The Parliamentary Assembly is one of the two main statutory bodies of the Council of Europe. It represents the interests of the major political parties of member States of the Organization. Representatives of parliamentary bodies of 47 democratic member States of the Council of Europe cooperate within the Assembly.
The Assembly addresses relevant and forward-looking issues that relate to the problems of modern society and various aspects of international politics.
The results of the work of the Assembly play a central role in defining the direction of the work of the Committee of Ministers, as well as intergovernmental cooperation within the Council of Europe. In addition, members of the Assembly bring them to the attention of their national parliaments and thereby influence their governments.
On January 23, the Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine was promulgated. It stated that no significant progress has been achieved since the adoption in 2016 of the Assembly’s resolution on humanitarian concerns with regard to people captured during the war in Ukraine. The process of exchange of captured persons is highly politicised and blocked at the level of the humanitarian working group of the Minsk Contact Group on Ukraine. Those who have been released, in particular civilians, face many problems with the restitution of their documents and with access to legal, social and medical assistance. There is no mechanism ensuring governmental support to these people, as until now they have had no particular legal status in Ukrainian legislation. It is important to outline that the exchange and liberation of prisoners should be a purely humanitarian question.
The Assembly urges the Ukrainian authorities to:
- bring the Criminal Code and Code on Criminal Procedure of Ukraine into line with the provisions of international humanitarian law and international criminal law;
- ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as soon as possible, which will allow effective investigations into concrete cases of violations of international humanitarian law during the war in Ukraine to be carried out;
- revise the Law on humanitarian assistance to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the war-affected territories;
- develop a national mechanism of compensation for civilian victims who were injured or whose families were killed during the war;
- ensure the right to adequate housing and resolve housing matters as an integral part of the sustainable solutions for IDPs, including the adoption of a legal framework for the introduction and implementation of different types of housing programmes;
- simplify the procedure for receiving social and pension payments by disconnecting them from the IDP registration process;
- introduce administrative procedures for Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories for the regularisation of their civil documentation;
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman has been established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent any form of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or the heads of the Office, addressing the Public Complaints and Appeals Department, via hotlines and via web-reception on the Website of the Ombudsman. There is a possibility to file a written complaint that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail. Since 2018 the Ombudsman received 390 appeals. In the period of work between January 20 and 26, 2018, 15 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 11appeals were received by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, 54 appeals were received by the Appeals department, and 23 calls were received via hotlines. 45 applications were received via e-mail, 18 written appeals were taken into consideration, 5 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 6 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 33 appeals, violations in civil law– 15 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 228 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 26.01.2018
Violations in criminal law
Violations in civil law
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Among all incoming correspondence to the Ombudsman of DPR, the one which deals with the issues of exercise of social rights of citizens and violations of these rights is the most frequent. These issues are: pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 55 appeals, temporary accommodation – 114 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 13 appeals, migration legislation issues – 14 appeals, labour legislation issues – 14 appeals, healthcare issues – 6 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 4 appeal, issues of education, culture and sport – 3 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 1 appeal, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 4 appeal, issues related to hostilities – 38 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 0 appeals, search of the missing – 8 appeals, exchange of detained persons – 26 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 4 appeals, other issues – 76 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 26.01.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
land use and tenure
issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
search of the missing
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
issues related to hostilities
exchange of detained persons
issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR
The majority of complains are traditionally received from Donetsk, by territory (Diagram 3).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 26.01.2018
- Estimates of mortality, wounds to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
Almost every day the DPR Ombudsman’s Office records cases of violations of Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On January 20 as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1987 and 1983 were wounded.
On January 21 as a result of shelling attack against a regular bus not far from “Elenovka” checkpoint a civilian man born in 1952 sustained wounds to the neck and face; another man born in 1960 died at the scene.
On January 22 as a result of shelling against Dokuchaevsk a civilian woman born in 1959 sustained mine-blast trauma of the right shoulder; a civilian man born in 1959 sustained mine-blast trauma, incised wound to the left shoulder; a man born in 1980 sustained mine-blast trauma and shrapnel wound to the jaw; a woman born in 1967 sustained mine-blast trauma and shrapnel wound to the thigh; a woman born in 1979 sustained shrapnel wound to the thigh.
On January 23 as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo a DPR serviceman born in 1983 sustained gunshot wound.
On January 24 as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1974 and 1963 sustained mine-blast traumas.
Within the period between 19 and 25 January, 2018, 11 persons, including 5 DPR servicemen, 3 civilian men and 3 civilian women sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between January 1 and 25, 2018, 28 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 20 DPR servicemen, 5 civilian men and 3 civilian women.
Within the period between 19 and 25 January, 2018, 2 persons died in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 1 DPR serviceman and 1 civilian man. The man born in 1960 died at the scene as a result of shelling attack against regular bus not far from “Elenovka” checkpoint.
Within the period between January 1 and 25, 2018, 7 persons DPR died in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Among them – 6 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4574 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3969 men, including 76 children under eighteen.
Officially confirmed information on individuals, who have been wounded since the beginning of the conflict continues to be reported to the Ombudsman’s Office in DPR.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was designed to facilitate peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass. One of its provisions provides for release and exchange of all prisoners and unlawfully detained persons under the “all for all” principle.
On December 27, 2017, the first stage of the exchange took place. The Donetsk People’s Republic does not see any obstacles to hold the next stage of the exchange with Ukraine within a month.
“Based on previous experience, we can perform the exchange within a month, – said the DPR Ombudsman. – According to the latest data, the Republic expects to liberate 80 persons, held by Kiev, in the course of the next exchange”
This week no appeals on arrest were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 26.01.2018, 301 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 80 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. It was reported that 3 persons had been released and one woman was handed over as part of the exchange of January 21.
– 221 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
This week two appeals on missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Two men, born in 1965 and 1991, lost touch with their relatives in June and August 2015, correspondingly.
As of 26 January 2018, 446 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1224 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 219 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5332 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 89 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on a weekly basis, with the view to respond promptly to the citizens’ needs. The Ombudsman makes every effort to improve social and living conditions for people who live in the TACs.
During the period of work between January 20 and 26, 2018, 100 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons.
There are currently 1198 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1198 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 286 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7965 persons, including 2024 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 55 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 1570 individuals live in the centres, including 302 underage children, 5171 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1503 children under eighteen.
4. Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 8.5 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 26.01.2018. As of January 26, 2018, there were 12.2 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 6.4 thousand have been employed (0.9 of them – on permanent positions, 5.5 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organises regular free public workshops to train practical skills, such as work with personal computers; technique and mechanization of trade accounts (work with cash register machines); the program “1C: Accounting 8.2.”; fundamentals of entrepreneurship; processing and decoration of textile and clothing products etc. 3 persons participated in such a seminar.