Today we present The report ‘Crossing the line of contact’ covering January-September 2019, prepared by CF “Right to Protection” (R2P). It is based on information collected by our monitors during their visits to 5 entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs). More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.
- The trend of pensioners prevailing among respondents has been remaining relevant since 2017 (65% of respondents are over 60 years old, forced to regular movement by current legislation in order to receive pensions and social support from the state).
- The older people suffer not only from legal discrimination. The process of crossing the contact line is also much more physically difficult for them. Only 24% of respondents over 60 years old surveyed in the reporting period claimed that they did not have any concerns while crossing the contact line.
- Solving issues with pensions and social payments remained one of the most frequently mentioned reasons for crossing (mentioned by 67% of all respondents) and the number was continuously high throughout the reporting period.
- The number of respondents traveling for vacation increased in the summertime (from 0% in February to 8% in August) and then dropped to 2% in September.
- Respondents from NGCA mostly travel to obtain various governmental and bank services, increasing the pressure on the infrastructure of the localities. 78% of them were travelling to the settlements located within 60 kilometres from the EECPs.
- The issue of people fainting in queues at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP, which was extremely urgent in the summertime (more than 80 persons had such problem per day) mostly subsided in September 2019 as outside temperature decreased. By using free transportation (the electric car operated by Proliska on the EECP thanks to funding and partnership with UNHCR and the bus provided by Luhansk Oblast Administration) people do not have to walk a long way between “zero” checkpoint and the EECP itself, which also significantly improved the situation.
- In September the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution №815 that caused concerns regarding children under the age of 14 as it determined the international passport as the only document that would allow them through the contact line. Both humanitarian actors and governmental structures recognised the risks and by the end of the month were still working on the solution.
The report is based on the results of a survey conducted during January-September by R2P at the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) to enter the non-government controlled area (NGCA) and administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of conflict-affected populations within the framework of the project ‘Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to IDPs’ implemented by R2P, with the support of UNHCR. The purpose of the survey is to explore reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the government-controlled area (GCA), as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts.