war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.



1 The Rights of people living with HIV

Taking into account the requirements of a range of strategic international documents, first and foremost, the Millennium Declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, Ukraine has undertaken to implement a comprehensive package of measures aimed at stemming the HIV/AIDS epidemic, first and foremost among young people and vulnerable groups, and also at increasing the availabtities and individuals, as members of the organization (founders), and also associations of different types of non-governmental organizations. We consider such restrictions by the law to be unfounded.

NPO in legislation differ as to the purpose for which they are created, and also as to their procedure for formation. Each type of NPO has its own special aspects of legal regulation which are defined by a separate law in which the procedure is outlined for their founding, activities and liquidation.

Such a quantity of types of non-governmental organizations has little justification. This is confirmed also by the fact that, from the point of view of tax legislation, they are not differentiated at all. Nor are they differentiated in their essence, as forms of exercising freedom of association. The given unjustified division has survived from Soviet times and now presents serious obstacles for the development of NPO, by artificially limiting their legal capacity.

There is, therefore, a certain contradiction in legislation. Tax legislation identifies only two forms of organization: businesses and non-profit-making organizations. The status of a non-profit-making organization is obtained through separate procedure. We therefore have the situation where, for example, a civic organization or charity register, but are not given non-profit-making organization status. This means, that from the point of view of tax legislation, they are businesses. And such organizations can not be considered «non-commercial» (non-profit-making) organizations» in the full understanding of this term, since they can engage in commercial activity virtually without restrictions.

In accordance with Article 14 of the Law of Ukraine «On citizens’ associations» «activity of citizens’ associations, which are not legalized or which are forced to disband by court order, is illegal».

According to Article 186-5 of the Administrative Offences Code, «the management of citizens’ associations, which have not been legalized according to legally prescribed procedure, or which have been refused legalization, or which have been forced to disband by court order, yet continue to engage in activity, as well as participation in such associations, shall be punishable by a fine from twenty five to one hundred and thirty minimum wages before tax (approximately 80 to 415 US dollars). Thus, the head of an «undesirable» organization could be fined 2,210 UH (an average salary for half a year) purely because the registering body has refused to register the organization on formal grounds. For comparison, the fine for engaging in business activity without registration is fixed by the same Code as 8 – 15 minimum wages before tax. Unfortunately, the law does not allow for automatic legalization of citizens’ associations in cases where the registering body does not give notification of a motivated refusal to legalize the organization within the legally stipulated time period.

We are not aware of any examples where Article 186-5 of the Administrative Offences Code has been applied. However its application in the future could violate the right to freedom of association, since it effectively changes the right to establish an association into an obligation.

The founders (founder) of a charitable organization can be citizens of Ukraine, foreign nationals or stateless individuals, who are at least 18, but cannot be legal entities. Founders of civic organizations can be citizens of Ukraine, foreign nationals or stateless individuals, who are at least 18, or, in the case of youth or children’s organizations – 15 years old. In order to establish a citizens’ association, there must be an agreement between at least three people who fulfil the above-mentioned conditions.

Foreign nationals or stateless individuals may not form trade unions, but they can join them, if this is foreseen by the unions’ charters. Such restrictions violate their rights: the basic function of trade unions is to protect the labour and social rights of employees, this effectively being denied «non-citizens». This concept is a relict from Soviet days, when trade unions were viewed as a political organization of the proletariat, and any aliens as potential threats to national security.

Religious organization may only be formed by citizens of Ukraine who are at least 18 years old, and where there are no less than 10 people. These restrictions regarding foreign nationals and stateless individuals also fail to comply with international standards.

Creative unions are established by groups of creative employees of the corresponding professional direction in the field of culture and the visual arts (national, where there are no less than 100 members, regional (local) – not less than 20) who can show completed and published works of culture or art, or their interpretations.

From this year, as a result of the new Civil Code of Ukraine coming into effect, it has become possible to establish institutions – non-commercial, non-profit-making organizations based on the allocation of property and which does not have to have their own members[1]. Until 1 January 2004, the establishment of such organizations was not possible.

The creation of a non-governmental organization by one or two individuals, or in accordance with a will and testament, are not allowed for by legislation.

NPOs gain the status of legal entity from the moment of their legalization. They then enjoy the same rights as any other legal entity.

Nonetheless, certain limitations in the legal powers of non-governmental organizations are foreseen by legislation. For example, citizens’ associations may, according to the law, own exclusively that property which it uses for its activity as per its charter. We are, however, unaware of any cases when this provision has been applied. Considerable limitations are also applied by the legalizing body as regards the activities of a NPO.

