Uniting for justice and peace in Donbas

On 29 December, a meeting of human rights organizations working in the field of documenting human rights violations in eastern Ukraine during the armed conflict was held in Kyiv.

In her welcome speech UNDP Senior Programme Manager Julia Shcherbinina highlighted that "all civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the field of human rights in Donbas are united by the goal to restore justice and establish peace in the conflict areas."
Representatives of such CSOs as "Postup," "Vostok SOS," Center for Civil Liberties, International Partnership for Human Rights described the current state of initiatives on documenting human rights violations in eastern Ukraine. They noted that field missions and hotlines are available for people affected by the armed conflict; every organization has its specific developments in collecting and documenting information about human rights abuses.
Social and human rights activists underlined that it is important to develop a unified mechanism, cover the entire territory where the violations committed. Their main tasks include the consolidation of an effective medium for documenting, creation of discourse about the importance of preserving the historical truth in society.
During the meeting, the informal coalition of CSOs and initiatives was set up. Representatives of 14 member organizations of coalition and representatives of UNDP and International Renaissance Foundation as partners of the initiative signed a Memorandum of restoring justice to establish peace in Donbas.
Volodymyr Shcherbachenko, head of the Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives, spoke of the possibility of introducing a unified database of human rights violations. He noted that contribution and experience of all participants of this initiative is required for the proper functioning of the database.
The participants of the meeting have determined that the creation of the database of human rights violations is aimed at restoring justice, gathering facts and evidence, inevitability of liability for violations, assistance, scoping review, etc.
The event was organized with the support of UNDP in Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.