Enhancing capacity of civil society and national institutions to monitor human rights

Kyiv, 21 September 2016 – Over 30 representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), the Ombudsperson's Office, the Ministry of Justice, the National Statistic Service, and international organizations took part in a workshop hosted by UNDP Ukraine to upgrade their knowledge of monitoring instruments of national human rights strategic documents.

2016-09-20 -657896790678097The workshop was aimed at increasing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacities of national human rights actors, stimulating the development of high-quality M&E frameworks for the National Human Rights Strategy and the Action Plan in line with the international best practices, in particular OHCHR Human Rights Indicators.

"The Human Rights Strategy and the Action Plan help turn aspirations into concrete actions and real changes in human rights," noted Ms. Blerta Cela, UNDP Deputy Country Director in Ukraine, in her welcome speech.

The year 2016 is the first year when these strategic documents are being implemented with both success and some gaps. In this regard, Ms. Blerta Cela noted that UNDP welcomed proactive initiative of civil society coordinated by the Ombudsperson's Office that led to the creation of a platform for monitoring national human rights strategic documents.

2016-09-20 -645768970707In the beginning of the meeting, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Mr. Arkadiy Bushchenko said: "Our coalition needs a relevant system of monitoring indicators. A lack of clear indicators in each human rights area prevents us from making remarkable progress in monitoring."

The workshop was co-chaired by an expert tandem of Professor Rajeev Malhotra (India) and human rights expert Mr. Daniel O'Donnell (the UK). After introducing the human rights indicators based on the UN approach as well as the best international practices and national context of the M&E system, the international experts facilitated a series of practical training sessions and helped the participants develop indicator frameworks in areas of combatting torture, ensuring equal rights for women and men, and protecting the rights of IDPs.

2016-09-20 -25476958769078078"Through practical exercises and experts' presentations, it is clearer to me that the human rights monitoring should be result oriented. At the same time, it is also about assessing the progress made by a duty bearer in implementing its human rights obligations. The promotion and protection of human rights is not a one-time event, rather it is an ongoing process. This necessitates an assessment of the institutional context (laws and policies) and the process of advancement of human rights in a society, besides the outcomes of that process," Mr. Andrii Illin, the workshop's participant from the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation, shared his impressions.

Moreover, M&E experience, best international practices, and skills obtained during the workshop will be useful not only for monitoring and implementing the National Human Rights Strategy and its Action Plan, but also as a useful toolkit for further human rights activity.