For Ukrainian legislation, the purpose in creating a citizens’ association or other NPO remains important, although neither in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 11), nor in the Constitution, does the purpose in establishing the organization have any importance. The exception here would be the creation of political parties and trade unions.

The Law «On citizens’ associations» directly contravenes Article 36 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in determining the purpose in creating a civic organization. We would note that the definition of a civic organization in Article 3, as an association of citizens to satisfy their legitimate social, economic, creative, age-related, national-cultural, sport or other common interests, is treated by the executive organs literally, that is, it is considered that civic organizations are created purely to protect their own rights and interests, or the rights and interests of their members. It should be noted that political interests are not present in this list, that is, strictly speaking there are no legitimate grounds for the creation of civic-political NGOs, in particular, human rights organizations. Using this provision of the law, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and its local bodies refuse to register human rights organizations. There have been many reports of refusals to register on the grounds that the charter’s goal did not comply with Article 3 of the Law. For example, in Kyiv activists submitted documents for registration of a Kyiv human rights group. However, the Kyiv City Department of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine turned down the application for registration stating that the purpose in creating the organization (the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms) ran counter to legislation. A similar reason was given for refusing to register the Kyiv organization «Helsinki – 90». The chances of a court appeal succeeding are, moreover, small: in its ility of appropriate treatment for the sick with HIV/AIDS and softening the influence of the epidemic on Ukrainian society.

According to an official statement from the UN United Program on AIDS (UNAIDS), Ukraine is presently the epicentre of the HIV-infection in Eastern Europe. The number of people at risk of being infected with AIDS is rising every year. The official statistics for the spread of HIV in Ukraine according to the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine in 2004 can be seen in the following table.

The number of new cases of people officially registered HIV-positive

The number of new cases of AIDS

Number of deaths from AIDS












7 377

1 379

8 756

1 306


1 353





8 166


10 009

1 847


1 915

1 247


1 285


10 198

2 293

12 491

2 647


2 743

1 742


1 775

According to estimation data of international and national experts, the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Ukraine is about 1% of the population and could reach 1.44 million people by 2010, if no efficient and coordinated HIV-infection preventive measures are taken, especially among representatives of the most vulnerable groups.

The average life expectancy of an HIV-positive person, from when an «AIDS related complex» is first diagnosed is less than a year.

According to data from the Ukrainian Centre for the prevention of and fight against AIDS, from 1987 to 2003 more than 62 thousand people in the country were officially diagnosed as HIV-positive, six thousand being children, 5855 of whom were born of HIV-positive mothers. During that period, 5 thousand adults and 170 children developed AIDS, of whom 2,8 thousand adults and 95 children died. In 2003, more than 1,000 people living in Ukraine died of AIDS, 31 of them children. Ukraine is effectively on the verge of a national HIV/AIDS epidemic. Most disturbing is the fact that over the last five years the number of cases of HIV infection in Ukraine has risen 20 times, and at present, according to estimates of experts, approximately 400,000 people have the infection, virtually 1% of the adult population.

The prevalence of HIV infection in 2004 was 20 times higher than in 1995. Among those diagnosed HIV-positive, almost 38 thousand are injecting illegal drugs. These make up 60% of the total figures of HIV-positive individuals. In 2003 the number of those who contracted tuberculosis as an accompanying pathology increased almost threefold in comparison with 1990.

Among those who are HIV-positive, the majority are between the ages of 20 and 39, with cases constantly registered as well among teenagers. People are diagnosed as HIV-positive in all regions. The worst affected areas are the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Mikolayiv, Zaporizhye, Kharkiv, Poltava, Luhansk and Cherkasy regions, as well as the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea. A particular feature of the epidemic situation in these regions is the fact that around 75% of all those HIV-positive inject themselves with narcotic substances.

The following recent developments are potentially very dangerous:

– the rise in the number of diagnosed HIV-positive individuals among blood donors, and as a result, thus far isolated cases of HIV infection of people receiving blood (Kirovohrad region, Kyiv);

– an increase in the number of HIV-positive pregnant women, and also their new-born babies;

– the increase in certain regions, in particular, in the Donetsk and Odessa regions, of the number of cases where the infection is transmitted through heterosexual contact.

