Brussels, 20 February 2020

EU-Ukraine Human Rights Dialogue preparatory meeting

During the preparatory meeting before the planned EU-Ukraine Human Rights Dialogue, EaP CSF representatives voiced concerns about the state of human rights in Ukraine.

The input from civil society focused on challenges in adopting domestic-violence legislation and on ensuring its effective implementation: As Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada is facing a broad inter-factional coalition for “Values, Dignity, and Family” that ralleys against ratifying the Istanbul Convention, chances are small that effective prevention and fighting violence against women will soon be further institutionalised. Besides that, services for victims of domestic violence, like shelters or mobile support teams, are equipped inadequately. Furthermore, the Ukrainian Criminal Code continues to define sexual violence and rape only on grounds of use of force or vulnerable condition of the victim, but not on grounds of lack of consent.

The subsequent discussion with EU officials and other organisations highlighted that Ukraine’s human-rights situation needs to be improved also with regards to the freedom of expression, the security of lawyers, the protection of LGBT people, Crimean Tatars, and children.

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Forum input: Prepared for the EU-UA Human Rights Dialogue preparatory meeting, EaP CSF, 2020