Make a donation
Укр / Eng
29.11.19

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.

 

 The document can be downloaded in English and Ukrainian.

27.11.19

The report is prepared based on the results of monitoring of territorial units of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the government-controlled areas, as well as on the results of analysis of current legislative framework and law-enforcement practice by territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This report identifies the main problems and trends in issuance of the passport of a citizen of Ukraine to the persons, who apply to the territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the government-controlled areas of Ukraine, with a focus on the peculiarities of documenting the persons from the nongovernment controlled areas of Ukraine.

The monitoring lasted for 11 weeks in total: from May 20 to June 07 and from July 10 to August 30, 2019. Preparation of this report was preceded by monitoring of the territorial units of the SMS in Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the government-controlled areas carried out by the team of monitors of the CF “The Right to Protection”.

Read the full version of the report here.

27.11.19

The report is prepared based on the results of monitoring of territorial units of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the government-controlled areas, as well as on the results of analysis of current legislative framework and law-enforcement practice by territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This report identifies the main problems and trends in issuance of the passport of a citizen of Ukraine to the persons, who apply to the territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the government-controlled areas of Ukraine, with a focus on the peculiarities of documenting the persons from the nongovernment controlled areas of Ukraine.

The monitoring lasted for 11 weeks in total: from May 20 to June 07 and from July 10 to August 30, 2019. Preparation of this report was preceded by monitoring of the territorial units of the SMS in Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the government-controlled areas carried out by the team of monitors of the CF “The Right to Protection”.

Read the full version of the report here.

18.11.19

Today we present The report ‘Crossing the line of contact’ covering October 2019, prepared by CF “Right to Protection” (R2P). It is based on information collected in October during 49 visits to 5 entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs). More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

  • The movement across the contact line at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was suspended on October 11 around 12:00 due to a bomb threat call. Police and SES staff immediately evacuated civilians from the EECP, its service zones and the objects listed in the call. No explosive objects were found in the thorough inspection. The EECP resumed operation after 15:00.
  • On October 28 the CMU Resolution №815 was postponed for 30 days due to the concerns it raised among civilians and humanitarian actors. According to the Resolution, children under the age of 14 would have international passports to cross the contact line. 
  • Individuals applying to the CG representative at Marinka EECP complained that they applied for a permit in early summer, however their permits cannot be found in SBGS data base. It was reported that an error occurred in a file, damaging the data for June and July, so some of these permits are not displayed in SBGS data base. Such people have to re-apply to the CG representatives.
  • The disaggregation of concerns expressed by respondents remained the same, however the share of respondents who did not indicate any concerns sharply increased.

 The report is based on the results of a survey conducted during October 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.

 The document can be downloaded in English and Ukrainian.

18.11.19

Today we present The report ‘Crossing the line of contact’ covering October 2019, prepared by CF “Right to Protection (R2P). It is based on information collected in October during 49 visits to 5 entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs). More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

  • The movement across the contact line at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was suspended on October 11 around 12:00 due to a bomb threat call. Police and SES staff immediately evacuated civilians from the EECP, its service zones and the objects listed in the call. No explosive objects were found in the thorough inspection. The EECP resumed operation after 15:00.
  • On October 28 the CMU Resolution №815 was postponed for 30 days due to the concerns it raised among civilians and humanitarian actors. According to the Resolution, children under the age of 14 would have international passports to cross the contact line. 
  • Individuals applying to the CG representative at Marinka EECP complained that they applied for a permit in early summer, however their permits cannot be found in SBGS data base. It was reported that an error occurred in a file, damaging the data for June and July, so some of these permits are not displayed in SBGS data base. Such people have to re-apply to the CG representatives.
  • The disaggregation of concerns expressed by respondents remained the same, however the share of respondents who did not indicate any concerns sharply increased.

 The report is based on the results of a survey conducted during October 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.

 

 The document can be downloaded in English and Ukrainian.

