On September 28, the Law “On Education” came into force in Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada approved the new law on September 5, and President Petro Poroshenko signed it on September 25. The document was officially published in the official periodical “Voice of Ukraine” No. 178-179 of September 27.
The preamble to the document was the philosophical reflection that education is the basis of the intellectual, spiritual and cultural development of the person, his/her successful socialization, economic well-being, and also the foundation for the development of a society united by shared values.
In accordance with the new law, the state language must be the only language of education. Therefore, since September 1, 2018, children from families of national minorities will study subjects in their native language in kindergartens and primary schools, and the state language is to be studied in parallel. Starting from the 5th grade, children will be educated in the Ukrainian language, and the language of ethnic minorities will be studied additionally. This procedure is applicable to all national minorities, including schools with the Russian language of education. It is allowed to teach one or more subjects in the languages of the EU countries.
Persons belonging to national minorities have the right to be educated in their native language along with the Ukrainian language in certain groups of communal institutions of preschool and primary education.
Also this law introduced a 12-year secondary education. The education period for students who study under the twelve-year education program starts: for primary education – on September 1, 2018; for secondary education – on September 1, 2022; for subject oriented education – on September 1, 2027.
It should be noted that the language issue remains extremely sensitive in a bilingual society of Ukraine. The new Ukrainian law “On Education” caused an outburst of outrage not only in Ukraine, but also in some EU countries. The latter believe that the law violates the rights of national minorities in Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian authorities disagree with this criticism.
Unlike in Ukraine, the right to use one’s native language is respected in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Article 10 of the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic prescribes: “Russian and Ukrainian are the state languages in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman was 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 2017 the Ombudsman received 4532 appeals. In the period of work between 23 and 29 September 2017, 44 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 36 claims were accepted by the Appeals department 38 calls were made via hotlines. 17 applications were received via e-mail, 10 written appeals were taken into consideration, 15 – 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 – 254 appeals, violations in civil law– 298 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3778 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 29.09.2017
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 – 539 appeals, temporary accommodation – 452 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 98 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 167 appeals, employment – 152 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 170 appeals, loss of IDs – 308 appeals, housing issues – 203 appeals, temporary residence permit – 201 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1477 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 29.09.2017
Pension and social payments
Search of the missing soldiers
Search of the missing civilians
Temporary residence permit
Paperwork in case of property destruction
Paperwork on travelling documents
Loss of IDs
Other social and humanitarian issues
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 29.09.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
Targeted shelling by Ukrainian forces causes destruction of private property and infrastructure – this is the reality of the front-line regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
As of September 28, 2017 more than 11413 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6845 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 312 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 56 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 582 units in Yasinovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 57 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6247 houses;
– 770 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 52 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 519 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 241 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 63 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 269 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 28 July 2017 there are 2836 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 642 – rebuilt and 2194 – are to be rebuilt.
- 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 September 23, as a result of careless handling of an explosive object a woman born in 1968 sustained shrapnel open fracture of the right shoulder, Amvrosievka.
On September 27, as a result of a sniping fire in Vasilievka village, Yasinovataya region, a civilian woman born in 1937 sustained gunshot wound of the left lumbar region, and a venous bleed.
On September 28, as a result of armed provocations by Ukrainian military near Debaltsevo, DPR servicemen born in 1986, 1991 and 1995 sustained mine-blast traumas.
Within the period between 22 and 28 September, 2017, 5 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them, there were 3 DPR servicemen, 2 civilian women.
Within the period between January 1 and September 28, 2017, 506 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 301 DPR servicemen and 205 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 22 and 28 September, 2017, 2 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and September 28, 2017, 227 persons, including 201 servicemen and 26 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4516 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3911 men, including 75 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. The information is being processed at the moment and it will be included into general statistics of the injured individuals.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
The release of persons illegally detained by the Ukrainian side is the priority issue of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic and her Office. This week, a regular meeting of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic Daria Morozova and the Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring Mission on Human Rights in Ukraine Fiona Fraser was held. As part of the meeting, the issues of persons kept by the Ukrainian side and the exchange of POWs were discussed.
