Public Association “Coordinating Council of Organizations of IDPs from Crimea”
Due to the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, about 40 thousand Crimeans are forced to leave their homes. Although the official statistics from the state authorities about 20 thousand. The main category of departed Crimeans are active leaders of public organizations, human rights activists, journalists, intellectuals, servicemen. It was most dangerous for them to remain in the peninsula.
Crimeans traveled to virtually every corner of mainland Ukraine, where they encountered daily problems: lack of permanent residence, blocking of card current accounts and deposits, destruction of businesses and cash earned, lack of a mechanism to provide social needs.
Volunteers, representatives of civic and charitable organizations and residents of towns and villages, ordinary citizens of Ukraine have put a strong shoulder on the forced displaced persons. From the first days, it was the Crimeans who began to organize themselves and set an example for IDPs from the East.
On May 23, 2014, the Crimeans in the city of Kiev held the First All-Ukrainian Congress of Forced Migrants from Crimea, where a number of mechanisms for the adoption by the relevant state bodies of extremely important documents were elaborated. At the congress, in order to consolidate, coordinate actions and interact with state authorities, it was decided to establish a Public Union “Coordinating Council of Organizations of IDPs from Crimea”. The congressional priority was successfully completed. Public Association “Coordinating Council of Organizations of Displaced Persons from Crimea” will be registered on July 03, 2014 by the Dniprovsky District Administration of Justice in Kyiv as a non-profit public association without the status of a legal entity. It immediately includes 9 community initiatives and associations. During the year of the Union’s activity, three more civic organizations and charitable foundations of the Crimean community joined it. The Public Union has partnerships with organizations and assets from Crimeans formed by Crimeans in different regions of Ukraine, namely: Rivne, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Chernivtsi, Volyn, Odessa, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye and others.
Representatives of our association made trips – to Rivne, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Chernivtsi, Kherson, where meetings with Crimean assets were held in order to establish contacts and promote self-organization on the ground, coordination of actions with Kyiv.
On November 21, in Kherson a round table “Problems of crossing of the administrative border between the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Kherson region” was held in Kherson. In winter, a round table was held in Lviv.
In addition, a great deal of work has been done to inform the problems of IDPs in the mainland and Crimeans who remain in the occupied territory.
One can call the many problems faced by IDPs … But there is a need to point out that today it is extremely important to resolve these issues is the adoption of the necessary legal framework by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine”, adopted on April 15, 2014, did not determine the status of internally displaced persons from the occupied territory and did not provide real mechanisms for guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of those detained Crimeans. to leave the peninsula. Therefore, the public constantly insisted on the adoption of relevant legislation, which would determine the status of internally displaced persons, would establish economic, social and legal guarantees for the protection of their rights and legitimate interests in the territory of Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, international treaties of Ukraine, as well as principles and norms of international law. . The Draft Law of Ukraine “On Forced Migrants” was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Kharkiv human rights group, UNHCR specialists in Ukraine, Crimean human rights defenders and representatives of public organizations joined the drafting of this bill. Instead, on June 19, the Verkhovna Rada approved another alternative Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of Persons Who Are Compelled to Leave Residences Due to Temporary Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and Circumstances Associated with Conducting an Anti-Terrorist Operation in Ukraine.” This Law of Ukraine has already criticized the public, in particular human rights defenders and NGO leaders from Crimea and the East. According to the majority of the most internally displaced persons, this bill was populist, it was adopted with gross violation of the regulation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, without discussion with the public, and did not solve the tenth of the problems of people forced to leave the occupied territories and the area of the AO. Representatives of the Public Association “Coordinating Council of Organizations of IDPs from Crimea” and leaders of NGOs from Lugansk and Donetsk insisted that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko vetoed the law passed by parliament on the so-called “forced migrants” and repeatedly appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the need to adopt the Law on Determining the Status of Forced Migrants and Their Rights. The president listened to the activists and vetoed the law. Then there was a new opportunity to develop a new bill of better quality with the participation of the public and the Presidential Administration, which was done. The public organized standing pickets under the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in support of the bill on September 16, October 7 and October 14; October 19 under the walls of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. On October 20, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons”, which was demanded by the public. But unfortunately, this bill is not implemented by state executive bodies. According to the draft law, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has not developed any target program for today, everything is done in “manual mode”.
Another striking fact today is the Law of Ukraine No. 1636-VII “On Creation of a Free Economic Zone” Crimea “and on the peculiarities of economic activity in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”, which was adopted by the deputies of the last convocation, and the present did not make any efforts to abolish this a bill that, on the one hand, violates human rights on a regional basis, on the other, creates corruption schemes for businesses on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides.
