Round table «Human rights in Ukraine: modern state and prospects» was held in the Supreme Council
On 10 December 2004 the world community celebrated the International day of human rights. This is the day of adoption by the UNO General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of human rights. This act initiated the process of the development of international system of human rights protection, that is the observance of human rights and freedoms exceeded the bounds of jurisdiction of one state and became the problem of the entire world community.
On this day the Committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine traditionally conducted the sitting of the round table «Human rights in Ukraine: modern state and prospects». MPs of Ukraine, ombudsperson, heads of ministries and departments, in particular, the force structures, as well as representatives of non-governmental human rights protecting organizations, took part in the round table. Head of the Committee G. Udovenko delivered a report, 17 persons took part in the discussion of this report.
The participants of the round table established that, during the years of independence, the proper legislative base for the protection of human rights had been created in Ukraine. The high standards of the Universal Declaration are reflected in the Ukrainian Constitution in full measure. The Supreme Council of Ukraine consistently works at legislative provision of the Constitutional norms. In particular, the Laws «On citizenship of Ukraine», «On national minorities in Ukraine», «On immigration», «On refugees», «On legal status of foreigners and apatrides», «On appeals of citizens» were adopted, as well as the Laws that envisaged the mechanism of realization of the right to free election of power organs, freedom of association into political parties and public organizations, freedom of movement, etc. Now the Ukrainian legislation in this sphere meets the best world standards.
However, it was also said at the sitting that the tendencies to violation of fundamental constitutional rights were observed in Ukraine, in particular, the right to peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, the right for free access to information and the freedom of expression. The cases occur of persecution and discrimination of people because of their political views. This became especially obvious during the Presidential election-2004. In particular, the observers and representatives of mass media were removed from election stations, people were intimidated, kidnapped, beaten, illegally detained. The access of MPs was blocked. Dictaphones, cassettes, materials were taken away from public activists and journalists, their video and photo cameras were broken and the films and tapes with the records of violations were destroyed. Students were expelled from institutes.
Taking into account the fact that the celebration of the International Day of human rights was ignored not only by Presidents administration, governmental structures and the judicial power branch, but also by central mass media, the editorial board of «Prava ludyny» decided to publish «The resolution of the Committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine adopted as a result of the round table «Human rights in Ukraine: modern state and prospects» devoted to the International Day of human rights».
«The participants of the round table «Human rights in Ukraine: modern state and prospects» declare that, in the present social-political situation, the celebration of the International Day of human rights in Ukraine gains the qualitatively new meaning. For the first time it was corroborated and marked with the active struggle of citizens for their constitutional rights.
The deep anxiety was expressed about the mass violations of human rights, committed during the first and second tours of the election of the President of Ukraine of 2004. The election campaign became a serious test for democracy and respect for human rights. It is obvious that the top executive power did not provide the realization of the corresponding norms of the Constitution and Ukrainian Laws, and ignored the election rights of citizens.
The Ukrainian people expressed its protest against the wide-scale falsification of the Presidential election and the long-lasting neglect of human rights. The people started to strive for their constitutional freedoms.
The protest actions in Kyiv, other cities and towns of our country came to the culmination. The people have demanded and are demanding to respect their opinion, to reckon with them.
In this important moment we cannot remain aloof from the events that happen now in Ukraine, and we add out voice to those, who demand the fair and legal solution of the conflict situation that has formed in our society.
The Supreme Council of Ukraine and its leaders took the active realistic position in the negotiation process during special parliamentary sessions, round tables, meetings with representatives of local state administrations and organs of local self-government. The constructive approach of the Supreme Council, which has assumed the role of coordinator of search of the way out of the crisis situation, deserves the best appreciation.
The Supreme Council Committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations does not stand aside from the epoch-making events and processes that occur in Ukraine. In these hard times the Committee has presented two appeals on legislative regulation of the crisis.
The resolutions of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of 3 December 2004 and the Supreme Council of Ukraine of 8 December 2004 on the run-off election of the President of Ukraine were very important, they essentially changed the internal policy in Ukraine.
The participants of the sitting of the round table positively assessed the mediation activities of foreign participants of multilateral negotiation process for regulation of the political crisis in Ukraine, in particular, Javier Solana, the Supreme representative of the EU in charge of questions of foreign policy and security policy, and the OSCE General secretary Jan Kubisz.
Taking into account that the presidential election campaign has been resumed again, the participants of the round table turn to peoples deputies of Ukraine and to everybody, who care for the future of Ukraine, with the appeal to do everything in their power for guaranteeing of the constitutional right of Ukrainian citizens for free expression of will at the presidential election. These activities should be grounded on the concept that the Basic Law of our country declares that Ukrainian people is the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine.
The hope was expressed that the newly-elected Central election commission would not allow any falsification of the election and violation of corresponding laws.
The participants of the sitting of the round table «Human rights in Ukraine: modern state and prospects», devoted to the International day of human rights, reckon that it is advisable to do the following:
І. The Supreme Council of Ukraine:
During the session of the fourth convocation to introduce into the national legislation of Ukraine the responsibility for the actions of separatism character, which can cause social, interregional and interethnic conflicts.
To elaborate the Informational code of Ukraine with the purpose of complex normative-legal provision of the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens in the sphere of information.
II. The Cabinet of Ministers, ministries and departments of Ukraine:
To take the appropriate measures for overcoming of the present political crisis, caused by systematic ignoring of human rights, in particular, the election rights of Ukrainian citizens. At that special attention should be paid to the prevention of any violent actions, including the actions against representatives of mass media.
To organize regular monitoring of the decisions of corresponding international organizations, in particular, the European Court, on the claims connected with problems of human rights, which can concern Ukraine; to pass the results of the monitoring to the Supreme Council committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations.
The Ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine should provide the operative reaction to the facts of the external interference into the internal affairs of the state, regardless of the source of this interference.
III. To local organs of executive power and organs of local self-government:
To organize the wide-scale elucidation of the resolutions of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of 3 December 2004 and the Supreme Council of Ukraine of 8 December 2004, as well as their significance for the prospects of democratic development of Ukraine.
To intensify education of population concerning the legal knowledge in the sphere of human rights protection for further consolidation of Ukraine as a jural and democratic state.
IV. To the Supreme Council committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations:
1. To guarantee the systematic control over realization of human rights and their violations, in particular, in the sphere of free expression of will in the course of election campaigns of all levels.
2. The priority tasks:
adoption by the Supreme Council of Ukraine of the Law of Ukraine «On peaceful assemblies» and improvement of legislation in this sphere;
consideration of the question on introduction of changes and amendments into the Law of Ukraine «On associations of citizens» in the part of widening of the rights of citizens and public organizations;
promotion of the process of adoption, in the second reading, by the Supreme Council of Ukraine of the drafts of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine (No. 3456-1) and the Law of Ukraine «On the status of investigating officers in Ukraine» (No. 4125), as well as the Law of Ukraine «On introduction of changes and amendments into the Law of Ukraine «On advocacy» (with the aim of real guaranteeing by the state of the right for free legal aid to the insolvent accused), which would result in more efficient protection of rights and legitimate interests of citizens and the state, guaranteeing of law and order, effective struggle with crime, observance of general norms concerning human rights in criminal proceeding, prevention of infringement of rights of the suspected, accused and defendants, rendering of proper legal aid to them.
3. To consider the course of the fulfillment of this resolution at the enlarged session in April 2005.»