Open appeal of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union regarding the creation of a Public Council attached to the Interior Ministry

29.01.2013

On Sunday 27 January 2013 a general meeting was held to form a Public Council attached to the Interior Ministry. This resulted in twenty five of the 35 representatives of civic institutions allowed to the meeting, among them a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union being elected.

However UHHRU notes with concern that it is the only human rights organization elected to the Public Council and that a number of NGOs whose active participation in this advisory and consultative body attached to the Interior Minister cannot be superfluous remained outside the formation process.

We must point out that one of the reasons for this situation was the non-transparent activities of the initiative group on preparing the general meeting with its work raising a number of fundamental criticisms. We would at very least note the lack of information from the initiative group regarding receipt of documents and timely notification that certain organizations would not be allowed to take part in the meeting, as well as the lack of free access by members of the public to the place where the meeting was being held. This latter point, while not being fixed in law as mandatory is nonetheless an indicator of how open and transparent the process for forming public councils is.

In view of the above, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union must inform the Cabinet of Ministers of its concern that the formation of the Public Council attached to the Interior Ministry was carried out in a manner which lacked transparency and that this will undoubtedly have impact on the Council’s work.
UHHRU also informs the human rights organizations whose members did not get on the Public Council of its willingness to use membership of the Council in order to represent not only UHHRU’s position but also the agreed position of other human rights organizations.


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