The biggest problem for both our organization and for all Crimeans was caused by the Resolution of the National Bank of Ukraine No. 699 of 03/11/2014. It was by this decree that the Crimeans were equated with non-residents and blocked all accounts. At present, about 30 NGOs and activists have filed lawsuits to violate the rights and freedoms of Crimeans. The courts of first instance in Ukraine have been lost, now at the stage of Cassation. The purpose is to go to the European Court of Justice and protect the rights of Crimeans – citizens of Ukraine.
Take all possible measures to repeal the Law of Ukraine No. 1636-VII “On Creation of a Free Economic Zone” Crimea “and on the peculiarities of carrying out economic activity in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” as amended by the NBU Resolution No. 810).
State executive authorities
Without the interaction of both central and local authorities with the people who need help, problematic issues will not be addressed effectively. Unfortunately, today there is no dialogue between the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The greatest support and understanding of the situation surrounding the problems of IDPs was only from the side of the Presidential Administration. And this is possible only because a section on occupied territory and social adaptation was created, which included the Crimeans, that is, displaced persons. The Presidential Administration of Ukraine has already resumed the activities of the Presidential Delegation to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, located in the city of Kherson. Today, this department is at risk of extinction.
It is important to note that the public has constantly pointed to the need to create a central executive body – the Ministry of Occupation Territories, the introduction of the post of Deputy Prime Minister for Crimea, the establishment of a state program for social adaptation of displaced persons. Formation of State Bodies in Exile (Exile): Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Direction of activity of these state bodies to the Crimeans who are in the occupied territory, development of a strategy of return of Crimea, provision of information resource in the occupied territory, development of a clear state information, international policy on the Crimea …
On August 15, 2014, a public roundtable on the topic “On the need to establish the Ministry of Crimea” was organized by the public together with the European Party of Ukraine in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of July 17, 2014 No. 297 “On the State Service for the ARC, the City of Sevastopol and Temporarily Displaced Persons” was published immediately. After a while, a new Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of October 22, 2014 No. 625 “On Renaming the State Service for Crimea, the City of Sevastopol and Temporarily Displaced Persons” appeared.
And only after 10 months of struggle, on May 14, 2015, they appointed the head of this executive body.
Offers to the public that have not been fulfilled
To create a free economic zone in the region where the state authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are represented and will function, namely in the Kherson region;
Create a new logistics system to facilitate the temporary occupation of Ukrainian citizens;
Take appropriate measures to highlight Crimea issues and support social and cultural ties with Crimean residents, formulate public information this policy on the occupied territories. To resume financing of the State Organization “All-Ukrainian Information and Cultural Center” (K Crimean Information and Educational Center), which is in the department of the State Committee for Television and Radio of Ukraine.
To resume printing of the newspaper “Crimean Svitlytsia”, which is in the office of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine “newspaper and journal publishing house”.
Thanks to the active efforts of the Crimean public and the support of Crimean mass media, the newly formed Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the autumn of 2014 created an inter-factional deputy association “Crimea”.
On December 26, a meeting of representatives of NGOs from Crimea with the People’s Deputies of Ukraine was organized within a round table. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine signed a Memorandum on the Cooperation and Cooperation of Non-Governmental Organizations (Associations), Representatives of the Public and Inter-Fractional Deputies’ Association “Crimea”.
Together with representatives of other Crimean public institutions and the Crimean inter-factional association, they held an action to mark the anniversary of occupation of Crimea is Ukraine – for several months: from February to April 2015.
05/15/2015 Together with the Crimean factional association under the Russian Embassy, they held an action “Freedom for Political Prisoners from Crimea”.
On May 18, 2015, thanks to the initiatives of the public, a Committee Hearing on the Issue of “Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” was held. The Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on State Construction, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government and between the Crimean faction unions became partners of the event.
During the hearings in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, they discussed the socio-political situation in the temporarily occupied territory and the activities of the central state authorities in order to solve the problems of internally displaced persons from Crimea more effectively.
Also, the attention of the participants of the hearing will be focused on the draft legislative acts under consideration in the Verkhovna Rada Committees.
The state today is not in a position to provide immediate assistance to people who are in no fault of their own. This is due to the lack of coordination between the staffs for the deployment of people, the absence of a “humanitarian corridor” for the safe removal of people from the territory of the ATO, the absence of any social assistance to people. The hotline does not provide the required information. The indignation is caused by the fact that the coordinating staff members are sending people to NGOs. We would like public and charitable organizations to give telephones to government bodies and not vice versa.