All this demonstrates that as well as the high-risk groups, the entire population is being gradually drawn into the epidemic process and the problem of HIV infection in Ukraine is becoming a critical medical and social issue. Over the last two years, the infection has been spreading through the blood of drug-injecting addicts, through sexual relations and from mother to child. The scale of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is influenced by factors exacerbating the crisis situation, namely: economic instability, the rise in unemployment, in drug addiction and prostitution, the limited efficacy of preventive measures. The development of the epidemic has led to a build-up of its negative effects in society, which, together with the demographic crisis (a fall in population, the ageing of the population and lowering of the average life expectancy) and a worsening in the state of health of the population is having a negative impact on the well-being of the population, national security and prestige of the country.

Current Ukrainian legislation regulating the sphere of prevention and control over the HIV infection, that is, the new version of the Law of Ukraine «On Prevention of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and social protection of the population», approved by the Verkhovna Rada on 3 March 1998, on the whole complies with the norms set out in international human rights documents and the recommendations of the World Health Organization which Ukraine is a full member of.

The main achievement of the new Law is the move away from a policy of compulsory surveillance of certain groups of society and the introduction of testing on condition of prior consent and guarantees of confidentiality.

According to this Law, the Ukrainian Ministry of Healthcare becomes the specially authorized central executive body responsible for the management and inter-departmental coordination in the area of fighting AIDS. State policy on fighting AIDS is carried out via the organization of implementation of this Law, Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers on this issue, and also through drawing up and ensuring the implementation of appropriate national, regional and local programs which set out a system of measures for preventing the spread of HIV infection, informing and raising awareness of the population, for specially training medical personnel, conducting fundamental and applied scientific research, and developing international cooperation in this area.

Despite the fairly progressive nature of Ukrainian legislation aimed at counteracting HIV/AIDS, a number of provisions of national legislation pertaining to this sphere require further refinement, as is correctly noted in the Recommendations of parliamentary hearings «Socio-economic issues of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and alcoholism in Ukraine and ways to resolve them», which took place in February 2004. The purpose of such refinement should be to increase the effectiveness of the measures to control the epidemic, while at the same time strengthening the safeguards to human rights, ensurLetter №01-8/319 from 6 July 2000, the Higher Appeal Court of Ukraine emphasized that «citizens’ organizations are formed in order for its members (participants) to exercise their rights and freedoms on the basis of united interests and fulfilment of duties which reflect the main aim, task, directions, forms and methods of activity of the organizations». Thus it was precisely non-compliance with Article 3 and the above letter which the Luhansk Department of Justice used to justify their refusal to register amendments to the charter of the Luhansk NGO «Progress», which declared its main purpose to be «to carry out cultural and educational activity among children and young people, and to stimulate the creative activity of children and young people»

Limiting the purpose for establishing citizens’ associations to satisfying their legal common interests does not comply with either the voluntary nature or the common exercising of the rights and freedoms of citizens in Article 1 of the Law «On citizens’ associations», or «the voluntary forming of a group for a common purpose» in the interpretation of the European court of Human Rights[2].

On the other hand, without provisions in the charter regarding the protection of the rights of others, the tax inspectorate can accuse the organization of activity which is not in its charter which could result in serious financial consequences.

Certainly, in such cases one can assert that it is specifically exercising my rights and interests to protect the rights of others. Nonetheless, it is obvious that the legislation needs to be amended.

The property of non-governmental organizations with non-profit-making status, on liquidation of the organization, may not be divided among its members, but must be used for carrying out the tasks of the charter or for charitable purposes.

Another specific feature of NPO is their registration in accordance with territorial status: local, national or international. Organizations do not have the right to expand their activity beyond the territory of activity defined in their charter. At the same time, the expansion or change in territorial activity of an NPO is directly related to the presence of centres of the organization in other (new) territorial and administrative units. No such limitations are imposed on businesses.

In Kyiv many civic organizations experienced real problems in connection with this after the redistribution of districts in the city. As a result of this, rulings of the City Council about changes in district boundaries meant that a lot of legal entities found themselves in different districts. Businesses in this case simply and swiftly re-registered themselves in the controlling bodies of other districts (the tax inspectorate, social security fund and pension fund). However, NPO could not do this. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that for civic organizations there is no procedure for re-registration as a result of change of location: for this it is necessary to introduce amendments to the charter which the territorial department of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine then refuses to register because the registration of the organization at the new address makes it no longer within that department’s territorial competence. Therefore, civic organizations, as a result of ill-planned legal regulation, were effectively advised to dissolve their organization in one district and register it in the other, albeit at the same address, with all the associated consequences (the cost of liquidation and registration of the organization, the time required for this, the termination of contracts, suspects of projects, dismissal of employees, and so forth). In such instances, the organizations needed to find an easier solution and change address in the same district wherever that were possible (for example, the district had not disappeared entirely). Such situations create clearly artificial and unwarranted difficulties in exercising the right to freedom of association. In this context, the regulation of Part 4, Article 9 of the Law «On citizens’ associations», which guarantees the right of civic organizations to independently determine the territory of their activity is paramount to mockery.

