A brief summary

The Campaign against torture and ill-treatment in Ukraine is being run by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group together with partner organizations, and with the financial assistance of the European Commission.

Our partners include::

The Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs

The Kharkiv Institute of Social Research

The Kharkiv Regional Organization of Soldiers’ Mothers

Partner organizations in various regions of Ukraine


The formal Campaign is to run from July 2003 to June 2006



Ukrainian human rights organizations, together with the Human Rights Ombudsperson and a number of international institutions have made considerable advances in drawing public attention to the use of torture and ill-treatment in Ukraine.


Our Campaign is aimed at:

  • ensuring acknowledgement that torture does exist in Ukraine and of the need to address the problem by the many state bodies directly involved;
  • awareness-raising not only of the existence of the problem, but also of the absolute inadmissibility of such methods regardless of whom they are used against
  • studying the reasons and conditions which can provide the breeding ground for practices involving torture and ill-treatment
  • creating an effective system for the prevention of torture
  • developing and strengthening a network of organizations involved in measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment


Particular attention is paid to the following:

  • the use of torture against those suspected or formally accused of a crime during the criminal investigation
  • torture and ill-treatment in the Armed Forces and closed institutions (penal institutions, hospitals, pre-trial detention centres [SIZO], temporary holding facilities [ITT] and other places of law enforcement agencies for holding detained individuals, other closed institutions)
  • arbitrary detention and detention in police custody
  • safeguarding the rights of those detained, including the right of access to a lawyer, to a doctor
  • court review with regard to whether remand in custody is required, and regarding the extension of remand in custody
  • the use of confessions which may have been made under duress in court hearings.

The above are just a few of the issues which are closely connected with the use of torture and ill-treatment.



  • providing information and raising awareness among the public of the existence and scale of the problem, and most importantly, of methods which are being taken or need to be taken to stamp out such pernicious practice
  • monitoring work
  • research into the efficiency of Ukraine’s legal system as regards prevention of torture and ill-treatment and an analysis of the level of compliance of the national legal system with Ukraine’s international commitments on preventing torture and safeguarding the right to liberty and security of person
  • strategic litigations in both domestic and international courts in order to highlight existing problems and to promote the development of legislation and court practice, bringing them into line with international standards in the above-mentioned areas
  • seminars and training courses for judges, lawyers and employees of law enforcement agencies which address various aspects related to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, international and European standards in the areas of prevention of torture and protection of the right to liberty
  • sociological and legal research aimed at establishing the causes of and conditions which can breed torture in Ukraine, preparation of publications in this area and study courses
  • drawing up draft laws and presenting them for consideration and discussion to various professional groups, as well as to the public in general
  • preparation of a database of court rulings which have bearing on issues involving bringing those  guilty of using torture to justice, illegal detention and arrest, court consideration of remand in custody, the extension of periods of remand in custody, the practice of administrative arrests, etc



In order to carry out regular monitoring, as well as information and awareness-raising work, within the framework of this Campaign, we are developing a broad network of partner organizations throughout Ukraine.

A valuable aspect of this work is in sharing experience and expertise, and assisting younger or smaller organizations



See …. for more information about the activities of this crucial part of our Campaign



We hope that this Campaign will:

  • make serious progress towards creating an effective system for preventing torture and other forms of ill-treatment
  • lead to more effective investigation of cases alleging the use of torture and to a reduced likelihood that those guilty of torture will remain unpunished
  • develop clearer conditions for lawful detention, reduce the number of cases where people are held far too long by law enforcement agencies prior to being brought before a judge
  • promote more efficient court control over the activities of the law enforcement agencies both n the course of the main court proceedings, and during other court procedure
  • lead to the courts referring more to international and European standards for protection against torture and ill-treatment
  • ensure that legislation tales on greater clarity and eliminate gaps which enable the use of torture and impunity of those involved in it.



We hope for the support of all those who are concerned to eradicate the use of torture and ill-treatment in Ukraine.

We would be delighted to work with all those professionals in the legal system: judges, lawyers, employees of the law enforcement agencies, law experts and teachers.

We would be grateful for any information about the difficulties which obstruct effective prevention of torture.

And a warm welcome to all those willing to share their ideas, experience and comments with us!



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