It should be noted that the Donetsk People’s Republic has long been ready to start the exchange of POWs, provided that it would be performed in line with previously reached agreements: “all confirmed for all confirmed”. This would be a step forward to fulfilling the requirements of the Minsk Agreements, which regulate the exchange under the “all for all” formula.
“We insist on including 11 people accused of committing gravest crimes or convicted under relevant articles, and 47 people who, in the opinion of the Ukrainian side, are irrelevant to the so-called “ATO”. As soon as Kiev representatives include persons from the above mentioned categories in the lists, our side will immediately start the exchange of POWs in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
All persons detained in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic in connection with the armed conflict participated in hostilities bearing arms or committed unlawful acts, namely sabotage. Most of the crimes incriminated to persons who committed unlawful acts on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic instructed by the Ukrainian side are classified as “gravest crimes,” Morozova said.
This week three appeals on arrest were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
A man born in 1966 was detained in August 2017 by the staff of the Security Service of Ukraine. He is charged pursuant to article 258 Of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. A man born in 1985 was detained in August 2017, charged under Article 258-3, part 1; Art. 260, part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. A man born in 1990 was detained in December 2016; he is charged under Article 260 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Based on the updated figures as of 22.09.2017, 469 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 260 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. The Office received reliable information on release of 7 persons due to the end of the sentence term.
– 203 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. One person from the list of unconfirmed by the Ukrainian side had been released earlier, so there is no need to search for this person.
– 6 people for whom a request was sent to the Ukrainian side.
Four persons were located in the DPR; four persons were released earlier; three persons received suspended sentences and were released; another three persons need not to be searched for.
This week three appeals on missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Men born in 1972, 1992 and 1967 lost communication with their relatives in June 2016, August 2014 and April 2017 correspondingly.
As of 29 September 2017, 513 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
With the onset of the conflict, constant shelling by Ukraine have been destroying infrastructure, which led to the emergence of new humanitarian needs in Donbass and threatened the lives of people. Civilians were forced to leave their homes. All residents of the so-called “ATO area” are required to register as internally displaced persons in order to receive pensions and social payments in the territory of Ukraine.
Since the beginning of 2016, many pensioners and elderly people have lost the opportunity to receive pensions because of the new verification and identification procedures introduced by the Ukrainian government. This affected the most socially vulnerable groups of the population, as long as pensions and social payments are the only source of income for many of them. Pension is a social guarantee from the State, and people must be able to receive it on an equal basis with all citizens of Ukraine, without additional verification and registration. This was repeatedly stressed by UN representatives in their reports on the social and humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
It has been four years since the conflict started, and thousands of IDPs want to live in safety, have decent housing and employment opportunities. But the Ukrainian government creates obstacles, not allowing residents of Donbass feel confident in their future, to be fully fledged citizens.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1206 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 234 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5210 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 316 of them – in 2017. 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 22 and 29 September, 2017, 23 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, one of them was accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1329 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1329 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 457 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7787 persons, including 2004 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 64 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 56 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 2842 individuals live in the centres, including 550 underage children, 4945 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1454 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
On September 6, 2017, the Republican Employment Centre of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the Donetsk People’s Republic held a nationwide job fair composed of job fairs that were held simultaneously in all employment centres of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
In general, 366 enterprises, organizations and institutions of the Donetsk People’s Republic proposed their vacancies during the fair. The total number of vacancies was 4,1thousand, including 0,9 thousand temporary jobs.
During the job fair, the attendants were given the opportunity to talk to representatives of employers, ask questions, clarify working conditions and salary, and offer their candidacy.
Staff of employment centres gave employment referrals to the attendants on the results of interviews, and, if necessary, registered persons searching for a job.
More than 3 thousand job seekers visited the republican vacancy fair.
1,1 thousand people received referrals to work places at the job fair.
“Job fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to directly communicate with representatives of organizations and enterprises that have vacancies and that need qualified workers. It’s kind of a first interview, which gives an opportunity for a person to present his/her qualifications, tell about their experience, clarify the amount of salary and work conditions at the enterprise and ask any other questions,” said Larisa Tolstykina.
According to their data, 31.5 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 29.09.2017. As of September 29, 2017, there were 41.9 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 34.3 thousand have been employed (18.2 of them – on permanent positions, 16.1 – 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. Since the beginning of 2017, 323 persons participated in those workshops.