Frontline Inspection

August 10, 2015

Foundation.101 has launched its Frontline Inspection project. The project ensures respect for the human rights of Ukrainian citizens who cross the contact line in Eastern Ukraine. For a month, we will conduct a monitoring project at the contact line checkpoints of people who are forced to move between the temporarily occupied territory and the rest of Ukraine.

Frontline Inspection will also monitor procedural compliance with "the interim order of control over the movement of people, vehicles and cargo (goods) through the contact line in Donetsk and Lugansk regions", as stated by the head of the NGO "Foundation.101" and the coordinator of the project Andrii Bogdanovych at the press briefing in the Ukrainian Media Crisis Center.

Andrii Bogdanovych

According to Bogdanovych, there are two problems that are the most urgent regarding the crossing process. First, the procedure for obtaining permission to cross the contact line is excessively lengthy. Second, the screening procedure for people and vehicles is overly long and complicated, which leads to long queues at the exit and entry control points.

Foundation.101 will also check the attitude of inspectors and the control points for the people who cross the contact line as well as the availability of drinking water, toilets, and the quality of shelters in case of shelling.

Based on the results of this monitoring project, the Foundation will prepare recommendations and communicate them with the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the Donetsk Regional Military-Civilian Administration and other stakeholders involved in the organization of handling crossings at the contact line.

Foundation.101 will also publish the recommendations on its site to make them available to the public.

"We hope that the recommendations we suggest will be taken into account and, therefore, the situation with respect to human rights will be improved while the corruption component will be eliminated from the process of crossing the contact line", added the project coordinator Andrii Bogdanovych.

According to Mikhaylo Chaplyha, a representative of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, "The Ombudsman's Office cannot conduct such a monitoring themselves due to its limited budget. We can't be everywhere at the same time". Therefore, they have chosen a scheme entitled "Ombudsmen +", which envisions the delegation of certain powers of the Ombudsman to the NGOs. These organizations undergo a special training to receive an official mandate for the monitoring initiative.

Mikhaylo Chaplyha

"Thus, the monitoring of these organizations is considered to be legitimate. The information that they collect will be used in the official reports of the Ombudsman as well as in the draft acts of the Ombudsman Response, for example in appeals to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, etc.", explained Mykhaylo Chaplyha.

According to Mykhaylo Chaplyha, the exit and entry control points will soon be equipped with the latest equipment to reduce the time of the screening, solve humanitarian issues and will concentrate all services in one place. The next step is to nominate the representative of the Ombudsman who will work on a voluntary basis in the Donetsk region. The new representative will serve as the Regional Coordinator on Public Relations in the Donetsk region.

According to Victor Andrusiv, the acting Deputy Head of the Donetsk Regional Military-Civilian Administration, there is a lot of controversial information about the process of crossing the contact line. It is vital to show people that the authorities are listening to them. He also said that the local administration plans to launch logistics centers in a few weeks. Also, new markets will be placed between the control points and the contact line. Therefore, they can reduce the workload on control points since people who travel to get products and pensions can get them at the logistics centers.

Victor Andrusiv

Victor Andrusiv hopes that further project activities will also reach the frontline settlements.

The project is being implemented with the support of the People's Project. More information on the project is available here.

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