The past week was marked by several significant events.
On October 24th, United Nations Day was celebrated around the world. The UN has become a truly global organization, which unites almost all the states of the world. Its main objective is to maintain and strengthen international peace and security, as well as promote cooperation between countries.
One of the key aspects of work of the United Nations is the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms. In particular, in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which became the basic document in this field.
In the context of the ongoing armed conflict, issues of protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens are of particular importance.
Unfortunately, the Ukrainian authorities continue to pursue policies aimed at violating the rights of citizens in the field of social security. So, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities do not hide the fact that today the pension debt to residents of Donbass is at least 41.7 billion hryvnias. On average, the amount of debt per pensioner is about 31 thousand hryvnias. Despite the decision of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of 17.10.2018, which obliges the Pension Fund to ensure the payment of pensions and social benefits to residents of Donbass. Ukrainian authorities, under various pretexts, terminate payments for people registered in LDPR.
A clear example of the Ukrainian side violating the rights of the population of Donbass is the “Economic blockade of Donbass,” imposed in December 2016 by Ukraine.
Against this background, impunity of activists of right-wing radical and neo-Nazi groups look illustrative. The encouragement of their actions by representatives of the Ukrainian authorities has already disrupted the withdrawal of troops from the villages of Zolotoe and Petrovskoe. As a result of inability to maintain law and order in the territory of Ukraine, hostilities have become more frequent, which led to the destruction of the infrastructure and residential buildings of civilians in Donbass. So, as a result of shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a residential building in Staromikhailovka was damaged, and a house in Kominternovo caught fire. In addition, three more houses in Dokuchaevsk were damaged.
All these flagrant cases of ceasefire violations lead to a further escalation of the conflict and an even greater number of civilian casualties. So, today the Donetsk People’s Republic is looking for 464 people.
In this regard, it is extremely important to create a DNA database of relatives of persons reported missing. For this purpose, any resident of the Republic can receive a so-called DNA passport (database of information on the owner’s genetic code). Using a DNA passport, one can compare genetic markers and determine the kinship between a parent and child, brother and sister, grandfather and grandson.
The creation of a DNA database and the identification of dead bodies are carried out by the DPR Forensic Bureau. In particular, on October 24, six DNA passports were handed to relatives of persons reported missing by Bureau.
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 5488 complaints. In the period of work between 19 and 25 October 2019, 27 people received counselling by the Appeals department, 3 written complaints were accepted; 7 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, 2 written complaints were accepted; 11 people received legal counselling. 20 written appeals were approved for consideration, 11 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 51 calls were received via hotlines, 12 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into nine categories: violations in criminal law – 519 appeals, violations in civil law – 571 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 54 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary – 178 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen – 304 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials – 234 appeals, social, humanitarian and economic issues – 2145 appeals, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 975 appeals, other issues – 508 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 25.10.2019
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 – 672 appeals; transportation, communication and consumer rights – 62 appeals; issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 397 appeals, migration legislation issues – 622 appeals, labour legislation issues – 199 appeals, healthcare issues – 169 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 24 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 25.10.2019
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 25.10.2019
- 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: the right to life, to security of the person.
On 18 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1978, sustained mine-blast trauma and multiple shrapnel wounds to the head.
On 21 October, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1983, sustained mine-blast trauma, fraction of distal segment of left foot and shrapnel wounds of both feet.
On 23 October, as a result of shelling in a settlement outside Donetsk, a DPR serviceman, born in 1996, sustained mine-blast trauma, traumatic amputation of left foot.
As a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman, born in 1995, sustained shrapnel wound to the head.
Within the period between 18 and 24 October 2019, 4 people sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, all of them are DPR servicemen.
Within the period between 1 January and 24 October 2019, 193 people, including 125 DPR servicemen, 24 civilian women, 39 civilian men and 5 children sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 18 and 24 October 2019, no casualties were documented in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 24 October 2019, 144 people, including 135 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 4873 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 25 October 2019, 245 people are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 82 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been established and confirmed;
– 163 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 received one appeal on a missing person. A man, born in 1981, lost contact with his family in December 2015.
As of 25 October 2019, 464 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 19 and 25 October 2019, 9 people have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to being affected by the armed conflict. There are currently 1055 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens affected by hostilities. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6793 people, including 1627 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, 2246 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk Administration, including 419 underage children, 4547 people live in the housing fund, including 1208 children.