Today R2P presents the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for February 2021, prepared by the NGO ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2021
- During the month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. The number of people crossing the contact line increased in February compared to January by 31 percent: 39,497 and 27,480 respectively.
- At the end of February, it was still not possible to take free-of-charge rapid COVID-19 tests at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP, despite governmental instructions. PCR tests for COVID-19 could only be done at one’s own expense in three different private laboratories located at the EECP. At Novotroitske EECP, of those who crossed 518 (87%) people took advantage of the opportunity to pass a rapid test for COVID-19.
- Visiting relatives remained the main reason for crossing in both directions, including for people crossing into GCA. NGCA residents also crossed EECPs for reasons of cash withdrawal, issues of pension or social payments, and documentation issues. In February 2020, visiting relatives was only the third widespread reason for crossing into GCA, after pension recovery and cash withdrawal.
- R2P monitors facilitated 120 requests for crossing from GCA residents through the fast-track procedure. Also, R2P assisted about 800 persons with installing the “Vdoma” app.
- During the month of February, 4,483 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.
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 the 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.