18.11.19

Today we present The report ‘Crossing the line of contact’ covering October 2019, prepared by CF “Right to Protection (R2P). It is based on information collected in October during 49 visits to 5 entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs). More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

  • The movement across the contact line at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was suspended on October 11 around 12:00 due to a bomb threat call. Police and SES staff immediately evacuated civilians from the EECP, its service zones and the objects listed in the call. No explosive objects were found in the thorough inspection. The EECP resumed operation after 15:00.
  • On October 28 the CMU Resolution №815 was postponed for 30 days due to the concerns it raised among civilians and humanitarian actors. According to the Resolution, children under the age of 14 would have international passports to cross the contact line. 
  • Individuals applying to the CG representative at Marinka EECP complained that they applied for a permit in early summer, however their permits cannot be found in SBGS data base. It was reported that an error occurred in a file, damaging the data for June and July, so some of these permits are not displayed in SBGS data base. Such people have to re-apply to the CG representatives.
  • The disaggregation of concerns expressed by respondents remained the same, however the share of respondents who did not indicate any concerns sharply increased.

 The report is based on the results of a survey conducted during October 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.

 

 The document can be downloaded in English and Ukrainian.

11.11.19

On July 17, the Government of Ukraine adopted Resolution No. 815, which approved a new Order for crossing the contact line with the occupied territories of Donbas. It was due to enter into force on October 29, 2019. However, due to the public outcry caused by some norms of the resolution, it was delayed until November 29. It’s expected that during this time it will be amended to improve the situation with the crossing of the EECPs, as well as to strengthen ties with residents of temporary occupied territories (TOT). In addition, the Decree of the President of Ukraine of October 7, 2019 mandates the relevant state bodies to work on the issue of simplifying the movement of persons and goods from and to the TOT, and to take measures to improve the situation at the EECPs. What steps will the state take? What needs to be done to meet the humanitarian needs at the EECPs? These issues were discussed during a press conference on November 11, 2019 in Kyiv.

Serhii Sivokho, Advisor to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council on issues of reintegration and restoration of Donbas, Artem Salikhov, Advisor to the Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Daryna Tolkach, Advocacy coordinator, CF “Right to Protection”, Tetiana Durnieva, Executive Director of the NGO “Civil Holding GROUP OF INFLUENCE”, Alona Lunova, Advocacy manager, “ZMINA. Human Rights Center” participated in the press conference.

According to Serhii Sivokho, resolving all issues related to the crossing the contact line should match the general state policy of maintaining communication with the people who live at the occupied territories. “About 40,000 of our citizens go through 9 circles of hell every day at the EECPs. The need to obtain a permit to travel, to queue, to carefully inspect personal belongings and to seize those that are not on the white list, not only doesn’t help to keep in touch, but on the contrary, distracts our citizens. It is long overdue for us to turn our face to these people. They are our citizens. And they should feel like citizens of Ukraine! It was yesterday when we were supposed to start humanizing the regime of passage of the EECPs”, – said Serhii Sivokho.

One of the provisions currently contained in the Order is the need to obtain permission to cross the contact line. However, according to Tetiana Durnieva, the procedure for crossing should be revised. It was set in 2015, when the security situation required it, but now this system is more conducive to promoting corruption and increasing the length of time spent at the EECPs. “Now, all five EECPs are equipped with appropriate border control systems. This means that the person can be checked directly during the crossing of the EECP and does not need to have his or her data in advance. Instead, the permitting system facilitates queues and has numerous corruption risks. In addition, there are often failures in her work, which leads to the collapse of the EECP. That’s why, in our opinion, the revision of the approach to the organization of crossing the contact line and cancellation of the permit system is relevant. It will also remove artificial obstacles for communication, without affecting the security level”.

One of the most important reasons for delaying the new Order was the question of crossing the contact line by children. The new Order provides that the only document for entry-exit the TOT by children under 14 years of age should be a foreign passport. “The residents of the occupied territories had a very negative perception of this innovation, because now the family had to issue a passport, which costs almost 700 UAH, to cross the contact line with the child. In addition, due to the excitement, it is almost impossible to apply for a passport in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, – claimed Alona Lunova. “We suggest to return the birth certificate to the list of documents on which basis child may cross the contact line. This will reduce social tension while not affecting the security situation. This position has received the support of all relevant state bodies, so we hope that the appropriate changes will be adopted by the Government”, – Lunova said.

A positive innovation of Resolution No. 815 is the change in approaches to the settlement of the issue of goods transportation through the contact line. Resolution provides the transition from the list of authorized goods to the list of goods which transportation is prohibited or restricted, approved by the Ministry for Veterans. The draft of the relevant Order was published on the Ministry official website, and its public discussion is ongoing until November, 12.

