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29.06.2011

Ukrainians ever more negative about observance of their rights

   

Over the last year assessment of the situation regarding the right to freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion has become more negative. The traditional survey commissioned by Freedom House Ukraine and carried out around Constitution Day (28 June) by the Razumkov Centre has found that over the last year the average grade for observance of fundamental civil rights and freedoms fell from 3.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 to 3.3.

Most respondents (51.5%) said that for them the most important rights were the fundamental human rights, first and foremost the right to life. However, over a third (35.2%) put social and economic rights in first place.  The Razumkov Centre stresses that this indicates an urgent need to resolve problems in this sphere.

The general assessment of observance of various rights and freedoms in Ukraine was not high. The least observed were socio-economic and environmental, the most – fundamental rights of the individual. As in previous years the lowest assessment was given for observance of social rights and the right to a fair, open and independent trial – here the average grade did not exceed 2.4 on the same scale of 1 to 5.  

Table 1

How would you assess observance of the following civil and human rights in Ukraine?  (Respondents were asked to give a grade from 1 to 5, with 5 being where the right was protected well) 

 

 

Grade

Average 2011

Average 2010

 

1

2

3

4

5

Hard to say

The right to life

6, 0

9, 8

25, 6

28, 5

25, 0

5, 2

3, 6

3, 7

The right to freedom and security of person,

7, 9

17, 3

32, 3

22, 3

13, 7

6, 6

3, 2

3, 4

Prohibition of torture and human slavery

9, 4

14, 4

24, 3

21, 2

16, 1

14, 8

3, 2

 

3, 4

The right to a fair, open and independent trial

21, 3

27, 9

28, 4

10, 4

2, 4

9, 6

2, 4

2, 6

The right to freely elect and stand for elected office in bodies of power, as well as the right to exercise control over the actions of the authorities

12, 7

19, 0

32, 6

18, 7

8, 2

8, 9

2, 9

 

2, 8

Presumption of innocence in a criminal case

11, 0

20, 3

29, 4

15, 2

4, 2

20, 0

2, 8

2, 8

The right to freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion, to freely express views

7, 1

12, 6

32, 5

25, 9

15, 5

6, 4

3, 3

3, 7

Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

5, 9

14, 3

29, 9

26, 2

12, 3

11, 5

3, 3

3, 9

The right to education

7, 8

13, 3

30, 0

30, 6

13, 9

4, 6

3, 3

3, 5

The right to defend rights violated

11, 8

20, 9

33, 3

18, 0

4, 5

11, 6

2, 8

3, 1

The right to private property and to run ones own business

8, 0

15, 1

34, 9

18, 7

11, 1

12, 4

3, 1

3, 3

The right to guaranteed rights and freedom without discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, skin colour, language, religion, political or other convictions, national or social original, being part of an ethnic minority, economic position, birth or other circumstances

6, 1

11, 7

28, 6

22, 5

16, 0

15, 1

3, 4

 

 

3, 6

The right to work and fair remuneration

23, 6

28, 1

27, 0

13, 1

3, 1

5, 1

2, 4

2, 7

Freedom of movement

5, 7

11, 5

21, 8

31, 4

22, 5

7, 1

3, 6

3, 9

The right to create employee and employer associations to defend economic and social interests

7, 2

14, 0

28, 5

20, 2

10, 8

19, 2

3, 2

 

3, 3

The right of children and adolescents to defence

8, 3

16, 5

29, 5

25, 5

8, 4

11, 9

3, 1

3, 3

The right to healthcare

20, 2

30, 0

31, 3

10, 8

3, 0

4, 8

2, 4

2, 7

The right to social security

24, 1

33, 0

25, 8

10, 2

2, 2

4, 8

2, 3

2, 6

The right to social and medical assistance

24, 9

33, 1

27, 1

8, 4

2, 3

4, 2

2, 3

2, 5

 Table 2

What changes in your opinion have taken place over the last year regarding the following rights, as compared with previous years? 

The situation         

has improved

has got worse

No change

Hard to say

Balance of change*

Fundamental rights of the individual (the right to life, personal freedom, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of movement, inviolability of the individual, right to private correspondence, etc))

7, 7

27, 7

56, 8

7, 9

 

 

-20, 0

Political rights (the right to elect and stand for elected office, the right to exercise control over representative bodies of power, etc)

7, 5

30, 9

51, 9

9, 7

 

-23, 4

Social and economic rights (the right to work, a sufficient standard of living, social protection, the right to run ones own business, etc)

7, 6

48, 9

36, 6

7, 0

 

  -41, 3

Cultural rights

3, 1

33, 4

48, 1

15, 4

-30, 3

Environmental rights

7, 6

15, 8

65, 1

11, 6

-8, 2

* Balance of change is calculated as the difference between the percentage of respondents who think that the situation has improved over the percentage who think it has got worse.

 Table 3

How in your view over the last year in comparison with previous years  has the situation changed regarding the following rights?

Balance of change

2008

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

Fundamental rights of the individual (the right to life, personal freedom, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of movement, inviolability of the individual, right to private correspondence, etc))

5, 7

-31, 2

-2, 8

-20, 0

Political rights (the right to elect and stand for elected office, the right to exercise control over representative bodies of power, etc)

-1, 6

-43, 7

-7, 4

-23, 4

Social and economic rights (the right to work, a sufficient standard of living, social protection, the right to run ones own business, etc)

-17, 2

-70, 4

-49, 9

-41, 3

Cultural rights

-4, 6

-28, 6

-34, 1

-30, 3

Environmental rights

-26, 3

-46, 3

-12, 0

-8, 2

 Table 4

How in your opinion has the human rights situation in Ukraine changed over the last year as compared with previous years?

 

% respondents

Improved

6, 3

Deteriorated

35, 2

Stayed the same

                         41, 7

Hard to say

8, 0

No answer

8, 9

 

Balance of change

 

- 28, 9

 Those who most contribute to violations or preventing exercise of their rights and freedoms:

National Deputies (MPs)                       47.9%

The Police                                           45.7%

The President                                       39.3%

The courts                                           37.9%

 

The main source of violation of rights and freedoms this year:

The President                                       20.5%

Criminal structures                                10.8%

The Government                                   9.8%

National Deputies                                 9.4%

The Police                                           9.0%

 Ukrainians increasingly name applications to the European Court of Human Rights as the most effective means of defending violated constitutional rights (24.5%) against 6.7% who name domestic courts.

The work of the domestic judicial system got an overall rate of 2.2 out of 5.  This figure has been steadily worsening over the last three years.

 From a press release issued by the Razumkov Centre which says that a full report will be produced over the summer and posted at www.freedomhouse.kiev.ua

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