Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for September 2021, prepared by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P). The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs.
Only two of seven Exit-Entry Crossing Points (EECPs) remained open for crossing the contact line: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast. COVID-19 measures continue to have an impact on the number of persons crossing the EECPs. In September less people crossed than in previous months. According to SBGS statistics, about 70,000 people crossed the contact line in September, while the figure was 91,000 for August. Anti-COVID-19 measures are cited by the de facto authorities as their reason to keep the other EECPs closed.
On 17 and 24 September, NGCA side of Novotroitske EECP was closed by the de facto authorities citing technical problems without any further explanations. Meanwhile, Novotroitske EECP on GCA side was open on those days. This closure prevented people crossing for purposes such as obtaining necessary medical treatment, visiting relatives or attending funerals of relatives on time. Such closures may in some cases lead to the deterioration of health of sick people and those who need special care.
In September, it has become possible to obtain a printable Covid-19 vaccination certificate at the Diya website. It means that people can get the certificate without visiting a medical facility even while being in the NGCA. However, a smartphone with Diya app or an electronic digital signature is needed.
During September, 10,159 vulnerable elderly persons were transported across the Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by an electric vehicle provided by the NGO Proliska.
The report is based on the results of a survey, regularly conducted by the specialists of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) at the five (currently – two) EECPs in the Government-Controlled Areas (GCA) and administered regularly since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of the rights of a conflict-affected population within the framework of the project “Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population” implemented by the R2P with the support of UNHCR. The purpose of a survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the ‘contact line’ through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for the advocacy efforts.