Ukraine's Battle For Human Rights Gets Heated
25 December, 2015

There’s a 30% spike in human rights complaints to the office of the Ukrainian ombudsman this year, Bohdan Kryklyvenko, head of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament's Commissioner for Human Rights tells Hromadske. In prevailing majority, Ukrainians complain about violation of their economic, social rights and human rights abuses of Ukrainian law enforcement bodies, courts.

“25% of these complaints are about violations of social/economic rights and the other 25% are violations during the contact of the person with law enforcement bodies including the courts and court proceedings. These two groups, the two biggest groups, make up 50% of all applications we receive. These are the basic issues that concern the people of Ukraine,” Kryklyvenko clarifies.

A year and a half after the Eastern Ukrainian war started, the issue of war crimes committed by both sides remains largely unaddressed. The rebel-controlled territory is mostly out of reach for Ukrainian and international human rights investigators. But the Ukrainian government is also unwilling to be fully cooperative on the issue, because of political sensitivity surrounding the problem, Kryklyvenko suggests.

One of the most pressing issues in the fight for human rights in war-torn Eastern Ukraine remains the restriction on freedom of movement for civilians and badly-organized system of checkpoints, that makes the situation worse, Kryklyvenko warns.

Hromadske’s Ian Bateson and Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Bohdan Kryklyvenko of the office of Ukraine’s ombudsman during on December 17th, 2015 in Kyiv.