On December 14, 1990, the General Assembly decided to establish a holiday – International Day of Older Persons. It is marked on October 1. “On the International Day of Older Persons, which is celebrated today, I urge governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and all the people of the world to focus on creating a society for all ages, as envisaged in the Madrid Plan of Action on Aging. And in line with the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the broader global development goals. Together we can and we must ensure that people not only live longer, but also that their lives are more qualitative, diverse, full and satisfying, “the UN Secretary-General said in his opening speech.
This holiday rose from the XX century. The Day of the Elderly was first marked in Europe, then in America, and in the late 80s – throughout the world. International Day of Older Persons is a holiday of people, who we truly appreciate – our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. It is a holiday of human wisdom, civic maturity, spiritual generosity – qualities that people who were affected by wars and economic shocks have.
However, not all countries take care of elderly people and pensioners. So, on October 3, 2017, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a shocking pension reform. One of the most challenging requirements for future pensioners was the increase of the period of pensionable service. Pensionable service period is the period during which a person is subject to compulsory pension insurance of the state and for which monthly insurance contributions are paid in the amount not less than the minimum insurance payment.
The certificate of compulsory state social insurance is a confirmation of the fact that a person is insured. The document is issued by the Pension Fund of Ukraine. The system of pension insurance have been operating in Ukraine since 2004: only an insured person, who has paid insurance contributions for 15 years minimum, was eligible for pension.
According to new pension reform, the retirement age is not raised. However, there is an increase in the minimum pensionable service period, which makes people wait longer to obtain pension. Whereas in 2018 people can retire at the age of 60 with 25-year insurance period, by 2028 the minimum insurance period will increase to 35 years. Having the 15-year insurance period, citizens will be able to retire at the age of 65, having from 15 to 25-year period – at the age of 63. Those who don’t have the necessary pensionable service period by the age of 60 will receive social assistance, but only upon reaching the age of 63, and then – from the age of 65. There is some innovation, though. Now pensioners can buy the years of insurance period they lack. Each year of insurance will cost 16 896 UAH. The one can buy no more than 5 years of insurance, for 84 480 UAH.
Ukrainian lawmakers also changed the list of persons eligible for preferential retirement. Teachers, judges and civil servants were deprived of this right. The following categories still have the right to preferential retirement:
– employees who work in harmful or arduous conditions,
– people disabled from birth (may retire at the age of 50);
– mothers with many children (who have more than 5 children),
– participants of military activities (at the age of 55 providing that they have 25-year insurance period)
– performing artists (providing that they have 25-30-year insurance period)
-Journalists who sustained injuries, contusions while performing duties on the spot.
– affected by Chernobyl disaster (decrease in the retirement age)
Unlike in Ukraine, the rights of pensioners in the Donetsk People’s Republic are guaranteed by the Constitution. Article 32 of the Constitution prescribes the following:
- Everyone shall be guaranteed social security by age, in case of illness, disability, loss of breadwinner, for the upbringing of children and in other cases specified by law.
- State pensions and social benefits shall be established by law.
- Voluntary social insurance, creation of additional forms of social security and charity shall be encouraged.
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 4628 appeals. In the period of work between 30 September and 6 October 2017, 19 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 48 claims were accepted by the Appeals department 18 calls were made via hotlines. 11 applications were received via e-mail, 12 written appeals were taken into consideration, 12 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 11 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 261 appeals, violations in civil law– 512 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3853 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 06.10.2017
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 – 548 appeals, temporary accommodation – 461 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 104 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 167 appeals, employment – 153 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 173 appeals, loss of IDs – 310 appeals, housing issues – 207 appeals, temporary residence permit – 206 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1513 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 06.10.2017
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 06.10.2017
- 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 September 28, 2017 more than 11413 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6845 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 312 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 56 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 582 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:
– 6247 houses;
– 770 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 52 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 519 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 241 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 63 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 269 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 28 Septeber 2017 there are 2836 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 642 – rebuilt and 2194 – 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 September 30 as a result of shelling in Petrovsky district of Donetsk a civilian man born in 1965 sustained shrapnel gunshot wound to the left thigh.
As a result of provocative fire by Ukrainian military in Sakhanka village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1978 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds to the head and chest.
On October 3 as a result of artillery shelling in Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 54 years old sustained shrapnel wound to the right eye.
