Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21


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United Nations

A/HRC/WG.6/14/UKR/3

_unlogo

General Assembly

Distr.: General

20 July 2012
Original: English

Human Rights Council

Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review

Fourteenth session

Geneva, 22 October – 5 November 2012

Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21

Ukraine*




The present report is a summary of 33 stakeholders’ submissions1 to the universal periodic review. It follows the general guidelines adopted by the Human Rights Council in its decision 17/119. It does not contain any opinions, views or suggestions on the part of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), nor any judgement or determination in relation to specific claims. The information included herein has been systematically referenced in endnotes and, to the extent possible, the original texts have not been altered. As provided for in Resolution 16/21 of the Human Rights Council, where appropriate, a separate section is provided for contributions by the national human rights institution of the State under review that is accredited in full compliance with the Paris Principles. The full texts of all submissions received are available on the OHCHR website. The report has been prepared taking into consideration the periodicity of the review and developments during that period.





^ I. Implementation of international human rights obligations2>

  1. Noting occurrences of ill-treatment of detainees by law enforcement bodies, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner of Human Rights (UPCHR) stated that ensuring in practice detainees’ access to a lawyer and establishing an appropriate mechanism for the investigation of complaints on torture cases are necessary to combat torture. UPCHR stated that the creation of the Commission on Prevention of Tortures at the Office of the President of Ukraine was an important step; however, it is necessary to establish a specialised body on prevention of torture in line with obligations under OP-CAT.3

  2. UPCHR reported that overcrowding in pre-trial detention centres and penitentiary facilities aggravated. UPCHR considered that the new legal requirement, which established a minimum standard for living space per one convicted person not be less than 4 square meters was a step forward towards the gradual implementation of international standards on detention conditions. However, UPCHR indicated that the limited capacity of correctional facilities was an obstacle for the full implementation of those legal requirements. UPCHR also noted that the healthcare system in penitentiary facilities remained unsatisfactory and lacked modern medical equipment, supplies and qualified personnel.4

  3. Noting the issue of prolonged pre-trial detention, UPCHR urged Ukraine to introduce reasonable limits to the period of detention in the legislation and to ensure a right to appeal decisions on the arrest.5

  4. UPCHR pointed to findings of the office’s monitoring that indicated violations of the right to a fair trial caused by chronic non-execution of court judgments.6

  5. UPCHR stated that poverty remained a serious problem and that families with children and the rural population remained the most effected groups.7

  6. Noting the ratification of CRPD, UPCHR reported that the National Action Plan for Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities has not been yet adopted and that no independent structure for the promotion and monitoring of the Convention was established as required by article 33 of CRPD. UPCHR stated that many buildings of government agencies, cultural and educational institutions, and courts did not ensure access for persons with disabilities.8

^ II. Information provided by other stakeholders

A. Background and framework

1. Scope of international obligations9

7. Joint Submission (JS) 8 and Joint Submission of the Coalition entitled ‘Civil and Political Rights’ (CCPR) recommended that Ukraine ratify ICRMW.10 JS5 recommended that Ukraine ratify CPED.11

8. JS8 noted that Ukraine failed to ratify the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court despite recommendations put forward during the UPR.12 AI recommended that Ukraine make necessary constitutional changes to ratify the Rome Statute.13

9. JS12 recommended that Ukraine ratify the conventions on stateless persons.14

^ 2. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures

10. As CoE noted, CoE-ECRI recommended that the Ombudsman’s office be provided with sufficient resources to carry out its tasks with respect to the fight against racism and racial discrimination.15

11. AI stated that Ukraine failed to set up an independent body to investigate torture and has not yet established a National Preventive Mechanism.16 Noting that the Commission on Torture Prevention does not meet the requirements of the OP-CAT, CCPR recommended that Ukraine establish a mechanism for preventing torture in compliance with the requirements of the OP-CAT.17

^ B. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms

12. JS8 reported that the recommendations made by the UN human rights bodies were not translated into Ukrainian or made public.18

C. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law

^ 1. Equality and non-discrimination

13. JS11 highlighted that the principle of equality was not extended to citizens in the Constitution. JS11 noted the absence of a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.19 Council of LGBT organisations of Ukraine (CLGBT) stated that anti-discrimination provisions were scattered throughout the legal system and lacked effective mechanism for their implementation.20 JS2 stated that legislation did not provide a definition of discrimination, including direct and indirect discrimination and did not include a comprehensive list of grounds for discrimination.21 As CoE noted, CoE-ECRI reiterated its recommendation that Ukraine include in the Constitution the right to equality and non-discrimination for all, but not just for citizens.22 JS11, JS2, CLGBT, Insight and the Council of Europe (CoE) recommended that Ukraine adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law covering all area of life.23

