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HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE – 2007. HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS REPORT

27.07.2008

Human Rights in Ukraine – 2007. Report by Human Rights Organisations. / Editors: Y.Zakharov, I.Rapp, V.Yavorsky / Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. – Kharkiv: Prava Ludyny, 2008. – 256 p. ISBN 978-966-8919-47-3.

This book considers the human rights situation in Ukraine during 2007, it is based on studies by various non-governmental human rights organizations and specialists in this area. Each unit concentrates on identifying and analysing violations of specific rights in this period, as well as discussing any positive moves which were made in protecting the given rights. Current legislation which encourages infringements of rights and freedoms is also analyzed, together with draft laws which could change the situation. The conclusions of the research contain recommendations for eliminating the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and improving the overall situation.


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CONTENT

I. THE RIGHT TO LIFE    8
1. The state’s duty to protect life (positive duty)    8
2. Prohibition on taking life except in cases stipulated by law(negative duty)     13
3. Recommendations   13
II. PROTECTION FROM TORTURE
AND OTHER FORMS OF ILL-TREATMENT    15
1. Torture and ill-treatment in structures of the ministry of internal affairs    15
2. Charges and convictions for torture    16
3. Torture and ill-treatment in penal institutions    16
4. Investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment    19
5. Payment of compensation to the victims of ill-treatment    20
6. Recommendations   22
III. THE RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY    24
1. Lengthy remand in custody pending extradition   24
2. Arbitrary detention of refugees    24
3. Ensuring the right to legal aid    25
4. Recommendations   28
IV. THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL    30
1. Overview    30
2. Independence of courts and judges    31
3. Financing of the judiciary   37
4. Access to justice    39
5. The right to legal aid    40
6. Reasonable time limits    46
7. Enforcement of court rulings    48
8. Presumption of innocence   50
9. Recommendations   52
V. THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY    53
1. Communications privacy    53
3. Information privacy and personal data protection    58
4. Territorial privacy    62
5. Other aspects of privacy and respect for family life    62
6. Recommendations   64
VI. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION    66
1. Overview    66
2. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: the right to believe    66
3. Freedom to practise ones religion or beliefs      67
4. The state and religious organizations    70
5. Recommendations   73
VII. THE RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION    75
VIII. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION    81
1. Overview    81
2. Compulsory state registration of media outlets and of publishing activities    82
3. The rights of journalists and the media    83
4. Recommendations    88
IX. FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY    90
1. Legal regulation of the right to peaceful assembly in Ukraine    90
2. Exercise of freedom of assembly in 2007:
change in the attitude of the police to the issue    91
3. The role of the local authorities and the courts in violating freedom of assembly  93
4. Incidents during mass gatherings   94
5. The Odessa region and the Crimea – problem regions    95
6. Recommendations   97

X. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION   98
1. Overview      98
2. The formation of associations    98
3. The rights of associations, freedom of internal organization
and checks into the activities of civic associations    102
4. Recommendations     104
XI. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND PLACE OF RESIDENCE    106
1. Freedom of movement    106
2. Freedom of choice of place of residence    108
3. The rights of the homeless    109
4. Recommendations   110
XII. SOME ASPECTS OF THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION 
FROM DISCRIMINATION AND INEQUALITY
XIII. THE RIGHT TO FREE ELECTIONS
AND TO PARTICIPATE IN REFERENDUMS    111
1. Pre-term elections to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament)    111
2. Pre-term elections of city, settlement and village heads   120
3. Exercising the right to initiate and take part
in nation wide and local referendums    122
4. Conclusions    125
5. Recommendations   126
XIV. PROPERTY RIGHTS    128
1. Overview    128
2. Safeguards of property rights    129
3. Behaviour of the authorities in restricting property rights    134
4. Recommendations   136
XV. SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS    137
1. Trends with regard to observance of socio-economic rights    137
2. The right to an adequate standard of living    138
3. The right to work    141
4. The right to social protection    148
5. Recommendations   152
XVI. THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION    154
1. Overview    154
2. Public spending and ensuring the right to education    156
3. The principle of availability    157
4. Accessibility of education      159
5. Acceptability and adaptability of education    161
3. Recommendations    163
XVII. THE RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE    164
1. Overview    164
2. The right to medical care in penal institutions    167
3. Palliative care    170
4. Recommendations   173
XVIII. ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS    174
1. The right to a safe environment    174
2. The right of access to information on environmental matters    183
3. Public participation in decision-making on environmental matters    189
4. The right of access to justice in environmental matters   193
5. Recommendations   194
XX. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS    196
1. General overview    196
2. The state’s responsibility for safeguarding the right to protection from violence  198
3. Recommendations   199
XXI. THE MAIN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS LINKED
WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING     201
1. Human trafficking: new trends    201
2. State policy on combating human trafficking: a brief overview    202
3. Prevention of human trafficking    202
4. Protection of victims of human trafficking    203
5. Recommendations on improving anti-trafficking measures    205
XXII. THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES    211
1. General observations    211
2. Equality and non-discrimination    213
3. Freedom of expression and access to information    214
4. Inviolability of private life, respect for personal and psychological integrity
in equality with others and respect for housing and the family    214
5. Access to justice      215
6. The right to education    215
7. Access    216
8. Healthcare, capacity building and rehabilitation    217
9. Work and employment    219
10. Proper educational and awareness-raising work on the part of the state
to best integrate people with disabilities into society    219
11. Recommendations    220
XXIII. PRISONERS’ RIGHTS    222
1. Management of the penal system   222
2. State policy with regard to the penal service    224
3. Control over the activities of the department    227
4. Remand and convicted prisoners in department institutions    228
5. Access to the court and the right to appeal against the actions
of penal administrations    231
6. Access to information    232
7. Reports of violations of prisoners’ rights    234
8. The department’s cooperation with NGOS    242
9. Conclusions    244
10. Recommendations    245

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