Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
13.12.2001 | Evhen Zakharov, Kharkov

Ukraine got a bad mark in the UNO Human Rights Committee


As to me such an assessment is easy to obtain analyzing the conclusions of the UNO Human Rights Committee on the fifth periodical report of Ukraine (the fourth report was presented in 1995) about the actions to realize the obligations in compliance with the International UNO Covenant on civil and political rights. It is not so important that respectable Western institutions stress again that the system of using torture is preserved in our country for obtaining evidence, and that it is very difficult to punish the law-enforcers, who commit this crime, that journalists are harassed and intimidated, that the rights of the institutions of alternative service are very restricted, etc. It is essential that the Human Rights Committee initiated the procedure of oversight that demands from a state to report periodically on the measures as to the implementation of the recommendations given by the Committee. In a year Ukraine must inform about the practical measures of solving problems of domestic violence against women, police harassment of the Roma minority and dark-skinned aliens, racism and anti-Semitic acts and publications, establishing the effective system of control over the treatment of detainees, decreasing the permissible length of detention as a ‘temporary preventive measure’ (up to 72 hours), providing the freedom of movement and choice of residence provided in article 12 of the Covenant and then effective protection against discrimination. Implementation of this procedure gives sufficient grounds to affirm that the state of human rights in Ukraine is disturbing.

In what follows we present the conclusions of the Committee on the fifth periodical report. One of the last paragraphs attracts attention: about publicizing the concluding observations of the Committee and the obligation of disseminating the periodical report among the public. The latter demand is very actual: our country is unfortunately unaccustomed to make public their reports to international institutions about the fulfillment of her obligations in the sphere of human rights. We hope that these practices will be changed, first of all, that the Ukrainian society will demand the reports to be open.

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