14. Noting gender discrimination and stereotyping in media, JS6 stated that media and advertising laws did not contain provisions against gender stereotyping.24 JS6 noted occurrences of gender discrimination and gender stereotypes in recruitment processes and stereotyped notions of “feminine” and “masculine” professions in access to vocational training.25 Insight recommended that Ukraine take measures to challenge discriminatory social norms through public awareness raising and implementation of legal norms.26 JS6 recommended the establishment of a viable mechanism to address gender discrimination.27

15. Human Rights First (HRF) indicated the documented increase in incidents of racially motivated violence. 28 JS2 stated that the majority of victims of racist crimes were people from Africa, Asia, Middle East and Caucasus.29 As HRF noted, Jewish and Roma communities and Crimean Tatars were also among the targets of racially motivated crimes. HRF stated that the perpetrators of the most serious hate crimes belong to groups of skinheads—young people united by extreme nationalist and racist ideology.30 JS2 stated that the authorities failed to protect minorities from racially motivated violence and hold perpetrators liable.31

16. HRF noted the adoption of a national plan to combat racism and xenophobia and an instruction for law enforcement bodies on the data collection of hate crime incidences. However, HRF noted the lack of the implementation of the instruction. Additionally, the disbanding of the State Committee for Nationalities and Religion and the Human Rights Monitoring Department at the Ministry of Interior weakened the efforts to combat racist and bias-motivated incidents.32 CoE made similar observations.33

17. JS2 noted that criminal liability for racially motivated crimes was never applied.34 CoE stated that perpetrators of hate crimes tended to be prosecuted as ordinary offences or hooligans.35 HRF recommended that Ukraine: publicly condemn crimes of racist violence and other hate crimes; ensure that such crimes are investigated and perpetrators prosecuted; and strengthen the criminal law regarding racially motived crimes.36 JS2 and CoE made similar recommendations.37

18. JS2 and CoE noted occurrences of racial profiling by the police.38 JS2 recommended that Ukraine ban illegal profiling practices within law enforcement authorities.39 CoE-ECRI recommended that Ukraine set up an independent body for receiving complaints about racism and racial discrimination against police officers, noted CoE.40

19. HRF highlighted the lack of explicit legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation.41 Furthermore, as CLGBT noted, some laws contained discriminatory provisions against LGBT persons.42 HRF and CLGBT pointed to intolerance towards LGBT persons in society.43 JS2 referred to reports indicating that LGBT persons experienced direct and indirect discrimination in employment, access to services, education, housing, health care and access to justice. 44 JS2 also pointed to reported high incidence of bias-motivated crimes directed at LGBT individuals and organisations.45 Insight reported that politicians chose to use homophobia as part of their election platforms in 2010 and 2012.46

20. Insight reported that hate crimes towards LGBT people often treated as hooliganism.47 JS2 stated that LGBT persons were reported to be often victims of police profiling and illegal arrests.48 CLGBT reported that threats to disclose the information about the person’s sexual orientation to his/her relatives or colleagues were reportedly used by law enforcement bodies to extort money or make LGBT people to admit guilt for crimes they did not commit.49

^ 2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person

21. Amnesty International (AI) stated that Ukraine made little progress in combating torture in police detention places and that torture remained widespread.50 Similarly, CCPR reported about ill treatment of arrested persons by law enforcement bodies to obtain evidences.51 CoE made similar observations.52 AI recommended that Ukraine ensure that any law enforcement official suspected of committing torture is prosecuted. AI and CCPR recommended the amendment to Article 127 of the Criminal Code to ensure that it accurately reflects the definition of torture of CAT.53

22. Donestk Memorial (DM) stated that while conditions in some of penitentiary institutions were adequate, there were many others, especially in pre-trial detention centers, where conditions remained poor and prisoners were allocated in cells with less than 1 square meter.54 CCPR highlighted the poor organization of medical services and insufficient funding of health care system for prisoners. It noted that the measures undertaken to reduce the mortality rate among convicts were not sufficient and the mortality rate increased.55

23. World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organisation (WFUWO) stated that violence against women was widespread.56 JS6 noted the lack of funding for preventive measures and the provision of social assistance to victims of domestic violence, and insufficient social services for them.57

