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01.06.20

Starting from March 22, 2020, quarantine restrictive measures have been introduced in Ukraine to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These restrictions, in particular, provided for the partial suspension for the people to cross through the checkpoints on the contact line and the administrative border with the temporarily occupied territories. The first restrictions on passing came into force on March 7 for the checkpoints located on the contact line with the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. However, on March 16, in accordance with the order of the Commander of the Joint Forces, new restrictions on crossing the contact line were imposed on the checkpoints with the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and on March 22 the crossing of the contact line was stopped in both directions.

Since May 11, a gradual lifting of quarantine measures has started in Ukraine. However, according to the plan announced by the Prime Minister of Ukraine in April, there is no information about opening the EECPs. This situation makes one think that the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are beyond the scope and attention of the Government of Ukraine.

Read the Coalition position on reversal of quarantine restrictions entering and exiting the temporarily occupied territories. The recommendations were developed by experts from non-governmental organizations that are members of the informal Coalition of Organizations Dealing with the Protection of the Rights of Victims of Conflict.

The document is available in English and Ukrainian.

01.06.20

The Alternative report (hereinafter AR) on the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter the UNCRC) is the result of the joint work of public sector experts in the field of the protection of the rights of the child. The document contains up-to-date information on Ukraine’s compliance with the UNCRC for the period since Ukraine received recommendations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child after the consideration by the Committee of the consolidated third and fourth National Report (2011) up to 2018 inclusively.

The report is available in English.

23.04.20

In 2019 alone, more than 40 deaths were recorded at the entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in Donetsk. In order to address this, it is necessary to urgently review the healthcare system and modify the medical infrastructure to suit the particular necessities of the region. This was discussed during the presentation of the report “Investigating the Conditions of Access to Care at EECPs.” The report was prepared by experts of the Charitable Fund Right to Protection (R2P) based on the monitoring results of the five checkpoints operating on the line of contact. 

According to Anastasia Odintsova, Advocacy Coordinator at R2P, the reason for conducting this complex research was concern about the statistical results obtained from Lugansk and Donetsk regions. For example, in 2018, more than 50 people were killed either by shelling at the EECPs or by health problems exacerbated while crossing the line of contact, and another 38 people died in the first nine months of 2019.

Only one of the above mentioned EECPs is actively involved in the provision of medical assistance to the civilian population through the use of public services. In the other cases, access to medical assistance came entirely from non-governmental and international organizations, as well as volunteers. Thanks to the efforts of groups like these, many tragedies have been avoided. However, this does not solve the systemic problem-one which should come under the responsibility of the state. 

Iryna Pesko, Legal Analyst at R2P, said during the presentation that, of the approximately 130,000 people who cross through the EECPs every month, the majority are over 60 years of age. For many of them, the journey across the contact line is a severe aggravator of health conditions: “Every day, people seek the advice and assistance of monitors and medical tents at the EECPs because this is the only available alternative to public health care…In Ukraine, we have no precedent or previous experiences to draw a standard operating procedure from. This is a problem that needs to be addressed comprehensively-taking into account the particularities of each potential patient, the weaknesses of local government bodies along the line of contact, and the obvious consequences of the destroyed infrastructure of medical facilities in both the government-controlled and non-controlled territories of Ukraine.”

A separate point of discussion was the lack of on-site medical infrastructure and the lack of adequate staffing for emergency medical centers. According to Valery Panteyev, a medical doctor at Première Urgence Internationale (PUI), their specialists have been providing medical assistance to people at the EECPs since 2016. But the lack of essential medical infrastructure is more evident now despite efforts of physicians, and despite the numerous instances when PUI representatives saved lives. This is a problem that can only be addressed at the state level. 

Inna Golovanchuk, Adviser to the Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, stressed the need for a unified approach and for the provision of medical care at all EECPs: “There are already principled decisions being made at the EECPs along the administrative border with [non-government-controlled areas], and we’re in the process of developing a way to provide medical care to the population at the EECPs and along the line of contact.” She emphasized that the state, as a guarantor of the right to access to medical care, should accept the responsibility from the non-governmental and international organizations that have been providing medical assistance at the EECPs in recent years. 

At the same time, in Ms. Golovanchuk’s opinion, given the experience gained by these organizations, it is advisable to consider the possibility of developing a mechanism for the state to contract these organizations to continue their work and define key performance indicators: “A number of formalities-in particular the uncertainty surround the chain of command and the optimal funding of the EECPs–will be eliminated by systematic regulatory work to unify the structure and define the complex of services at the EECPs. This will help meet the needs of the population as soon as possible at the EECPs,” she concluded.

As a result of the presentation and discussion, the participants plan to form a coordination group in the near future with the involvement of representatives of the relevant authorities and, in particular, the Ministry of Health and certain NGOs, to formulate further steps to overcome the identified problems.

The report is available in English and Ukrainian.