“The principle behind the Ministry team working on the Order and the Resolution is to maximize the simplification of the life of Ukrainian citizens who are forced to live in the TOT and to secure their constitutional rights,” – Artem Salikhov said. He also noted that both the amendments to the Resolution and the Order with the list of goods are the result of joint partnership work and some compromise between the position of the concerned state bodies and NGOs. He promised that the Ministry for Veterans would continue to monitor the situation with the practical implementation of the Resolution and Order, resorting to further clarifications and improving the procedure of crossing the contact line if needed.

The event is held within the project “Providing the multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to conflict affected population in eastern Ukraine”, implemented with the financial support of the European Commission in the framework of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Assistance to the European Union within the consortium ACCESS.

11.11.19

On July 17, the Government of Ukraine adopted Resolution No. 815, which approved a new Order for crossing the contact line with the occupied territories of Donbas. It was due to enter into force on October 29, 2019. However, due to the public outcry caused by some norms of the resolution, it was delayed until November 29. It’s expected that during this time it will be amended to improve the situation with the crossing of the EECPs, as well as to strengthen ties with residents of temporary occupied territories (TOT). In addition, the Decree of the President of Ukraine of October 7, 2019 mandates the relevant state bodies to work on the issue of simplifying the movement of persons and goods from and to the TOT, and to take measures to improve the situation at the EECPs. What steps will the state take? What needs to be done to meet the humanitarian needs at the EECPs? These issues were discussed during a press conference on November 11, 2019 in Kyiv.

Serhii Sivokho, Advisor to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council on issues of reintegration and restoration of Donbas, Artem Salikhov, Advisor to the Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Daryna Tolkach, Advocacy coordinator, CF “Right to Protection”, Tetiana Durnieva, Executive Director of the NGO “Civil Holding GROUP OF INFLUENCE”, Alona Lunova, Advocacy manager, “ZMINA. Human Rights Center” participated in the press conference.

According to Serhii Sivokho, resolving all issues related to the crossing the contact line should match the general state policy of maintaining communication with the people who live at the occupied territories. “About 40,000 of our citizens go through 9 circles of hell every day at the EECPs. The need to obtain a permit to travel, to queue, to carefully inspect personal belongings and to seize those that are not on the white list, not only doesn’t help to keep in touch, but on the contrary, distracts our citizens. It is long overdue for us to turn our face to these people. They are our citizens. And they should feel like citizens of Ukraine! It was yesterday when we were supposed to start humanizing the regime of passage of the EECPs”, – said Serhii Sivokho.

One of the provisions currently contained in the Order is the need to obtain permission to cross the contact line. However, according to Tetiana Durnieva, the procedure for crossing should be revised. It was set in 2015, when the security situation required it, but now this system is more conducive to promoting corruption and increasing the length of time spent at the EECPs. “Now, all five EECPs are equipped with appropriate border control systems. This means that the person can be checked directly during the crossing of the EECP and does not need to have his or her data in advance. Instead, the permitting system facilitates queues and has numerous corruption risks. In addition, there are often failures in her work, which leads to the collapse of the EECP. That’s why, in our opinion, the revision of the approach to the organization of crossing the contact line and cancellation of the permit system is relevant. It will also remove artificial obstacles for communication, without affecting the security level”.

One of the most important reasons for delaying the new Order was the question of crossing the contact line by children. The new Order provides that the only document for entry-exit the TOT by children under 14 years of age should be a foreign passport. “The residents of the occupied territories had a very negative perception of this innovation, because now the family had to issue a passport, which costs almost 700 UAH, to cross the contact line with the child. In addition, due to the excitement, it is almost impossible to apply for a passport in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, – claimed Alona Lunova. “We suggest to return the birth certificate to the list of documents on which basis child may cross the contact line. This will reduce social tension while not affecting the security situation. This position has received the support of all relevant state bodies, so we hope that the appropriate changes will be adopted by the Government”, – Lunova said.

A positive innovation of Resolution No. 815 is the change in approaches to the settlement of the issue of goods transportation through the contact line. Resolution provides the transition from the list of authorized goods to the list of goods which transportation is prohibited or restricted, approved by the Ministry for Veterans. The draft of the relevant Order was published on the Ministry official website, and its public discussion is ongoing until November, 12.

“The principle behind the Ministry team working on the Order and the Resolution is to maximize the simplification of the life of Ukrainian citizens who are forced to live in the TOT and to secure their constitutional rights,” – Artem Salikhov said. He also noted that both the amendments to the Resolution and the Order with the list of goods are the result of joint partnership work and some compromise between the position of the concerned state bodies and NGOs. He promised that the Ministry for Veterans would continue to monitor the situation with the practical implementation of the Resolution and Order, resorting to further clarifications and improving the procedure of crossing the contact line if needed.