It is important that at present the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine seek international support. The number of internally displaced persons is increasing every day, and the authorities are delaying crucial decisions on humanitarian aid and financial support, which is unacceptable and extremely dangerous in view of what is happening today in the war zones. By procrastination, the authorities create a problem for themselves – the challenges of society, which can turn into revolutionary internal processes on the basis of a humanitarian catastrophe. It is imperative to receive support from international donors today. This requires the very request from the Government of Ukraine.
In order to address the social needs of the temporarily displaced persons, representatives of the public association “Coordinating Council of the IDPs from Crimea” outlined the following options for assistance:
Construction of permanent housing for internally displaced persons through the establishment of a state program that will be assisted by a state, temporarily displaced persons, international funds or other international organizations (such as the UN). This option involves providing the state (regional or rayon administrations or local self-government bodies) with land temporarily displaced, on which the construction of cottage villages will be carried out at the expense of international charitable organizations.
Assistance in organizing the employment of temporarily displaced persons through a program that will be assisted by a state, temporarily displaced persons, international foundations or other international organizations (eg UN) through the support of entrepreneurial initiatives of IDPs (Start-ups, business incubators), many people who have left the temporarily occupied territories had a private business that is now lost.
Assistance in the organization of legal actions for temporary displaced persons in the Russian Federation Organization of seminars / training for (Crimean) lawyers for bringing actions in the European Court of Justice.
Developing a one-off payment assistance to Ukrainian citizens who have moved from annexed Crimea and Sevastopol with the assistance of international organizations (such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
Authorities today should develop a program for the allocation or construction of temporary social housing for IDPs by programs that will be part of the program will be the state, temporary displaced persons, private or public developers. This option provides for the allocation by the state (regional or district administrations or local self-government bodies) of land to temporarily displaced persons, on which developers build multi-storey houses where apartments will be temporarily displaced. Today, this is the highest priority in addressing the problem of IDPs.
Public proposals to the authorities, which were repeatedly given and noted their non-compliance by the state authorities:
Create a favorable tax climate for attracting funds from international donor organizations for the construction of permanent and temporary housing for IDPs.
Ensure the implementation of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons” by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in accordance with paragraph 3 of Part 10 of this Bill. Namely: (… in case of circumstances referred to in Article 1 of this Law that caused mass (more than 100 thousand persons) displacement of citizens of Ukraine, or in case of continuation of the circumstances referred to in Article 1 of this Law, approves for more than 6 months (Cabinet of Ministers Ukraine) comprehensive state targeted programs for support and social adaptation of internally displaced persons with identification of sources and amounts of funding, controls their implementation).
At a time when the authorities have not been able to formulate an information policy on Crimea to date, the public has in fact begun to fill the information vacuum. Thanks to international donors, members of the public community have their own information resources aimed at highlighting the problems of Crimeans and democratizing society.
An important aspect is that new information resources support the public’s influence on the government. Because of the joint action, the displaced persons received the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Right of Freedom of Internally Displaced Persons”. Due to new media, Crimean NGOs are advocating for the rights and freedoms of Crimeans in Ukraine.
Thanks to the information support of the Crimean newly formed media, the process of creation and establishment of the State Service for Crimea, Sevastopol and the state enterprise Crimean House is also possible to influence and control.
The role of the Crimean mass media in exile, which continues to cover all the urgent problems and events of the Crimeans, can be safely noted. Partners of the public were: the Internet magazine “Under Sight” and the news agency “Voice of Crimea” (http://voicecrimea.com.ua). Active participation of activists in the information space, constant coverage of our activities can be seen on the site “Crimea. Realities ”, Center for Journalistic Investigations, participation in the TV programs“ Voice of Crimea ”on the Black Sea Broadcasting Company and“ Social Country ”.
An important achievement is the order of the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine to renew the activity of the All-Ukrainian Information and Cultural Center on the mainland. It is extremely important now to get the Cabinet to renew the financing of the State organization “All-Ukrainian Information and Cultural Center”, now renamed to the Crimean Information and Educational Center, which is in the department of the State Committee for Television and Radio of Ukraine.
It should be noted that contact with the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine was delegated from the representatives of the Crimean mass media in exile to the post of adviser to the Minister of Crimean Sergiy Kostynsky for the purpose of further cooperation in the information space and lobbying of interests for the occupation of the peninsula.
Today, there is an urgent need for civil society consolidation around the support and protection of the rights and freedoms of Crimeans, especially interregional interaction of internally displaced persons through discussions, public hearings and roundtables, conferences on national dialogue and mutual understanding of governmental compliance issues. and decision-making to ensure the rights and freedoms of Crimeans both in the mainland and in the occupied territory of Ukraine.
Speaker: Sergey Kovalsky
May 29, 2015