The procedure for registration is very complicated in comparison with that for other legal entities (for example, businesses), where the length of time of registration is considerably less. The average time taken to register an NPO, depending on it type, is from one month (for a political party) to three months (for a religious organization), although in practice documents are repeatedly returned for reworking by the legalizing body, and such registration takes on average 4-8 months. For comparison, the registration of a business takes between 5 and 10 working days.

This year the procedure for registration became even more complicated due to the coming into force of the Law of Ukraine «On State registration of legal entities and individuals – businesspeople»[3], which contains several regulations which lend themselves open to differing interpretations. In particular, according to this law, legalization of all citizens’ associations and other NPO should be duplicated by registration with the State registrar of the city council executive committee.

The State Committee of Ukraine on Regulatory Policy and Business, in its letter № 7801 of 9 November 2004 explained that:

«After registration in these bodies (stipulated by the laws on NPOs), the above-mentioned subjects approach the state registrar in the executive committee of the city council of a city of regional significance or of a district or district state administration in Kyiv and Sebastopol depending on the location of the legal entity to record the fact of its formation and inclusion into the Single State Register of Legal Entities and Individuals – Businesspeople. A completed registration card (form №6) is submitted at the same time, with the original of the certificate of State registration with the appropriate body and the identification code received from the statistics agency (if this is a newly formed association). On confirmation of inclusion in the Single State Register, the State registrar processes and issues a certificate of state registration of a legal entity of the stipulated form».

That is, it confirmed the fact of duplicated registration of NPOs.

The grounds for refusing to register an NPO are vague, leading to the need for interpretation of the legislation by the legalizing body and the consequent abuses. For example, registration of an NPO, regardless of the lack of amendments to legislation, is constantly being changed towards greater complexity. If documents submitted for the registration of an NPO run counter to any demands of legislation, the legalizing body turns down the application for registration. In this, clear grounds for refusal are not defined by the law, and they are also not usually explained in the response of the legalizing body, which limits itself to a general phrase about being in conflict with Ukrainian legislation. At best there is a reference to the articles of the law which the documents do not comply with, however in this all positive articles are listed and no specific shortcomings of the registration documents are indicated.

The Law on citizens’ associations contains a list of permitted forms of activity. While it is very extensive, it is considered by executive bodies (the Ministry of Justice and the tax inspectorate) as being comprehensive, which in principle conforms to neither the spirit nor the letter of the law. The organizations may engage in other forms of activity only in cases where such rights are provided for by other laws. This at least is the position taken by the main legalizing body – the Ministry of Justice. Administrative practice does not allow non-profit-making organizations to engage in publishing activity, to provide partially paid social services or engage in any other activing greater limitation of potential for discrimination and ostracism of people living with HIV, their relatives, and groups in society vulnerable from the point of view of HIV/AIDS.

In our opinion, an important step towards improving Ukrainian legislation on AIDS would be to change the very definition of the concept of «acquired immune deficiency syndrome» in such a way as to remove the disease from the list of especially dangerous infections which AIDS in essence is not.

It is also necessary to remove the provision of Article 11 of the Law of Ukraine «On Prevention of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and social protection of the population» which establishes the compulsory, and therefore, discriminatory rules on AIDS tests for aliens and stateless individuals applying for entry visas to Ukraine.

The Criminal Code of Ukraine, in the new version from 2001, establishes criminal liability for deliberately infecting a person with the immune deficiency virus (Article 130):

«The conscious placing of another person in danger of becoming infected with the immune deficiency virus, or any other incurable infectious disease presenting a threat to life, shall be punishable by custodial arrest for a period of up to three months, or limitation of liberty for up to five years, or deprivation of liberty for a period of up to three years.

The infection of another person with the immune deficiency virus, or any other incurable infectious disease by a person who knew that he or she was a carrier of this virus shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a period of between two and five years.

