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New Council of Europe Project in Ukraine officially launched – “Enhancing Implementation of the European Human Rights Standards in Ukraine”

Kyiv 21 June 2018
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© Yevgen Fesiuk

© Yevgen Fesiuk

The new Council of Europe Project “Enhancing Implementation of the European Human Rights in Ukraine” was officially launched on 21 June 2018 in Kyiv. The Project is implemented as a part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2021.

Key national stakeholders and international partners had an opportunity to discuss both the state of play in the areas of the Project’s intervention and the possible actions, combined efforts to be executed to improve the situation with human rights protection in Ukraine.

The Project will be focused on three main pillars:

  1. Support to the law enforcement reform, namely establishment of the State Bureau of Investigation and fight against ill-treatment and impunity
  2. Strengthening the Ombudsperson’s Office operational capacities in Ukraine (ill-treatment in places of deprivation of liberty and data-protection)
  3. Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights through training, including via the platform and resources of the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals - the HELP Programme

A vision from a number of stakeholders on reform of the law-enforcement system, development of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and fight against ill-treatment as well as Project’s contribution into this process was a subject of wide discussion. From this perspective Pavlo Pushkar, Head of Division, Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, reconfirmed the urgency of the combined efforts to be made in order to proceed with the law enforcement reform in Ukraine, especially in the part of effective investigation and prevention of ill-treatment.

Comprehensive trainings on key human rights standards and practical techniques for effective investigation of ill-treatment and other human rights violations for the newly recruited staff of the SBI was prioritized by Olga Varchenko, First Deputy Head of the SBI. Council of Europe expertise and extensive set of standards would be useful for development of adequate legal framework and internal regulations package for the SBI.

Touching upon the issue of human rights education for legal professionals and integration of the European Convention on Human Rights into the Ukrainian legal practice, Lidia Izovitova, Head of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, and Mykola Onischuk, Rector of the National School of Judges of Ukraine informed that the level of knowledge on the Convention and the case-law of the European Court of human rights has significantly risen among the judges and lawyers, but more capacity building activities are required to enhance the level of expertise.

Representatives of the National Prosecution Academy of Ukraine and the National Academy of Internal Affairs, Veronika Plotnikova and Anna Tytko reconfirmed the progress in inclusion of the human rights courses in the curricula of the national training institutions and expressed their willingness to cooperate in the area of distance education on human rights and implementation of the HELP programme in Ukraine.

Particular activities will be planned and executed jointly by the Project and the stakeholders in order to achieve enhanced level of human rights protection in Ukraine.