Newsletter OPEN - No. 19 - 2016

The project «OPEN for young women» is an international program of counseling and support of young people, particularly women and girls, during the search for new opportunities for studying and job placement abroad and, particularly, in Germany. The program aimed at preventing cases of human trafficking and combines partners from Germany, Ukraine and Romania. A new report by the UN Human Rights Office shows that, after two years of conflict, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains volatile and continues to have a severe impact on human rights, especially for those living near the contact line and in territories controlled by armed groups.

According to the latest report on Ukraine by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, some 9,371 people have been killed and 21,532 others injured in eastern Ukraine since the conflict began in mid-April 2014. Over 2.5 million people were displaced, including 1.1 million outside Ukraine. After a period of relative silence following a renewed ceasefire agreement over the Orthodox Easter holiday in the beginning of May, the security situation in the conflict area of eastern Ukraine deteriorated again. Heavy shelling in several areas of Donetska oblast, starting on 28 May, resulted in severe infrastructure damages. According to Luhansk regional authorities, several power lines were damaged in the area, with repairing works ongoing.

Despite the dramatically deteriorating security situation along large parts of the 420 km long ‘contact line’, five crossing points (Zaitseve, Marinka, Novotroitske, Pishchevyk and Stanytsia Luhanska) were fully operational by the end of May. The State Border Guard Service recorded more than 725,000 people crossings during the month, an increase by 8 per cent compared to April. Since the beginning of the year, more than 3 million people and 600,000 vehicles crossed the ‘contact line’. The number of people and vehicles crossing the ‘contact line’ every month exceeds by far the capacity of the existing official checkpoints. The temporary closure of crossing points due to security concerns immediately leads to a massive overflow at the operational crossing points.

According to a UNHCR survey carried out in March, most of the people travel to and from NGCAs in order to maintain family ties (74 per cent) and access markets (65 per cent). Many respondents also claimed to cross the ‘contact line’ to look after property (25 per cent), withdraw cash (22 per cent) and collect pensions (15 per cent). On 8 June, the Government adopted amendments to Resolution 509, cancelling the need for State Migration Service (SMS) to stamp IDP certificates; and transferring IDP registration to local authorities, besides the paragraph about putting the information about place of permanent residence into the IDP certificate was excluded. This is a positive development to which humanitarian partners' continuous advocacy efforts contributed. However, the problem of the suspension of social payments to IDPs remains unresolved.

The adoption of a law creating a State Investigation Bureau was a welcome step towards creating an effective mechanism for investigating abuses by law enforcement officials. Independent and critical media and activists were unable to operate freely in the self-styled People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as in Crimea. Efforts are being made in the country in the development of liberalization and privatization. However, Ukraine continues to be dependent on Russia, especially in terms of energy supply. This results in an increasing cost of living, in spite of the stronger orientation to the European Union. According to experts, the Ukrainian economy is in a very bad state, although the government is taking out new loans.

Social transformation to a neoliberal free market economy entails the loss of numerous social benefits, a process that many citizens cannot comprehend and they perceive the new budget allocation as anti-social. Price increases are making themselves felt everywhere – food prices are increasing, as well as the running costs of subsistence. The economic recession entails a vast number of side effects, such as for instance the impoverishment of the middle class, rising alcohol dependency, beggary and growing delinquency, these phenomena concerning primarily the young people. The social and political uncertainty prevailing in the Ukraine amplifies the pressure to immigrate either legally or illegally as quickly as possible to Western Europe. People are increasingly seeking new paths across Poland to get to Western Europe.

According to IOM’s data 491 victims of human trafficking have received a comprehensive reintegration assistance in 2016. For one of them, country of destination was Germany. In the framework of the project "OPEN for young women" there is an opportunity to call on the National toll-free hotline on prevention domestic violence, trafficking and gender discrimination and get free consultations/

During 2015 National toll-free hotline on prevention domestic violence, trafficking and gender discrimination received 9135 calls. 5.4 % calls of the total number were received from the subscribers who addressed with the issue of combating human trafficking, and safe travelling abroad. During period of January-June 2016 National toll-free hotline on prevention domestic violence, trafficking and gender discrimination has received 16 685 calls, 0.9% of the concerned the issue of combating human trafficking, and safe travelling abroad. The number of calls from subscribers on questions that relate to employment and studying abroad is constantly in creasing. In addition, in the framework of the project "OPEN for young women" there is an opportunity to get in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa face-to-face expert advice on the subject concerned safe travelling abroad.

During the period from June 2015 - May 2016 Consultant in Kiev has provided 497 individual consultations on questions employment abroad (34.61%), studying abroad (29.98%), marriage/divorce with a foreigner (12.47%), emigration abroad (11.07%), private, tourist and other trips (9.05%), general issues of safe behavior abroad (1.61%), illegal taking child abroad (0.8%), problem issues of Ukrainians abroad (0.5%).

During the period from June 2015 - May 2016 Consultant in Kharkiv has provided 116 individual consultations on questions employment abroad, studying abroad etc.

Anna Saienko
Beraterin, Beratungsstelle Kiew
Juristin im Internationalen Frauenrechtszentrum ”La Strada-Ukraine”
P.O. Box 26
Kyiv 113
Ukraine 03113
Tel./Fax +380 442 053 695
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Website von La Strada: www.la-strada.org.ua

Tamás Gergely
Projektkoordinator
Stiftung Lampas, Oradea
Telefonnummer: (004) 0741682619
E-mails:
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Calea Clujului 63, Oradea, 410060
www.lampas.ro