Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for January 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.
- 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 preCOVID period. The number of people crossing the contact line decreased in January compared to December by 43 percent due to the winter holidays: 27,480 and 48,000 respectively.
- On 5 January, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted changes to Resolution №1236, according to which it is allowed to test persons arriving from NGCA for COVID-19 not only by PCR, but also by using a rapid antigen test. Donetska and Luhanska Regional State Administrations were instructed to ensure the functioning of necessary testing points at EECPs. The rapid test will be free of charge for Ukrainian citizens. The tests were purchased at the expense of the state budget, the Ministry of Health signed an order on the distribution of 1.8 million tests. In case of a negative result, the data is automatically displayed in “Vdoma” app and the person is released from self-isolation. As of the end of January, 156 people took advantage of the opportunity to pass a rapid test for COVID-19 at Novotroitske EECP. Meanwhile, Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was not provided with rapid tests, therefore people crossing the сontact line in the GCA direction at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP had to pay for passing PCR test in two private laboratories located at the EECP.
- Out of those surveyed for 83 percent cash withdrawal was the main type of service they used at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP.
- Of those respondents who were concerned about any issues, the majority of them cited possible issues with a permit as the main reason for their concern. This may be caused by the fact that people faced with a complex procedure of document submission as at Novotrotske EECP. Besides, 30 percent of those respondents claimed the lack of physical distance as a reason for their concern.
- During the month of January, 3,695 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.