24. WFUWO stated that Ukraine is a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking.58 JS1 and JS6 noted the delay in the adoption of legal acts for the implementation of the 2011 Law on Combating Human Trafficking.59 The Law, as JS1 noted, did not provide guarantees for compensation to trafficking victims. No state funding was allocated to assist trafficking victims and no shelter for the rehabilitation of those victims was established.60 JS1 and JS6 indicated that assistance to the trafficking vicitims was mainly granted by international and non-governmental organizations.61 European Union Border Assistance Mission in Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) reported that training of border guard services did not cover human trafficking despite the fact that border guards were assigned to fight organized crime, including human trafficking.62

25. JS12 pointed to the lack of mechanisms for the prevention of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of children and for their rehabilitation and reintegration. The only rehabilitation centre for girls functioned in Odessa with the financial support of NGOs and donors.63

26. JS12 stated that legislation did not define the term child prostitution.64 ECPAT International (ECPAT) indicated that legislation did not fully recognise criminal immunity of child victims of prostitution and included administrative responsibility for children between 16 and 18 years of age engaged in prostitution. Using sexual services of a child over 16 years old or of a child who reached sexual maturity was not considered as a crime under legislation.65 CoE and JS12 made similar observations.66 ECPAT recommended that Ukraine introduce a clear definition of child prostitution into legislation and revoke legal responsibility of children engaging in prostitution.67

27. ECPAT stated that a rehabilitation and reintegration system for child-victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation was not developed as required by the National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on Child Rights.68 ECPAT recommended that Ukraine ensure specific services for child- victims of sexual exploitation, such as shelters and psychological assistance and financially assist NGOs that provide such services, and establish specialised rehabilitation programmes for children involved in the pornography and in prostitution. ECPAT recommended the criminalisation of the possession of child pornography and the act of knowingly obtaining access to it.69

^ 3. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law

28. JS8 stated that the 2010 judicial reform resulted in almost no improvement but further weakened judicial independence. The legislation entrusted the High Council of Justice (HCJ) with broad competences in appointing and dismissing judges and initiating disciplinary proceedings against them. JS8 noted that the pressure on judges exercised by the Prosecutor’s Office and HCJ became systematic.70 As CoE noted, Commissioner for Human Rights (CoE-Commissioner) called upon Ukraine to establish fair procedures and criteria regarding the appointment and dismissal of judges and application of disciplinary measures; and to ensure changes in the composition of the HCJ and quality on-going training for judges.71

29. DM highlighted the lack of independent scrutiny on the observance of human rights in the penitentiary institutions.72 As CoE noted, CoE- Commissioner stated that democratic oversight of the law-enforcement and security structures should be strengthened, including by ensuring individuals’ access to a fully independent complaint mechanism.73

30. JS8 highlighted violations of reasonable time for court proceedings, massive non-enforcement of courts’ decisions, insufficient funding of and corruption in the judiciary.74 JS8 stated that the protection of the right to a fair trial deteriorated and pointed to violations of the right to a fair trial in the criminal prosecution of a number of former officials, including Y. Tymoshenko and Y. Lutsenko.75 The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) made a similar observation.76

31. AI recommended that a lawyer be always present during police interrogations unless a detainee waives the right to a lawyer, and that all interrogations are accurately recorded, preferably with the use of video/audio equipment.77 CoE-Commissioner stated that defence lawyers should have free and unimpeded access to their clients in places of deprivation of liberty and all those in need should have the possibility to receive free legal assistance.78 As CoE noted, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CoE-CPT) made similar observations.79

32. Noting the absence of the legal framework for independent lawyers’ association, Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) urged Ukraine to adopt a law on bar association that recognizes the right of the bar to self-government and guarantees a proper representativeness of the bar by means of regular elections and regional representation.80 Furthermore, L4L reported that lawyers were subjected to threats, intimidation and fiscal pressure by the government, especially when they are involved in sensitive cases.81 CoE-Commissioner expressed similar concerns.82

33. Noting the lack of policy and legislation to implement the restorative justice, JS9 recommended that Ukraine finalize the development of legislation on mediation in criminal matters and other restorative justice programs, and support the development of Community Centers of Restorative Practices to ensure access to restorative justice programs.83

34. CCPR stated that court practice of using the evidence obtained as a result of torture, as acceptable evidence promoted the use of torture and that legislation did not stipulate procedure for invalidating the evidence obtained under torture.84 AI stated that Prosecutor’s office, which plays a central role in the investigation of allegations of torture, is not in a position to impartially investigate crimes allegedly committed by police because of close links between prosecutors and the police.85

35. JS12 stated that in an absence of a juvenile justice system children stayed in detention places for months, awaiting a trial that causes interruption in their studies.86 CoE-Commissioner encouraged Ukraine to pursue its efforts towards reform in juvenile justice, recalling that in cases involving juveniles, deprivation of liberty should be imposed only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time.87
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