On December 20, a presentation-discussion “National Human Rights Strategy: Status of Implementation and Challenges” was held in Kyiv.
Valeria Lutkovska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, MP Iryna Suslova and Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, took part in the discussion with representatives of civil society. Ksenia Semiorkina, an expert of UHHRU, moderated the discussion.
Valeria Lutkovska expressed her fears that the National Strategy with its important provisions may remain ink on paper due to passive public monitoring. She called civil society representatives to consolidate their efforts and try to assist the government and parliament to achieve the document’s implementation at the high level. “This is our common dream. This is our common road map. And we share the common responsibility if this strategy has not been implemented,” the Ombudswoman said.
Oleksandr Pavlichenko rised the questions “Is it necessary to make adjustments to the National Strategy and Action Plan?” “Is it necessary to introduce new separate components? In particular, today there is an issue of the introduction of transitional justice, because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. This is a challenge for Ukraine. The state should raise the question of the legal overcoming of consequences of the conflict “, said the Executive Director of UHHRU.
He also stressed that at the state level, unfortunately, there is no coordination institution that would stimulate the implementation of the National Strategy and monitor the state of implementation in many areas of human rights protection. “This is due to numerous reforms that are being implemented in Ukraine. This strategy is a prerequisite for the qualitative performance of those tasks that will serve the image of Ukraine; which will be an indicator that Ukraine goes on the international level of players, truly respecting human rights and the rule of law “, said Oleksandr Pavlichenko.
“We must continue the monitoring and emphasize the need to implement this strategic document, as it is, in fact, a regulatory act. The act, which must be fulfilled and the responsibility for its implementation are also foreseen. We must go through the promotion of state institutions that are responsible for implementing the provisions of the Strategy,” said the Executive Director of the Union. He also emphasized that it is necessary to look at the actual state of implementation, and not only on its formal part, which is shown by indicators.
The Executive Director of UHHRU added that the issue of implementing the Strategy is not pressing on the agenda. According to him, the synergy between public authorities and civil society should be updated as during the development of the Strategy; then we will have better results that will allow us to say that the next stages of the Strategy’s development will focus on other issues. “And the reforms that Ukraine is carrying out nowadays must be done likewise within the context of these tasks, which are defined in the National Strategy,” he said.
As a result of the discussion it was decided:
To prepare for the meeting of the Committee on Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in January 2018, to identify the priorities that are necessary now for the implementation of the Strategy next year;
To prepare, on its own or in cooperation with the state authorities the necessary legal acts for the implementation of the National Strategy;
To revise the Action Plan, in particular on the part related to the “new challenges”;
To cooperate with deputies – members of the working group at the Verkhovna Rada Committee on monitoring the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy;
To hold working meetings with responsible executives by the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights;
To raise the issue of strengthening the control by the Secretariat of the CMU regarding not implemented measures by the authorities.
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