New human rights group “Article 11” formed in Kyiv
1. 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
(Article 11, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms)
The groups aim is to monitor observance of the right enshrined in Article 11 to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association with others in Ukraine
The human rights group “Article 11” is made up of concerned citizens who are acting on the principle of voluntary cooperation, without forming a legal entity. They do not have any property and are not carrying out financial activities. Members of the group are all working on an unpaid voluntary basis.
Unfortunately the public are not sufficiently aware of the extent of the arbitrary lawlessness which state registration bodies display when legalizing citizens associations, thus violating laws of Ukraine, the Constitution and international agreements (including the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms).
Our right to free association with others and to form civic organizations was denied by the Kyiv City Department of Justice. For the formation of our environmental NGO such demands were made regarding amendments to the charter as to make the organization incapable of functioning and its existence pointless. We did not wish to put up with CENSORSHIP OF CIVIC SOCIETY and lodged a claim with the court. We went through the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv, the Kyiv Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
At present our application is under review in the European Court of Human Rights (Koretsky and others v. Ukraine (№40269/02).
We are seeking:
- The banning of censorship of charter documentation of citizens associations in the process of registration;
- The introduction of a range of measures to protect newly-formed NGOs from pressure exerted by registering bodies;
- Changes in legislation, court proceedings and practice in matters pertaining to the registration of newly-created civic organizations.
The “Article 11” website can be found at: http://www.article11.org.ua/.The Groups members would like to draw the attention of the Ukrainian public to a problem which is hampering the development of civic society in Ukraine. Our possibilities are limited, however we can maintain this site and publish information about all violations which Ukrainian citizens run up against when legalizing and registering civic organizations (NGOs).