This week was marked by the celebration of World Children’s Day. In 1954, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recommended all countries to celebrate the World Children’s Day. This date is celebrated to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
The day is also significant due to the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The latter marks its 30th anniversary this year. On this occasion, UNICEF presented a report according to which since 1989 the mortality rate of children under five has been reduced by 60%. This example demonstrates progress in protection of children’s rights. However, millions of children all over the world are still abused, live in poverty and are unable to attend school. There are also new challenges, such as climate change, migration and online bullying.
As a result of new armed conflicts, as well as the growth of xenophobia and the migration crisis, the existing problems of the rights of the child are exacerbated. Climate change also contributes to that: natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more destructive, causing food and water shortages. Abrupt weather changes lead to the spread of disease. As a result, children living in low- and middle-income countries are twice as likely to die from preventable diseases as their peers from developed countries. And while in economically developed countries about 85% of all children receive measles vaccines, in African countries only half of them do.
Another problem to be mentioned is early marriage. For example, the UNICEF report contains alarming statistics indicating that despite the decline in the global level of child marriage, in some countries girls from the poorest families are at greater risk than in 1989.
As UNICEF Executive Director Ms. Henrietta Faure noted: “Over the past 30 years, we have made impressive progress in the interests of children, providing them with longer, better and healthier lives. However, the situation is still unfavorable for the poorest and most vulnerable children. Only through the application of innovations and new technologies, demonstrating political will and increasing resources will we be able to translate the ideals of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into reality for all children in the world.”
In turn, the Donetsk People’s Republic adheres to the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The DPR Human Rights Ombudsman regularly facilitates providing humanitarian assistance to families with children, as well as organising events that contribute to the health of children and their active participation in cultural programs.
“Despite the difficult military-political and socio-economic situation, the Donetsk People’s Republic takes care of its young citizens and makes all the necessary efforts to protect the rights of children. Particular attention is paid to the provision of medical care and the rehabilitation of children. In the framework of international cooperation, young residents of the Republic participate in cultural, sports, scientific and other events organized jointly with friendly states,” said the DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
In her activities, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic strongly promotes human rights and freedoms, ensures their protection and monitors their observance.
Upon a human rights violation, the need to restore one’s rights, to obtain legal advice or appeal against actions (omission) of state bodies or authorities, citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in a way that is convenient for them.
Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or staff 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 the beginning of 2019, the Ombudsman received 5942 complaints. In the period of work between 16 and 22 November 2019, 2 people attended personal reception of the Ombudsman, 25 people received counselling by the Appeals department, 3 written complaints were accepted; 5 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, 2 written complaints were accepted; 6 people received legal counselling. 9 written appeals were approved for consideration, 15 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 64 calls were received via hotlines, 19 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into nine categories: violations in criminal law – 562 appeals, violations in civil law – 616 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 64 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary – 189 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen – 327 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials – 248 appeals, social, humanitarian and economic issues – 2312 appeals, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 1081 appeals, other issues – 543 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 22.11.2019
Violations in criminal law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary
Social, humanitarian and economic issues
Violations in civil law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials
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 – 726 appeals; transportation, communication and consumer rights – 64 appeals; issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 432 appeals, migration legislation issues – 663 appeals, labour legislation issues – 229 appeals, healthcare issues – 173 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 25 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian issues, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 22.11.2019
Pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
Migration legislation issues
Transportation, communication and consumer rights
Labour legislation issues
Issues of education, culture and sport
Issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
The majority of complaints 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 22.11.2019
- Death toll, injuries to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
The DPR Ombudsman’s Office documents cases of violations of Donbass citizens’ rights by the Ukrainian side, including the right to life, personal integrity and freedom of movement.
On 15 November, as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoe village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1998, sustained mine-blast trauma, penetrating wound to left side of the chest.
Within the period between 15 and 21 November 2019, 1 DPR serviceman sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 21 November 2019, 213 people, including 141 DPR servicemen, 24 civilian women, 43 civilian men and 5 children sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 15 and 21 November 2019, 1 DPR serviceman died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 21 November 2019, 160 people, including 151 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian women and 3 civilian men died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4889 people died, including 81 children.
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
In the reporting period, the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 22 November 2019, 245 people are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 85 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been established and confirmed;
– 160 people whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 22 November 2019, 465 people are considered missing. They could have been taken prisoner in Ukraine.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens.
At the time of armed conflict, the civilian population living in the zone of fighting and near the contact line is often affected. With the view to protect the human right to life and security of the person, and to provide assistance to victims as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres).
With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial commissions in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. They work under supervision of the Republican Commission on Resettlement of Affected Persons chaired by the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.
During the period of work between 16 and 21 November 2019, 35 people have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to being affected by the armed conflict. There are currently 1056 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens affected by hostilities. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6756 people, including 1607 children have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. 64 social housing objects have been opened in the territory of DPR. 53 of them operate, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2236 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk Administration, including 414 underage children, 4520 people live in the housing fund, including 1193 children.