The event is held within the project “Providing the multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to conflict affected population in eastern Ukraine”, implemented with the financial support of the European Commission in the framework of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Assistance to the European Union within the consortium ACCESS.

07.11.19

“Stateless Persons and Administrative Procedure for Receiving Birth and Death Certificates by Persons of Temporarily Occupied Territories” round table was held at the Committee on Human Rights* building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on November 6. The event was organized by CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Committee on Human Rights.

There are about 35,000 stateless people in Ukraine, according to the UNHCR.

The problem of overcoming statelessness was the main subject of the round table. There were two main tasks within the framework of the event: firstly, to familiarize the problem of statelessness, and those novelties introduced by the new draft law (№ 2335); secondly, to involve in the fruitful discussion the maximum number those representatives of public authorities involved in resolving the issue of settling birth and death facts in the temporarily occupied territories.

“The problem of statelessness is not new to Ukraine. According to various estimates in our country there are up to 35,000 stateless persons who cannot actually enjoy any of their rights, they don’t have access to any services (social, administrative) at the same level as other citizens or foreigners, living in Ukraine”, said Darina Tolkach, R2P Advocacy Coordinator. “Since 2014, Ukraine has acceded to the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. But unfortunately, the humanization of the legislation have not happened. Therefore, we are welcoming the fact that the Committee has registered a long-standing draft law developed by the State Migration Service, The UNHCR Office and a number of NGOs. We look forward to the swift adoption  of this draft law by the Verkhovna Rada. Thousands of people are waiting for the adoption of this law and the opportunity to solve their problems”.

The conflict in Donbass has also provoked the risk of statelessness for many people who currently reside or left the occupied territories. Birth and death registration issue in the occupied territories also makes this problem worse. R2P experts say that the ways to overcome the statelessness risks of the conflict in Donbas must be found.

The round table also presented the results of monitoring the territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on the issue of receiving the Ukrainian passport.

“A lot of people in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have a problem with issuing a Ukrainian passport after it was lost or damaged. Another big problem is updating passport photo when reaching the age of 25 and 45 due to complex administrative procedures of identifying a person”, said Anna Babko, R2P Legal Analyst.

This report will be published shortly.

* Committee on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts and Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations.

07.11.19

“Stateless Persons and Administrative Procedure for Receiving Birth and Death Certificates by Persons of Temporarily Occupied Territories” round table was held at the Committee on Human Rights* building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on November 6. The event was organized by CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Committee on Human Rights.

There are about 35,000 stateless people in Ukraine, according to the UNHCR.

The problem of overcoming statelessness was the main subject of the round table. There were two main tasks within the framework of the event: firstly, to familiarize the problem of statelessness, and those novelties introduced by the new draft law (№ 2335); secondly, to involve in the fruitful discussion the maximum number those representatives of public authorities involved in resolving the issue of settling birth and death facts in the temporarily occupied territories.

“The problem of statelessness is not new to Ukraine. According to various estimates in our country there are up to 35,000 stateless persons who cannot actually enjoy any of their rights, they don’t have access to any services (social, administrative) at the same level as other citizens or foreigners, living in Ukraine”, said Darina Tolkach, R2P Advocacy Coordinator. “Since 2014, Ukraine has acceded to the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. But unfortunately, the humanization of the legislation have not happened. Therefore, we are welcoming the fact that the Committee has registered a long-standing draft law developed by the State Migration Service, The UNHCR Office and a number of NGOs. We look forward to the swift adoption  of this draft law by the Verkhovna Rada. Thousands of people are waiting for the adoption of this law and the opportunity to solve their problems”.

The conflict in Donbass has also provoked the risk of statelessness for many people who currently reside or left the occupied territories. Birth and death registration issue in the occupied territories also makes this problem worse. R2P experts say that the ways to overcome the statelessness risks of the conflict in Donbas must be found.

The round table also presented the results of monitoring the territorial units of the State Migration Service in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on the issue of receiving the Ukrainian passport.

“A lot of people in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have a problem with issuing a Ukrainian passport after it was lost or damaged. Another big problem is updating passport photo when reaching the age of 25 and 45 due to complex administrative procedures of identifying a person”, said Anna Babko, R2P Legal Analyst.

This report will be published shortly.

* Committee on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts and Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations.