With the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass, human rights institution was created in the Donetsk People’s Republic – the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office. Many people know the Ombudsman of the DPR for topics that are in the public eye, namely the exchange of detainees with Ukraine, the search for the missing, the Minsk negotiations. In fact, the activity of the Office is much broader and covers all branches of law. Daria Morozova, the main human rights activist of the Republic, told more about this to “Donetsk time”.
Thus, the activities of the Ombudsman are aimed at ensuring guarantees of state protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens on the territory of the DPR. A multichannel feedback system has been created in the Office of the Ombudsman. Hotlines work, you can send an appeal by regular post or e-mail. The official website has a web reception and a heading “Ask a question to the Ombudsman”. Since March, personal receptions of citizens and the work of a public reception, which were previously suspended due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, have also resumed. Any citizen who believes that his/her rights have been infringed or violated can apply for assistance or clarification of the means and methods of legal protection to the Ombudsman.
Incoming issues are of a very different nature and touch literally all spheres of society. People ask for assistance in solving urgent communal problems, complain about the actions or inaction of local officials, doubt the objectivity and impartiality of the judicial investigation, ask to sort out conflict situations in educational institutions, labor disputes, etc.
“In the first quarter of 2021, I received about 900 applications,” says the DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova. “The leading position was made up of questions from the category of “personal rights” – 32% of the total. Also, a significant part was made up of appeals from the categories “social rights” (21%) and “issues related to the military-political situation in the Republic” (19.5%).”
– What kind of assistance does the Ombudsman provide in resolving these issues?
“All complaints from citizens are considered properly, they are given a legal assessment. As a result, people receive assistance, either in substance by taking appropriate response measures, or in the form of explanations of instruments and methods of legal protection through legal education.”
To fulfill the assigned human rights tasks, the Law gives the Ombudsman a number of rights and powers. Including the right to initiate and carry out inspections of the activities of state bodies, local self-government bodies and officials; to send Ombudsman’s conclusions containing comments and suggestions; to propose amendments to legislation, etc. This allows in almost every case to find a way out of the impasse and help the applicant.
“One of the recent examples is the applicant addressed me on behalf of her niece,” recalls Daria Vasilievna. “The girl received a refusal of the right to apply for state aid due to the occasion of the loss of a breadwinner from the territorial body of the OLSPP, however, she considered such a decision unreasonable. I initiated an examination of the circumstances of this case, which ultimately showed the existence of objective grounds for calculating the specified allowance. As of today, the applicant’s niece’s right to social security has been restored and the required assistance has been assigned.”
It is also important to note that citizens often appeal to the Ombudsman as the first instance, namely, without previously using other legal mechanisms to protect their rights. This can lead to the emergence of a large number of groundless complaints about the actions or inaction of officials, organizations, institutions and departments.
“For example, a person is dissatisfied with the quality of housing and communal services, but is looking for a solution to the problem not in communal organizations, but with the Ombudsman. Although in this case it would be correct to contact firstly the service provider, the profile management at the local administration level. In this regard, the Ombudsman’s Office pays special attention to work on legal education of the population of the Republic. And only if direct ways of solving the problem have yielded not results, a statement should be sent to the main human rights institution.”
A separate point is to talk about work with citizens who suffered as a result of the armed conflict in Donbass. They are given the opportunity to be accommodated in social facilities, namely, centres of temporary and long-term accommodation, created on the basis of the Order of the DPR Head No. 137 dated 04.24.2018 and Law No. 171-IIHC dated 07.17.2020 “On internally displaced persons”. Also, if desired, people can independently place themselves in the housing stock by concluding a lease agreement. Currently, there are 53 social facilities in the Republic, where almost two thousand people live. Eight more objects are in reserve.
A social object is furnished living quarters in capital construction buildings. Most of these are dormitories. Also, the injured persons are accommodated in dispensaries, sanatoriums (with the consent of the owners of these premises).
– Who can have a place in a social facility? Who can help with resettlement?
“The categories of citizens who have the right to resettlement in centres of temporary/long-term accommodation are determined by the Law “On internally displaced persons,” explains the Ombudsman. “Of course, first of all, we are talking about people who suffered because of the conflict. These are citizens who have completely or partially destroyed housing on the territory of the DPR; residents of the red and buffer zones; people living on the Contact line; persons who have become victims of persecution by Ukraine for supporting the DPR or for other reasons; participants of the exchanges of detainees; as well as defenders of the Republic who do not have registration on the territory of the DPR. On the basis of local administrations, territorial commissions for the resettlement of affected citizens have been created, transformed into commissions for internally displaced persons. They are involved in the placement of people, the creation and maintenance of centres of temporary/long-term accommodation.
In order place a person in these facilities, he/she must apply in writing with an application to the commission, attaching a package of documents confirming one or more of the above reasons for placement.
Step by step
– Who can help people whose living quarters are damaged but repairable?
“The restoration of destroyed housing is carried out by the administrations of cities, districts and districts in cities, to which the destroyed object belongs on a territorial basis. Most of the work on the restoration of the housing stock is financed from the Republican budget. Also, assistance is provided by international humanitarian organizations accredited in the DPR.
I would like to note that since the beginning of the conflict, as a result of Kiev’s armed aggression on the territory of the DPR, over 23,000 private residential buildings and almost 5,000 apartment buildings have been destroyed. Despite the ongoing hostilities, to date, over 47% have been restored and the work does not stop. At the same time, more than 2 thousand destroyed housing facilities cannot be restored. On a number of other facilities, it is not possible to start restoration work due to unceasing shelling.
Yes, today there are objective obstacles and it is extremely difficult to simultaneously rebuild everything that Ukraine has purposefully destroyed for years. But I am sure that step by step we will be able to eliminate the dire consequences of this war.”
Source: «Донецкое время»