Today R2P presents the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for March 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. The number of people crossing the contact line increased in March compared to February by 37%: 52,823 and 33,000 respectively.
On 18 March, Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was finally provided with free rapid antigen tests, and a state laboratory point was deployed. The large flow of people exceeded the available capacities, which resulted in long queues. Therefore, many people preferred to take a paid PCR test from either of five different trailers of private laboratories.
There were no places in the observation facility in Luhansk Oblast still. In March, in Donetska Oblast, 40 people were sent to the observation facility, all of them either had an inappropriate phone model or no phone at all. Also, 771 persons who crossed to GCA at Novotroiske EECP (81 percent) took the rapid antigen test, and 754 persons at Stanytsia Luhanska (one percent).
In line with R2P advocacy, on 22 March, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on quarantine COVID-19 measures that greatly facilitated the crossing procedure for foreigners. Therefore, foreigners who have permanent residence in Ukraine do not need to have insurance when crossing the contact line to GCA.
During March, 3,657 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.