Project in Ukraine - Human rights at local level
Good governance entails full compliance with fundamental freedoms and human rights, and local authorities are key actors in guaranteeing human rights with a political leadership accountable and close to citizens.
To support this process, the project works with Ukrainian municipalities towards the adoption of policies and practices that promote a gender perspective in local political action and equal opportunities for women and men, and that foster the engagement of underrepresented groups (in particular, internally displaced persons, Roma and other ethnic minorities) and youth to enhance resilience at local level.
This thematic area directly contributes to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender equality), 10 (Reduced inequalities), 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).
Study visit to the World Forum for Democracy 2018 (19-22 November 2018, Strasbourg, France)
A delegation of Georgian and Ukrainian local authorities and representatives of their national associations participated in the 2018 edition of the World Forum for Democracy (WFD), dedicated to gender equality and women’s rights.
As a follow-up to the WFD, the workshop “Gender equality at local level: Fostering participation and equal opportunities” allowed Georgian and Ukrainian participants to share experiences and reflect on the implementation of gender equality, gender mainstreaming and gender-sensitive policies at local level.
Round table on Gender Equality and Open Government for Stronger Local Democracy (14-15 March 2019, Kyiv, Ukraine)
Ukrainian local authorities and representatives of the Parliament and the Government of Ukraine discussed innovative approaches for accelerating gender equality and driving change through gender mainstreaming in open local government practices.
Ukrainian and international participants recognised the key role of local authorities in advancing open government and in the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) to ensure equal opportunities and participation at all levels of decision-making.
The round table was organised as part of the Open Gov Week (11-17 March 2019).
XV Ukrainian Municipal Forum (18-20 June 2019, Odesa, Ukraine)
The Forum, which brought together more than 400 mayors from all regions of Ukraine – members of the AUC –, represents a unique platform to share peer-to-peer knowledge and experiences, and to work together in shaping inclusive, open and transparent societies.
Structured in three thematic areas – public ethics, open government and gender equality – the Forum’s “Day of the Congress” (19 June 2019), organised jointly with the AUC, resulted in a final declaration by which Ukrainian mayors commit to adopt the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life, and develop policies and tools to mainstream gender equality at local level in Ukraine.
Webinar on Preventing and Combatting Sexism at Local Level in Ukraine: A Guide for Women and Men in Local Politics (2 July 2020)
This webinar marked the release of a guide for women and men in local politics on “Preventing and combatting sexism at local level in Ukraine” produced by the Congress. The participants discussed the findings and recommendations of the Guide, which aims to equip local politicians in Ukraine with the knowledge necessary to recognise sexism in their institutions, and to take appropriate measures to address this issue.
Around 40 local authority representatives, their national associations, the Government’s Commissioner for Gender Policy, civil society organisations, and experts on gender issues had the opportunity to learn about the Congress report and work on “Fighting sexist violence against women in politics at local and regional level”, the Ukrainian normative framework and local experiences and good practices to counter sexism in co-operation with civil society.
Launch event of the Online course on “Gender Mainstreaming at Local Level in Ukraine” (11 December 2020)
The Congress, in partnership with the AUC and NALAS, launched the e-course on "Gender Mainstreaming at Local Level in Ukraine”, focusing on understanding the omnipresence of gender issues in communities and presenting strategies and good practices that local authorities and their national association can implement to advance gender equality.
The e-course aims to equip participants with knowledge of personal, institutional and structural implications of gender equality, get familiar with the international legal framework for gender equality and raise awareness of the national policies which contribute to gender equality.
This will enable participants to gain practical skills on the application of tools and methods to avoid gender-blind policymaking, develop gender-responsive budgets, and set up strategies to foster equal participation of women and men at local level.
Conference on Voting rights of IDPs at local level in Ukraine: Strengthening integration and grassroots democracy (27 February 2019, Kyiv, Ukraine)
The conference brought together various stakeholders – members of the Government and the Parliament of Ukraine, local and regional authorities, local NGOs – as well as members of the Congress, national and international experts to discuss the voting rights of IDPs at local level in Ukraine and the steps needed to ensure their electoral participation.
Participants debated common solutions and agreed on the need to introduce relevant legislative amendments to enfranchise IDPs in local elections.
Workshop on Ensuring better inclusion and protection of IDPs at local level in Ukraine (28 February 2019, Kyiv, Ukraine)
The workshop gathered together Ukrainian local authorities, representatives of their national associations, and members of the Government of Ukraine to develop a common understanding on the approaches for IDPs political participation and discuss the ways local authorities can protect and promote the rights of IDPs.
Participants exchanged on successful policies and practices to foster IDPs’ inclusion in local decision-making processes with a view to enhancing their integration and social cohesion in host communities. Particular attention was made to the provision of durable housing and facilitation of equal access to livelihood and services for better social-economic integration.
