If we are to teach real peace in this world,
we shall have to begin with the children.
On the first day of summer, June 1, the International Children’s Day is celebrated. This holiday is designed to remind that small citizens of the planet Earth should be protected more than once a year, but daily and hourly. In most countries, this rule is observed, which cannot be said about the once united Ukraine. Ukraine that chose “European values” and started a civil war in Donbass, putting the army and power above the Constitution of the state. For more than four years, residential buildings and numerous infrastructure facilities have been shelled, including kindergartens, schools, hospitals, again and again reminding civilians that a fierce battle for the right to live is waged at the outskirts of their cities.
A history book is not where small inhabitants of Donbass learned about war. It appeared in their lives all of a sudden. Children and war – are not just incompatible notions, they should never even sound in one sentence. A child must be a child: naive, kind and cheerful, but the terrible realities of war erased smiles from the faces of the kids, forcing them to grow up too fast.
F. Dostoevsky said: “Even the happiness of the whole world is not worth one teardrop on the cheek of an innocent child”, but Kyiv politicians have another opinion – they believe that “all is fair in war.” But is there really an excuse for shelling the peaceful cities of the Republic? Broken windows, empty houses, destroyed schools and kindergartens, and childhood memories, poisoned by the war. It is difficult to name the rights of children that have not been violated during this undeclared war. Moreover, the Ukrainian side continues to violate the fundamental right of children – the right to life!
76 children from the DPR will never celebrate International Children’s Day. They have been hit by bullets and shell fragments, used against peaceful cities and villages by Ukrainian soldiers. The hope that the war is about to end, and shooting and killing will end as well, is rather distant. With each passing day, the intensity of shelling increases, more and more populated areas come under fire, the number of dead and wounded among civilians is constantly growing. Ukraine continues to use all types of guns to destroy peaceful cities and villages of Donbass, claiming thousands of human lives, killing women, old people and young children.
Children are the most precious thing in our life. The interests of the child and the protection of childhood are priority tasks for the Donetsk People’s Republic. Therefore, the protection of children’s rights to life and health, education, social assistance, living and upbringing in the family in our region are not just words, they are translated into concrete action.
A constitution is the main legal document guaranteeing respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens. Article 31 of the DPR Constitution guarantees that motherhood and childhood, the family shall be protected by the state.
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 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 the beginning of 2018, the Ombudsman received 2653 appeals. In the period of work between 26 May and 1 June 2018, 3 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 46 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 8 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 7 persons received legal counselling. 5 written appeals were approved for consideration, 9 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 15 calls were received via hotlines, 9 applications were received via e-mail.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 165 appeals, violations in civil law– 211 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 4 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1263 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 352 appeals, other issues – 658 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 01.06.2018
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 – 302 appeals, temporary accommodation – 394 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 105 appeals, migration legislation issues – 207 appeals, labour legislation issues – 89 appeals, healthcare issues – 77 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 32 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 14 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 20 appeals, land use and tenure – 2 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 21 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 01.06.2018
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 01.06.2018
- 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: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On 26 May, a DPR serviceman at the age of 22 sustained perforating gunshot wound to the right thigh as a result of shelling in the vicinity of Debaltsevo.
On 30 May as a result of hostilities in Avdeyevka industrial zone, a DPR serviceman at the age of 32 sustained shrapnel wounds to the soft tissue of the shoulder and of the head.
As a result of shelling in Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1988 sustained shrapnel wounds to the right shin.
Within the period between 25 and 31 May 2018, 3 DPR servicemen sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between January 1 and May 31, 2018, 148 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 92 DPR servicemen, 36 civilian men, 19 civilian women and an underage child.
Within the period between 25 and 31 May 2018 – 6 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and May 31, 2018, 74 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 63 DPR servicemen, 7 civilian men and 4 civilian women.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4641 persons died. Among them, there are 610 women and 4031 men, including 76 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
30 May a regular meeting of the humanitarian subgroup took place, where, amongst other issues, the issue of prisoner exchange was discussed.
“Discussing the “all confirmed for all confirmed” exchange, the Republics reaffirmed their full readiness to the earliest release of people, unlike the Ukrainian side that declared its readiness to conduct the exchange, while taking no action to realize it. So far, we haven’t received their official position on issues that remained open after the exchange of December 27, namely placing people into categories; release of citizens of other states, who are directly related to the Republics, some of them are citizens of the Republics; the return of documents and regulation of the procedural status of people released earlier. The Ukrainian side has done none of that, which gives us no opportunity to move closer to the second stage of the exchange. Instead, it moves us away from the exchange. The exchange procedure is delayed through the fault of Ukrainian representatives. I would like to note that it has been two years since we conducted the last exchange. And we haven’t got any progress since that time, because the Ukrainian side constantly finds new excuses,” commented Daria Morozova.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received 4 appeals on arrest. A man born in 1982 was detained by SSU staff in April 2018 in Western Ukraine. He was accused of committing crimes, set forth in part 1 Art.258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
In May 2018 three men were detained outside Gorlovka. Currently, they are held in remand prison in Artyomovsk.
Based on the updated figures as of 01.06.2018, 294 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 85 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 209 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 1 June 2018, 452 persons are considered missing. There is a possibility that they are held in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
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, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it.
1221 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation centres of the Office, including 229 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5380 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 137 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staff 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 25 May and 1 June 2018, 8 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. There are currently 1197 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1198 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 287 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7479 persons, including 1865 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary accommodation centres have been established within the territory of DPR. 55 of these TACs operate, 8 of them are held in reserve. The Ombudsman Office is in charge of 11 TACs.
Currently, 1470 individuals live in the centres, including 282 underage children, 4788 persons live in the housing fund of the DPR, including 1354 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 23.9 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 1.06.2018. As of 1 June 2018, there were 22.7 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 16.6 thousand have been employed (9.0 of them – on permanent positions, 7.6 – 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. 95 persons participated in such seminars.