On October 4 as a result of shelling near Staromikhailovka village, Kirovskoye region, a DPR serviceman born in 1996 sustained shrapnel wound to lumbar region. The man refused from hospitalization.
Within the period between 29 September and 5 October, 2017, 4 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them, there were 3 DPR servicemen, 1 civilian man.
Within the period between January 1 and October 5, 2017, 510 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 304 DPR servicemen and 206 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 29 September and 5 October, 2017, 4 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man died in the territory of the DPR. On October 4 a staff of the Yasinovataya Regional Electric Network of the Republican Enterprise “Regional Energy Supplying Plant” born in 1982 died while performing his duty. He was blown up with an item of ordnance while doing repair of power transmission line.
Within the period between January 1 and October 5, 2017, 232 persons, including 205 servicemen and 27 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4521 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3916 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
This week, the regular meeting was held in the Minsk format. Unfortunately, the negotiators failed to reach a consensus because of the variant reading of the Minsk agreements. The issues of persons held by the Ukrainian side and the exchange of POWs were discussed as part of the meeting. Thus, the Ukrainian side continues to insist on categorizing detained persons. Representatives of the Republic continue to call the attention of international humanitarian and human rights organizations to detention conditions of persons held in prisons and secret prisons on the territory of Ukraine, to the facts of torture, unlawful criminal persecution and detention, violations of fundamental rights and freedoms of human and citizen in the Ukrainian state.
The Head of delegation of the Donetsk People’s Republic at the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin held a series of meetings on human rights and freedoms violation in Ukraine with representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This week no appeals on arrest or missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 06.10.2017, 469 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 260 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.
In September 2017 requests on 6 persons have been submitted to the Ukrainian side. Although, no official respond was received. These persons were included to the lists of persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
As of 06 October 2017, 513 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
In 2014, many Donbass residents had to leave their homes, fleeing from hostilities. In order not to lose the opportunity to receive payments, many Donbass residents moved to the territory of Ukraine and formalized the status of an “internally displaced person”.
To date, one can observe a tendency that the majority of IDPs is returning or has already returned to the Donetsk People’s Republic from the territory of Ukraine. This is due to a variety of reasons. For some part, this a result of positive changes that have taken place in the Donetsk People’s Republic. For three years since proclamation of the Republic, the government has exerted a lot of efforts for the development of our region – from industrial to cultural spheres. Favorable atmosphere for new employment opportunities and all the conditions for the well-being of citizens are being created in the Republic.
At the same time, the situation on the territory of Ukraine is progressively being aggravated. Settlers daily face discrimination and restriction of their constitutional rights. Accommodation in the territory of Ukraine is becoming more difficult for displaced people. Most of them cannot afford rent. Employment is another problem, as Donbass residents often feel a prejudiced attitude of the local employers.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1186 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 234 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5212 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 318 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 30 September and 6 October, 2017, 19 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, one of them was accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1359 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1359 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 479 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7798 persons, including 2006 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, 2811 individuals live in the centres, including 547 underage children, 4987 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1459 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population. During the third quarter of 2017, the Republican Employment Centre received 1051 applications from citizens.
– in writing – 30;
– via email – 161;
– via hotline – 831;
– orally (at personal reception of the Head and the deputies) – 29.
Traditionally, citizens apply to the Republican Employment Centre for assistance in finding a job, to find out about vacancies available, to receive a referral to training courses, for some information about employment in quota jobs, etc. Citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic, citizens living in territory of Donbass region controlled by Ukraine, and citizens of other countries address the Republican Employment Centre to find out about employment opportunities in the Republic.
In accordance with the approved schedule, the leadership of the Republican Employment Center held 16 personal receptions, including 5 offsite in the III quarter of 2017. 29 citizens received counseling, including 12 – at offsite at reception – in Snezhnyansk, Amvrosyevska, Novoazovsk, Starobeshevo and Telmanovo Employment Centres. Leadership of the Republican Employment Centre pays much attention to every applicant in order to understand the situation in detail. At the personal meetings with staffs of the Centre citizens were offered various options to solve their problems. Some of the issues have been transferred to territorial bodies and specialized agencies of the Republican Employment Center.
According to their data, 32.9 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 6.10.2017. As of October 6, 2017, there were 43.0 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 35.1 thousand have been employed (18.8 of them – on permanent positions, 16.3 – 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, 326 persons participated in those workshops.