The acts set out in part two of this Article, if carried out in relation to two or more people, or to a minor, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a period of between three and eight years.

The deliberate of another person with the immune deficiency virus, or any other incurable infectious disease presenting a threat to life, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a period of between five and ten years».

However, there have no cases where this Article of the Criminal Code has been applied in practice.

It is also a criminal offence to consciously place another person in danger of being infected with HIV, which could involve sexual relations without using preventive measures, somebody who is HIV-positive giving blood or tissue as a donor, non-observance of preventive measures aimed at preventing the spread of HIV infection (for example sharing needles which have not been sterilized when injecting drugs), however this norm of the Criminal Code has not been applied in practice.

Current legislation imposes the following obligations on people living with HIV or AIDS:

1) to use measures to prevent the spread of the HIV infection, suggested by healthcare institutions;;

2) to inform anybody they had sexual relations with before being diagnosed of the risk that they have been infected;

3) to not be donors of blood, blood components, other biological liquids, cells, organs and tissues for medical purposes.

A person who, upon medical examination, is identified as having the HIV infection, is informed of this by a member of staff of the healthcare institution where the examination has taken place with due consideration of the legal requirements regarding confidentiality of the given information. At the same time, the person infected is informed of the need to observe certain preventive measures, about the guarantees of rights and freedoms of people with HIV, and also about criminal liability involved in placing others in danger of being infected, or infecting them with the immune deficiency virus.

Ukrainian legislation prohibits discrimination against a person on the grounds of being HIV positive. In real life, as demonstrated by sociological research (for example, «Access to services and the rights of people living with HIV in Ukraine» by the All-Ukrainian Network of people living with HIV), the overwhelming majority of those with HIV feel that they are stigmatized and discriminated against.

Although the Law stipulates that testing for HIV should be voluntary, almost 40% of people with HIV who were surveyed said that they had been tested without their prior consent and appropriate consultation before the tests.

Human rights and HIV support organizations note the low level of awareness of people living with HIV/AIDS about their rights and the guarantees of social protection provided for by legislation.

For example, it transpired from a survey conducted by the Vinnytsa Human Rights Protection Group that not more than 5% of those living with HIV or AIDS knew about such guarantees as:

– being able to stay with children up to the age of 14, with time off from work and with paid hospital care;

– retention of unbroken employment record and payment of unemployment benefit for a mother or father who has left their job in order to look after a child under 16 with HIV infection on condition that the mother or father returns to work when the child turns 16;

– the payment for HIV-positive children up to 16 of monthly assistance amounting to 34 UH.

According to the above-mentioned survey of the All-Ukrainian Network of people living with HIV, every third case where the rights of an HIV positive person are infringed involves an infringement to their rights to employment or education, while two thirds of respondents (68.8%) have encountered infringements of their right to medical assistance. Almost 70% of respondents mentioned that their right to confidentiality as regards their diagnosis had been infringed. The issue of confidentiality is of concern to those who are HIV-positive because of its impact on work relations, and also in the sphere of medical services. People are interested in the legal aspect of their relations with medical personnel, in particular, who from the medical staff has the right to know about a patient’s HIV status, and under what circumstances they can be denied medical assistance, whether doctors have the right to take an HIV test without the knowledge of the patient, or to disclose the result of such a diagnosis after the patient’s death.

A big problem remains access of those with HIV to antiretroviral treatment. Thanks to the efforts of international donors, access to antiretroviral treatment was provided in 2004 for almost all HIV-positive children however it remained unavailable to many of those adults who would be able to use it.

Prejudice in society against people living with HIV or AIDS is a reason why disclosing one’s HIV status is a significant problem for people with HIV. Having to hide their HIV-positive status then makes it impossible for them to enjoy their legal rights and benefits, leads to a passive reaction when their rights are violated. It is staggering that in the course of the sociological survey, people who are HIV-positive said that it was specifically medical staff who were the least tolerant members of society in relation to people living with HIV.

Another major problem is the widening epidemic of HIV among people injecting themselves with drugs. Drug addiction has social grounds and its prevalence has clear regional features. The largest numbers of addicts are in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine and it is specifically there that the absolute figures and dynamic of the spread of the HIV epidemics are the most worrying. In our opinion, the time has come to totally reassess the Ukrainian policy on drugs, and reject excessive criminalization which hits average drug addicts more than the drug dealers, and to concentrate the efforts of the State on harm reduction programs and, in particular, on the promising direction of substitution therapy for drug addicts.