The study was carried out under the auspices of the ‘Provision of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to the conflict-affected population of Eastern Ukraine’ project, implemented by Right to Protection and with financial support from the European Commission through the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid’s ACCESS Consortium.

15.04.20

Please find the report ‘Crossing the contact line’. It is based on data collected during visits of our colleagues to the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in March 2020. More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • As part of measures aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19, the JFO Headquarters limited EECP operation in two steps. Since 17 March, people could cross only in the direction of their residence registration (“propiska”) – NGCA or GCA. In some cases, the SBGS allowed crossing if a person had an urgent issue (family separation, critical medical condition, etc.). Since 22 March, GCA EECPs fully suspended the passing of people while de-facto authorities did it a day earlier. Therefore, some people passed the GCA EECP but were not allowed to enter on the NGCA side and had to return.
  • Due to the restrictions, some people could not cross the contact line despite having sufficient reasons for crossing and relevant residence registration. As a result, on all EECPs by the end of March people have been stranded for days, in many cases without the financial means for temporary accommodation. The most urgent situation occurred at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP: over 40 people have been waiting on the GCA side, unable to cross the contact line. Meanwhile, people waiting at Maiorske EECP, were provided with accommodation and food by local authorities and NGOs.
  • From the end of February and throughout March due to the threat of the spread of COVID-19 SBGS servicemen had continued to carry out temperature screening of the crossing people at all EECPs before they were closed. All cases of temperature detection of 37.9 or higher and severe acute respiratory syndrome symptoms were recorded by SBGS servicemen, people received reminders about the need for self-isolation.
  • During the period 1-17 of March, 18,077 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transportation support at Stanitsa Luhanska EECP by NGO Proliska electric vehicle. As of 17 March, transportation services were suspended due to imposing the quarantine measures. Most services suspended their work at EECPs since 17-20 March at all EECPs: the Coordination Group representatives, iNGO medical representatives, and transportation, including a social bus at Stanytsia Luhanska.

More information you may find in a document. It’s available in English and Ukrainian.

The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the 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 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.

18.02.20

Today we present R2P report ‘Crossing the contact line’’. It is based on data collected during 35 visits to the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in January 2020. More statistical data can be found here.

Highlights:

  • An 84-year-old man died at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP in the morning of January 21. The preliminary cause of death is unknown. According to the information from public sources, a woman of 75 years old died at “Horlivka” checkpoint in NGCA on January 4.
  • The problem of people being unable to return to the NGCA due to being listed in the debtor’s register is growing more serious and widespread. In some cases, people remain in the register even after having paid all their debts because of bureaucratic delays and discrepancies. The issue forces people to stay in the GCA, which leads to additional expenditures, problems with employment (people may be fired for long absence), temporary family separation and other issues. R2P monitors reported that the average number of such individuals ranges from 1 per week to 5 per day, depending on the EECP.
  • In January, minors over 14 years old without Ukrainian passports had issues while crossing the contact line due to CMU Resolution №815. Minors in this situation, along with their parents or caregivers were transferred to the national police staff at the EECP to file a document, confirming their intention to apply for a passport and explaining why the child did not obtain it before attempting to cross. The State Migration Service certificate of application for passport is required for them to return to NGCA.
  • The share of complaints regarding long lines sharply decreased from 53% to 21%. It was most likely caused by a significant decrease in the number of crossings.
  • During the month of January, 25,550 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transportation support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by NGO Proliska electric vehicle. According to the monitoring observations, the estimated number of civilians transported by the bus, provided by Luhansk Oblast Administration, was around 125,000.

The document is available in English and in Ukrainian languages.

13.12.19

Today we present the report ‘Crossing the line of contact’. It is based on data collected during 40 visits to the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in November 2019. More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

  • The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution №815 came into force on November 28 with a significant number of amendments included. Although some of the amendments facilitated the crossing procedure for children under the age of 14, the other ones complicated it for those over the age of 14 who did not obtain an internal passport yet. Cases of civilians with such children being denied access to GCA* were observed since then.
  • The completion of the reconstruction of the bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was officially announced on November 20. The reconstructed bridge remains pedestrian-only, however it is claimed that an ambulance or small vehicle can drive through if necessary.
  • Conditions in waiting modules at Marinka EECP have worsened: most heaters do not operate; almost all of the wooden benches are broken.
  • Electricity disruptions were happening at Marinka and Maiorske EECPs, interrupting the operation of control procedures. Thus, people at Marinka EECP were crowding in the modules, which led to stuffiness and elderlies feeling unwell. Disruptions at Maiorske took up to a day, causing the temperature decrease in waiting modules, sanitation modules and SES tents
  • The share of complaints about long lines in NGCA considerably increased at Hnutove, Novotroitske and Maiorske EECP (by 20% in average). However, the reasons of such increase are unknown due to the lack of information from NGCA.
  • Two bomb shelters were in construction at Novotroitske EECP during the reporting period.

The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the 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 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.

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.

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.