Human Rights Activists Have Urged MPs Not to Deprive People of Legal Aid in Non-Criminal Cases

On October 1, 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers passed to the Parliament a Draft Law No. 5185 by which the introduction of legal aid in non-criminal cases was postponed until January 1, 2017. This initiative of the Government appeared almost simultaneously with the promulgation of a new Law “On Prosecutor’s Office”, by which starting from on April 24, 2015 the powers of prosecutors to represent the citizens’ interests in court are cancelled with several exceptions.


How the National Border Guards Cash in on the Crimean Ukrainians

The human right activists record stream of applications from citizens of Ukraine who are leaving the occupied Crimea and face violation of their rights by Ukrainian border guards. Victims’ claim that they are required a written statement on “why the citizen Ukraine wants to move in Ukraine” and in the absence of such a certificate they do not shun a paper “certificate” with a picture of Hryhorii Skovoroda (a cash banknote of UAH 500.00).


How Is the Right to Protection Ensured by the State Budget Funds?

This is a format in which a system of legal aid - an important institution that contributes to equitable justice began to operate in Ukraine since January 1, 2013. Ukrainian legislation guarantees access to legal aid at public expense to all detained persons (both according to administrative and criminal law) as well as protection from prosecution to persons in need.


In Crimea serious human rights violations and attacks on minorities and journalists require urgent action

All cases of serious human rights violations that have occurred in Crimea[1][1] since February 2014, including the recent cases of abductions, must be effectively investigated and those responsible held accountable. Urgent steps must also be taken to ensure minority rights and security, as well as media freedom and journalists’ safety” stated today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on his mission to Kyiv, Moscow and Simferopol carried out from 7 to 12 September 2014, the first in situ assessment by an international institution of the human rights situation in Crimea since March 2014.


Weekly Briefer by Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Human Rights in Action Program


Lawyer vs. Client. How to Guard Against Poor Quality of Legal Services?

The problem of providing low-quality legal services has always been relevant in Ukraine. Therefore, to solve it a new law “On the Bar and Advocate’s Activity” was adopted on July 5, 2012 and a year before – the Law “On Free Legal Aid”. Despite this, the number of cases of unfair execution by the lawyers their duties before their clients starting from the banal case delay, incompetence and ending in outright fraud, did not decrease. Below you can find several aspects that attracted attention of Mariia Tsypiashchuk, a lawyer and coordinator of the Public Office of UHHRU in Rivne*.


Will Separatists Obtain Access to Personal Data of Ukrainian Volunteers?

For the second year in a row the MIA is trying to make passengers of “Ukrzaliznytsia” enter their passport details in a ticket.However the trend of this season is that not all Ukrainians but the Crimeans as well as citizens of Regions of Donetsk and Lugansk will suffer infringement of privacy. As the UHHRU found out from confidential sources, the MIA requires from “Ukrzaliznytsia” to collect information about the passengers who travel in these directions, and to transfer them.


400 Crimean Prisoners Appealed to the Ombudsman Requesting to Protect Their Right to Ukrainian Citizenship

Today we have a difficult situation with penal institutions in Crimea that is occupied by Russia. However, compared with the problems penal colonies and detention facilities in Regions of Donetsk and Lugansk are facing now under the conditions of hostilities, it looks rather different. In fact, after the annexation of the peninsula four correctional custody facilities remained and continue working in its territory, but they have a different national flag and legislation. Due to that a number of serious problems have blown up for convicts and suspects.


World Expert in the European Court Will Work with UHHRU

Team of Philip Leach, one of the most famous in the world expert in the field of the European Court, along with the lawyers of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union will work on the matters of civic activists who have been held captive by separatists in Slovyansk. Appropriate statements of claim are already submitted to the ECHR.


The European Court Has Allowed Aviators to Strike. Are Railroad Workers, Doctors, and Civil Servants Next In Turn?

Employees of Ukrainian airlines obtained an opportunity to express indignation openly with actions of employers and to strike. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case "Tymoshenko and others v. Ukraine" made a stand for aviators, while local servants of Themis previously thought that aviation industry is not a place for the labour rights protection. Even in connection with long term arrears of wages, inadequate working conditions, etc.


Why Do Not the Benefits for the ATO Participants Work?

Participants of the ATO are entitled to benefits. However, they cannot use them. This is evidenced by numerous applications filed by them to the legal affairs receptions of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU).


The European Court Defended the Right of Ukrainians to Strike

Ukrainians have received authorization from the European Court to publicly express indignation at the actions of the employer. The court defended the right of “Aerosvit” employees to strike and awarded them compensation of 20 thousand EUR.


Why the Number of Life-Term Prisoners in Ukraine is Bigger than in Russia?

About a year ago the national mass-media made public disclosure of absolutely inconceivable comparable figures revealing the number of life-termers in Ukraine and Russia. As it turned out, Ukraine has drawn ahead of its North – Eastern neighbour with the number of 1,845 life-term prisoners versus 1,841 lifers in Russia.


USAID launches human rights project

USAID launched today a new activity addressing human rights issues in Ukraine, implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU). The project seeks to empower human rights activists as they monitor and report on human rights violations in Ukraine; to provide strategic litigation in human rights cases; to raise human rights awareness among citizens; and to strengthen the Chernihiv Educational Human Rights House.


Human Rights Activists Call to Determine the Legal Status of Volunteer Battalions

Members of volunteer battalions, after the end of military operations, risk becoming defendants in cases. Indeed, their status depends entirely on the position which the authority takes up regarding them. To avoid this danger, rights advocates propose to consider the issue of legalization of battalions by law.

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