Recommendations and Advance Questions for Ukraine

Statement delivered by Senior Advisor Hilde Austad, 15 November 2017

Mr President,

Norway thanks Ukraine’s delegation for the presentation of their National Report. We commend Ukraine for general progress in legislation promoting human rights.

Norway is deeply concerned about the human rights and humanitarian law violations in eastern Ukraine and the continued support from Russia to the separatists. The use of mines and the placing of military hardware in populated areas continue. We recommend Ukrainian authorities abstain from any practice that could endanger the life of civilians.

A diverse civil society is vital for the development of a healthy democracy.  Norway recommends the government adopt legislation that is conducive to the development and safeguarding of today’s strong and vibrant NGO-community in Ukraine. 

Finally, Norway recommends Ukraine ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). We welcome the prominent role of Ukrainian women in public life, but there are women tormented by domestic violence. In light of the ongoing conflict, there is an imminent danger that this may be further exacerbated.

Thank you.

Advance Questions

  1. We are concerned by the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Eastern Ukraine. Norway welcomes that UN OHCHR is enjoying cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities and access to official places of detention, allowing for confidential interviews of conflict-related detainees in line with international standards. What further steps will be taken to address these allegations and to hold the perpetrators accountable?

  2. The humanitarian needs of those living in the Non-Governmental Controlled Areas remains an issue of great concern. The security related challenges are further compounded for the almost 400 000 Ukrainian who are prevented from receiving their earned social rights and benefits. We recognize the efforts made by the Ukrainian authorities in meeting the needs of the internally displaced and protecting the affected population. What further steps will the Ukrainian authorities take to ensure vulnerable groups living in the NGCA the right to pensions and other social benefits?

  3. Reports that Non-governmental organizations working to disclose illegal behavior or practice by the government or other authorities are increasingly exposed to crackdowns by police and law enforcing entities are a cause for concern. The reports include information regarding allegations of working as agents for other powers, of organizing criminal activities or hiding irregularities in their accounts. Tendencies seem to suggest that small organizations in the countryside or outside the big cities are more likely than others to experience this kind of crackdown. How will the authorities ensure a free and inclusive civil society that includes the critical watchdog role of NGOs?

  4. In light of the findings by the Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the UN OHCHR, minorities including LGBT-persons and Roma remain targeted groups for violent discrimination. How will Ukraine ensure that all minorities enjoy the same rights and protection as are due Ukrainian citizens?