The first day of September is the Day of Knowledge – one of the main holidays in every child’s life. This day, cloudless and carefree childhood with its funny games turns smoothly into classrooms with school desks, imposing responsibility and obligations on the children of yesterday. For some, the school bell sounds for the first time, for others this sound means the beginning of adult life. There are also those who will never hear the ringing of the festive ribbon-decorated bell, because in far 2014 somewhere in Kiev an unlawful order to decimate Donbass population of was given. 46 boys and 29 girls will never hear a school bell again and never sit at their desks. 75 children’s lives were taken away due to armed aggression started by Ukraine.
Donbass children grew up very quickly. The realities of the war make it impossible to enjoy the happiest and most carefree life period – childhood. Pain and fear experienced by children left an imprint in the fathomless children’s eyes. However, from the earliest years they learn to distinguish truth and lies, cherish relatives and friends, empathize with other people’s grief and to be true patriots of their Motherland.
Children of Donbass will not sit in basements, contrary to statements of the Kiev Guarantor. Donbass children are a worthy future of the land of miners and metallurgists, and, therefore, they are strong and courageous. They are the pride of the Motherland, the heart of the strongest region. The duty of every adult citizen of the Republic is to protect the younger generation, and the State’s task is to ensure the decent future for children and protect their rights.
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 4208 appeals. In the period of work between 26 August and 1 September 2017, 44 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 44 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 26 calls were made via hotlines. 32 applications were received via e-mail, 7 written appeals were taken into consideration, 4 – 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 – 243 appeals, violations in civil law– 450 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3513 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 01.09.2017
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 – 492 appeals, temporary accommodation – 418 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 83 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 165 appeals, employment – 147 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 159 appeals, loss of IDs – 298 appeals, housing issues – 194 appeals, temporary residence permit – 194 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1351 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 01.09.2017
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 01.09.2017
- 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 August 24, 2017 more than 11391 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6828 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 309 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 55 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 581 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:
– 6241 houses;
– 769 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 49 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 513 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 240 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 60 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 267 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 27 July 2017 there are 2823 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 531 – rebuilt and 2292 – 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 25 August as a result of shellfire in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk, a civilian man of 61 years old sustained penetrating shrapnel wound to the chest.
As reported, a DPR serviceman born in 1967 sustained gunfire wound as a result of warfare in Gorlovka on August 11, 2017.
Within the period between 25 and 31 August, 2017, 1 civilian man sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine.
Within the period between January 1 and August 31, 2017, 488 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 292 DPR servicemen and 196 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 25 and 31 August, 2017, 3 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and August 31, 2017, 218 persons, including 192 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 4507 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3902 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 DPR Ombudsman is responsible for supervising the observance of human rights and international law with respect to civilians and prisoners of war.
“We hope the POWs exchange to be performed before the end of the year. I have great hopes for international community and the Normandy Four to pressure Ukraine into implementing Article 6 of the Package of Measures. As soon as Ukrainian negotiators in Minsk receive instructions from their president the exchange will be performed. There are no more legal or judicial pitfalls. The only obstacle is Poroshenko’s reluctance. The political will is needed” – she said.
This week one appeal on capture was received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic. A woman born in 1958 was headed from Donetsk to her hometown – Krasniy Liman. In the end of July she was detained by Security Service of Ukraine and accused of separatism.
No appeals on missing persons were received this week.
Based on the updated figures as of 11.08.2017, 496 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 231 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 264 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. Four persons were excluded from DPR and LPR lists in order to avoid duplication. In August, two requests were made to the Ukrainian side for the first time, though unconsidered.
– 1 person for whom the requests were made to the Ukrainian side for the first time.
As of 1 September 2017, 509 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Many IDPs cannot return home due to continuing threat to their lives. People found themselves in a desperate situation. Relations with locals in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government became a part of their new life.
It often happens that people, affected by hostilities, move within one area. As the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reports, displaced people were welcomed with sympathy and understanding at the very beginning of the conflict.
Over time, solidarity and support have changed into frustration and indifference towards the displaced persons. IDPs repeatedly reported that the attitude of the locals has changed completely – now they are perceived as a burden.
In the OSCE thematic report ” Conflict-related Displacement in Ukraine: Increased Vulnerabilities of Affected Populations and Triggers of Tension within Communities”, it was noted that the deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the country and limited assistance to the wounded and demobilized soldiers were often perceived by IDPs and host communities as a reason why displaced persons are now provided with less resources. The change in attitude towards IDPs in host communities has become noticeable after several waves of resettlement from Donbass due to more intense hostilities. According to IDPs, they were often insulted and offended right on the street, in public transport, on the market.
People whose relatives served in the conflict zone or just returned from military service often were aggressive towards IDPs.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1244 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 246 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5201 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 301 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 26 August and 1 September, 2017, 78 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 8 of them were accommodated in the TAC of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1291 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1291 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 423 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office. The number of vacant accommodation decreased by 50. Reserved places were used for the targeted purpose. Students of Makeyevka Medical College were accommodated there in the beginning of the academic year.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7823 persons, including 2007 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, 2889 individuals live in the centres, including 568 underage children, 4934 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1439 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Labor adaptation of people released from detention is a difficult and lengthy process, consisting of many stages. It is about psychological, practical and moral preparation for life in society. People who have been previously convicted cannot easily return to their usual way of life. This is complicated by the fact that they used to live by strict rules of the prison system during detention. They lost their ability to be independent. Being released, it is extremely difficult for them to get back to work. They have to find a job, choose a profession and adapt to new environment. According to statistics, more than 60% of former prisoners who had practical skills before detention face the problem of unwillingness or inability to return to their work after release.
Therefore, on August 31 experts of the Employment Centre of the Donetsk People’s Republic held an information event in correctional colony of Torez, which was attended by 9 people who serve their sentence and will be released soon.
The specialists of the employment centre informed those present about the situation in the labor market and the services provided by the employment centre to job seekers, presented the list of vacancies available in the Republic, including temporary jobs, drew their attention to professional training available in the Employment Centre, participation in information seminars held by the staff of the Centre and training seminars held by the Donetsk Center for Vocational a Education and answered their questions.
According to their data, 27.2 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 1.09.2017. As of September 1, 2017, there were 37.6 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 30.9 thousand have been employed (15.4 of them – on permanent positions, 15.5 – 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. Since the beginning of 2017, 285 persons participated in those workshops.