One of the reasons why the widespread implementation of substitution therapy as one of the methods for treating drug dependence has been stalled is the lack of officially approved relevant methodological recommendations and instructions from the Miniity which even theoretically could be aimed at making profit.

In addition, to engage in certain types of activity requiring a licence, an organization must declare itself an economic subject, which can lead to its losing its status as a non-profit-making organization. This does not apply to obtaining a licence for the carrying out of social services. This licence is compulsory for non-governmental organizations providing so-called «social services». At the same time, the term «social services» is defined in an extremely vague way, making it possible to use it about any activity by individuals. The introduction of licensing is a significant obstacle to the activities of such organizations.

Last year, parliament considered a Draft law on introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On social services[4]» which suggesting limiting the scope of this law, in particular, by giving it force only on measures financed by the State or local budgets. Only on October 21, 2004 was this law was passed in the first reading (as a basis).[5]

Another important drawback of Ukrainian legislation is the lack of any incentive to engage in charitable activity. For example, the system of State concessions is based on a wrong system in that certain types of organizations receive these concessions, effectively regardless of whether or not they engage in such activity. In this way, a charity, having received tax incentives (non-profit-making status), carry out a considerable range of activities which will bring profit and which may not be directed at carrying out charitable activities, whereas businesses, even when carrying out charitable actions, receive no tax incentives. It would therefore be expedient to restructure the system for tax incentives towards a situation where the incentives are provided exclusively because of the type of activity, and not because of the type classification of the organization. This would stimulate the development of charitable activity in the country, as well as the development of the activity of non-profit-making organizations.

There is a worrying tendency to impose legislative limitations on the possibilities for non-commercial organizations to receive financing either from Ukrainian donors or from their own economic activity. when in the Law «On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2004», the State refused to stimulate donations to NPOs and deprived such NPOs of the option of earning money through their own activity. Such a position blocks the access of national investors to the public sector and forces Ukrainian NPOs to seek financing abroad to carry out their projects.

A Draft Law «On non-commercial organizations» is being prepared in parliament which unites and provides general regulation for all these types of organizations, and which in general meets European standards.


1. To adopt a new law «On non-commercial organizations»[6], which defines clear and unified conditions for the creation or termination of activity of all types of NPO, including organizations, whose creation is not allowed for by Ukrainian legislations, and also for the obtaining by them of the appropriate tax incentives through gaining the status of a non-profit-making organization.

2. To simplify the procedure for registration of non-governmental organizations by creating one procedure for both NPO and businesses, and to abolish the double registration of NPO by two State executive bodies.

3. To abolish the territorial division of NPO activity and the restriction of their activity to the administrative-territorial unit they are registered in.

4 To abolish the practice of licensing social services which are provided by NPO, and not from State or local budgets.

5. To stimulate charitable or other non-profit-making activity by providing tax incentives solely on condition that charitable or other socially significant activity is carried out, and not by virtue of having created a specific type of organization which may not even provide such services.

6. To eliminate the practice of limiting the sources of financing and suspending benefits to businesses which carry out charitable activity through the law of Ukraine on the State budget for each year.

7. To define in legislation the conditions for State purchase of social services and for the provision of State assistance to non-governmental non-profit-making organizations.

8. To remove Article 186-5 of the Administrative Offences Code which establishes liability for the activity of unregistered civic organizations.

9. To sign and ratify the Convention on recognizing the legal identity of international non-governmental organizations (ETS № 124) that came into force on January 1, 1991.

[1] For more details, see Paragraph 3 of Article 83, Article 86, Paragraph 3 of Article 87, Paragraph 3 of Article 88, and Articles 101 – 103 of the Civil Code of Ukraine.

[2] ECHR, Young, James and Webster v. the United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights, Series B, No. 39, p.47.

[3] The Law came into force on 1 July, 2004

[4] The Draft law No. 5254 from 15 March on amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On social services» (regarding those involved in the services market) introduced by State Deputy A. Matviyenko. The Draft was given a positive assessment by parliamentary committees and expert departments of the Verkhovna Rada.

[5] See also the human rights website RUPOR:

[6] Draft Law № 0961 from 14 May 2002 року «On non-commercial organizations», tabled by State Deputies A.S. Matviyenko, H.O. Omelchenko and A.V. Yermak. The Draft Law was accepted on its first reading, however since June 2002, it has not been tabled in Parliament for its second reading.

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