October 24 marks the United Nations Day. It coincides with the day when the Charter of this influential international organization entered into force.
The UN, which now includes 193 sovereign states, was designed to maintain and strengthen security and develop cooperation between states. The organization was established after the Second World War to prevent conflicts, to search jointly for ways to resolve disputes.
Over time, the tasks of the United Nations have evolved considerably. The main UN activities include issues of disarmament and international security, economics and finance, social and humanitarian spheres, culture, politics and other.
One of the key aspects of the work of the United Nations is ensuring and protecting human rights and freedoms. In particular, in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which became the core document in this sphere.
In situations of armed conflict that claims many human lives and undermines the foundation of the society, the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens is of particular importance.
Fleeing violence in hot spots, people become refugees or displaced persons. Those living in war zones have no access to medical care, many lack housing, and their children cannot exercise the right to education. The lawlessness that occurs in wartime and violence used as a means of warfare make it impossible to exercise the right to a fair trial, which creates conditions for such abuses as the use of illegal methods of interrogation and torture.
The worst thing, however, is the loss of human lives, when fundamental human right – the right to life – is violated.
The Ukrainian nationalists, who came to power in February 2014 as a result of a coup d’état, are waging war against their own people. These people do not accept the alternative opinion and want to force their ideas in the south-east of Ukraine.
The people of Donbass are fighting for their right to freedom and self-determination. They hope that the good will of the world community will help to find a peaceful settlement of the conflict, which is only possible through a dialogue.
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 all forms of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ombudsman Office is responsible for observance of the rights and freedoms. So, one can file a complaint with the Ombudsman or make an appointment for a personal reception if his\her rights have been violated.
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.
On 25 October, staff of the Legal Department and the Appeals Department of the DPR Ombudsman Office conducted an on-site reception of citizens in Debaltsevo. All questions asked by the applicants were followed by an exhaustive legal advice under existing legislation. As a result of the on-site visit, Ombudsman Office’s staffs gathered written appeals from citizens. 8 citizens of Debaltsevo asked for Ombudsman’s assistance in restoring their rights.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 4780 complaints. In the period of work between 20 and 26 October 2018, 4 citizens attended a personal reception of the Ombudsman, 52 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 15 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 8 persons received legal counselling. 5 written appeals were approved for consideration, 9 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 49 calls were received via hotlines, 11 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 338 appeals, violations in civil law – 408 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 6 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 2461 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 588 appeals, other issues – 1119 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 26.10.2018
Violations in criminal law
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Violations in civil law
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
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 – 673 appeals, temporary accommodation – 591 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 281 appeals, migration legislation issues – 412 appeals, labour legislation issues – 207 appeals, healthcare issues – 135 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 55 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 27 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 32 appeals, land use and tenure – 15 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 33 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 26.10.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
land use and tenure
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
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 26.10.2018
- Death toll, injuries 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: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On 19 October, in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, a civilian man born in 1982 sustained shrapnel wounds, traumatic amputation of the lower-third of his thighs as a result of a detonation of an explosive object.
On 22 October, as a result of hostilities in Sakhanka village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1995 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds to his face and eyes.
25 October, as a result of armed provocation by Ukrainian forces outside Gorlovka, a DPR serviceman at the age of 48 sustained shrapnel wound to both shins.
As a result of hostilities in Kulikovo village, Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1976 and 1983 sustained wounds of varying severity.
Within the period between 19 and 25 October 2018, 5 persons (4 DPR servicemen and one civilian man) sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between 1 January and 25 October 2018, 291 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between 19 and 25 October 2018, 4 DPR servicemen were killed in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 25 October 2018, 146 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 9 women and 137 men, including 5 underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4713 persons died. Among them, there are 614 women and 4099 men, including 81 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
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 26.10.2018, 278 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 88 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 190 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified 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 26 October 2018, 453 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens.
At the time of the 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).
Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for accommodation in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres etc.) have been issued, 137 of them – in 2018. With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial authorities in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. Social housing objects, which used to carry out activities under the patronage of the Ombudsman Office, are authorized to supervise the authorities.
During the period of work between 20 and 26 October 2018, 15 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1398 accommodation places available for IDPs in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Since the beginning of the conflict, 7466 persons, including 1834 children under the age of eighteen have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. 75 social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) have been opened in the territory of DPR. 51 of them operate, 24 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2558 individuals live in social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres) of the Donetsk Administration, including 476 underage children, 4908 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1358 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
As reported by the Centre, in the period from 1 January to 26 October 2018:
- there were 44.3 thousand vacant positions registered in the Centre by employers;
- there were 38.8 thousand job-seekers registered at the Employment Centre. Among them: 31.0 thousand have been employed (21.5 of them – on permanent positions, 9.5 – temporarily).
- 318 job-seekers have undergone professional training facilitated by employment centres: 55 persons undergone training and 263 persons – retraining.
The training covered most demanded professions: electric and gas welder, plasterer, bricklayer, painter, roofer (roll-roofing and shingles), maintenance technician, automotive service technician, repair and maintenance electrician, operator of chemical treatment of water, furnace equipment inspector, boiler-house operator, stoker, seamstress, hairdresser, seller, chef.