights have been worked out and evaluated, the best foreign and domestic practices of monitoring human rights at the local level are generalized, the specifics of the development of local self-governments’ powers in the process of reform are taken into account.
The event is held within the framework of the Local Human Rights Index initiative designed for prioritizing human rights in the course of the decentralization reform, which is supported by the Human Rights in Action Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the part concerning the rights of internally displaced persons and conflict-affected population.
American people, through the USAID, has been providing economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 55 years. In Ukraine, USAID’s assistance focuses on the following areas: economic growth, democracy and governance, healthcare and social sector. Since 1992, USAID has provided Ukraine with technical and humanitarian assistance worth $1.8 bln. For additional information about USAID programs in Ukraine, please visit USAID’s official website http://ukraine.usaid.govand Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUkraine.
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