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23.01.2007

On the results of the Meeting of the MIA Public Council for the Observance of Human Rights on 21.12.2006

   

Over the period from the previous meeting on 08.09.2006 of the Public Council for the Observance of Human Rights attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (hereafter the Public Council), the following took place.

In order to ensure single standards for the work of mobile groups and close cooperation between police officers and members of the human rights movement, during October and November 2006 the MIA, together with the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research, carried out a project entitle “Implementation of a mechanism for monitoring inspections of MIA temporary holding centres [ITT]” During training courses, representatives of human rights organizations from all regions of Ukraine, staff of the MIA department of internal security, assisted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (from the Central Department of the MIA, regional Departments of the MIA and УМВСТ) familiarized themselves with international and domestic law, shared experience of various visits and considered optimum algorithms for the work and reporting back of mobile groups. During the final conference in Kyiv on 4 December, key problems arising in the work of mobile groups were discussed, as well as normative legal backup for their work, drawn up in the draft Code of Conduct for Members of Mobile Groups.

From 25 November to 10 December the MIA, together with state and civic organizations, took part in the international action “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” which is aimed at drawing public attention to the problems of violence in the family and human trafficking, as well as activating efforts by civic organizations and state authorities on preventing violence, protecting the rights of women in Ukraine, and promoting non-violent ideology in territorial communities and in Ukrainian society as a whole.

A visit was made to Ukraine from 10 to 17 December of the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammerberg. Mr Hammerberg visited police stations, temporary holding centres [ITT] and a centre for the reception and distribution of juveniles in the Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa regions.

During meetings with the Minister of Internal Affairs on 11 and 16 December observance of human rights; countering illegal migration and domestic violence were discussed. The Commissar praised positive changes such as increased responsibility and transparency in the work of the MIA, the initiating and support for public councils and mobile groups for monitoring human rights. Mr Hammerberg also noted that over the last 5 months basic living conditions had been assured in almost all ITT (406, or 81% of the total number), and the conditions had improved in 269 ITT (54%).

At the present time, the most urgent issues for the MIA are implementing the recommendations from the parliamentary hearings “Overcoming gender violence in Ukraine”, the inter-parliamentary roundtable “The role of parliament in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for men and women”, the requirements of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture {OPCAT) concerning improvement of the departmental normative  base and staff management, ensuring independent civil monitoring over the conditions in police institutions for holding people.

In addition, the issues gained immediacy of ensuring effective coordination of the MIA Public Council for the Observance of Human Rights, regional public councils and mobile groups for monitoring human rights observance in police work, and investigating how well basic rights and liberties are protecting of the staff of internal affairs agencies.

Due to the change in MIA management, the need arose to renew the membership of the Public Council.

 

THE PUBLIC COUNCIL DECIDED :

 

1.  To renew the membership of the MIA Public Council for the Observance of Human Rights

2.   To delegate to the Public Council’s Executive Secretaries O.V. Martynenko and O.V. Levytsky  to finalize the formation of public councils in the regions and organize their efficient running.

3.  For the Co-Chair Y.Y. Zakharov and First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs M.V. Korniyenko to prepare suggestions on holding an inter-regional conference at the end of the first quarter of 2007 on the work of public councils and mobile groups involving the heads of the Central Department of the MIA, regional Departments of the MIA, members of public councils in the regions and members of human rights organizations.

4.  Human Rights Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs O. A. Martynenko will from February to June 2007 arrange for the running among the staff on investigating rights observance among the poice, the formation and implementation of theoretical and practical recommendations in accordance with the results of the study.

5.  To recognize the activities of working groups on high-priority directions of the Public Council as satisfactory. The instruct M.H. Verbenksy to link each working group with one of the deputies to the Minister in order to ensure more efficient interaction between the Public Council and the MIA.

6.  To instruct the heads of working groups on high-priority directions of the Public Council to prepare and submit to the Advisor on Human Rights and Gender Issues to the Minister of Internal Affairs O. A. Martynenko action plans for each group for 2007 with these including the following measures:

countering corrupt business takeovers;

preparing proposals for Verkhovna Rada committees on restricting the showing of scenes with violence on national television channels;

organizing police supervision over children’s homes

improving the normative base of the criminal service on juvenile cases;

promoting  the creation of a single register of the normative department base of the MIA and ensuring public access to this;

ensuring maximum computerization of the organizational and management activities of the Ministry;

extending the experiment on providing free legal aid to people detained or arrested at police stations in Kharkiv;

introducing the human rights course prepared by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and the Kharkiv Institution of Social Research into curricula of higher educational institutions of the MIA;

7. To make the Executive Secretaries O.V. Martynenko responsible for overseeing the implementation of this decision.

Signed by the Co-Chairs V.L. Tsushko and Y.Y. Zakharov

 

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