Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for April 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
This 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. According to Joint Forces Operation data and R2P monitoring, the number of people crossing the contact line was without significant difference in April compared to March: over 53,000 and 52,823 respectively.
People crossing from NGCA at Novotroitske EECP in Donetska Oblast can buy a new cell phone if they don't have one or if theirs does not allow installing “Vdoma” app. In April, a new procedure for this was put in place. Following a purchase order online, a store employee waits with the new phone at the entrance to the EECP. The client is accompanied to the entrance by servicemen and R2P to finalize the purchase. On average, this procedure is used by about 5 people per crossing day.
On 22 March, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on quarantine COVID-19 measures that will facilitate the crossing procedure for NGCA residents. Therefore, when the vaccination starts NGCA residents willing to receive COVID-19 vaccines in GCA will be exempted from the mandatory two-week self-isolation (only under the conditions of presenting an invitation to vaccination with a unique identifier). However, the impact of the regulation remains limited given the current lack of access to vaccination.
During April, 4,554 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle. Also, NGO “Proliska” with the financial support of UNHCR, installed two bus stops with solar panels and the possibility to charge devices.
R2P monitors facilitated 214 requests for crossing through the fast-track procedure and assisted about 1300 persons with installing “Vdoma” app.
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.