Training of Trainers on Local Democracy and Human Rights (15-18 April 2019, Kharkiv, Ukraine)
The Training of trainers (ToT) on Local Democracy and Human Rights was organised to raise awareness of local and regional democracy among young community leaders and to promote the active participation of young people in civic life as a means to ensuring social cohesion and anchoring democratic principles based on the respect of human rights at local level.
The creation of a pool of educators is the first of a series of activities targeting young people, in particular those living in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine. To this end, the ToT enhanced the capacities of 25 trainers from all regions of Ukraine to carry out educational activities on local democracy and human rights in the future.
This activity contributes to the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Developments Goals 4 (Quality education), 5 (Gender equality), 10 (Reduced inequalities), 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).
Training for youth on local democracy and human rights (27-31 January 2020, Dnipro, Ukraine)
20 young people undertaking vocational studies in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts participated in a training on human rights and local democracy to enhance their awareness of human rights standards and local democracy principles. With the help of the trainers, the participants developed short action plans to increase youth participation in decision-making in their communities.
The participants exchanged with representatives of local authorities from Mariupol, Novopskovsk, Lysychansk, Kostyntynivka, Bakhmut and Fastiv and with Dr Bríd Quinn, member of the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
First webinar on Youth engagement in political life at local level in Ukraine (26 November 2020)
The webinar’s objective consisted of promoting young people’s active participation in civic life as a means of securing social cohesion and anchoring democratic principles in a society based on respect for human rights. With more than 90 people attending the event, participants had the opportunity to share experiences and results of youth-related projects in Ukraine and across Europe.
The webinar is part of the Congress’ continued efforts in fostering youth participation in local decision-making in Eastern Ukraine, including a training of trainers on local democracy and human rights in April 2019, a training for youth in January 2020 for students from vocational schools in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and continuous coaching support to training participants.
Second webinar on Youth engagement in political life at local level in Ukraine (10 December 2020)
The objective of this webinar was to support young people in actively participating in civic life by identifying potential obstacles in the exercise of their human rights at local level, as well as providing possible solutions to improve youth engagement at local level. The event aimed at improving participants’ understanding of youth participation and help them identify potential solutions towards achieving their meaningful participation in decision-making processes at local level.
This webinar is a follow-up to the training organised for youth from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, as well as to the subsequent expert support and coaching to young participants in their engagement in local decision-making.
Second meeting of the Ukrainian Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion (26 February 2019, Lviv, Ukraine)
Ukrainian local and regional authorities, members of the Parliament and NGO representatives gathered together at the occasion of the Second meeting of the Ukrainian Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion: the European Alliance’s local network of mayors and governors to promote Roma inclusion and fight anti-Gypsyism in Ukraine.
The participants examined ways to combat stereotypes and convey positive messages, and discussed measures that can be taken to prevent attacks against Roma in Ukrainian cities. To this end, several Ukrainian elected representatives took a stand against discrimination towards Roma by signing the Declaration against Anti-Gypsyism, and the initiative "Local Action for Roma Safety" was presented to the Ukrainian Parliament in April 2019.
Third Ukrainian Women’s Congress (10-11 December 2019, Kyiv, Ukraine)
Congress member Ms Gudrun Mösler-Törnström (Austria, SOC/G/PD) participated in the third edition of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress (UWC), an ongoing public platform which shapes the gender policy agenda for the Ukrainian Parliament, Government, civil society and media. During the panel discussion platform on “Gender mainstreaming in local governance”, she reminded that the decentralisation process in Ukraine is a great opportunity to enhance and mainstream gender equality. The Congress has published many tools to help local authorities advance in that direction.
Kyiv Forum of Equal Rights and Opportunities (3 September 2020)
The Forum’s aim consisted of exchanging best practices as well as discussing challenges faced during the implementation of gender equality policies at local level. The event was an opportunity to promote the Guide on “Preventing and Combatting Sexism at the Local Level in Ukraine”, both available in English and Ukrainian and produced as part of the project "Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine”.
The event featured Jelena Drenjanin, Congress Spokesperson on Gender Equality, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, Vitaliy Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, as well as representatives of other European capital and large cities, locally elected representatives from Ukraine, Parliament and Government members and international stakeholders in Ukraine.
Consultation and advocacy
The Congress provides expert support and capacity building to strengthen institutional frameworks for local self-government and advocacy in Ukraine.
Open government and public ethics
The Congress promotes ethical, transparent and participatory decision-making as a means to increase citizens' trust in local elected officials and representatives.
Human rights at local level
The Congress supports local authorities and their national associations in their efforts to promote inclusiveness and to ensure equal opportunities for all citizens.
Ukrainian local authorities are implementing, with the support of the Congress, local initiatives to promote equal opportunities for women and men to participate in local political life, and foster the engagement of under-represented groups.
Further details are available on the dedicated Congress webpage.