UKRAINE: Children's Rights in the Universal Periodic Review (Second Cycle)

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholders' Information'. Also included is the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

 Ukraine – 14th Session – 2012
Wednesday 24th October 2012 - 9.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m

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National Report
Compilation of UN information
Summary of Stakeholder information
Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

(Read about the first cycle review)

National Report

6. Under article 9 of the Constitution, international treaties that are in force and have been accepted as binding by the Verkhovna Rada form part of the country’s law. In this regard, it should be noted that in the past four years Ukraine has ratified, among other international instruments:

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto

The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

The European Convention on the Adoption of Children (Revised)

The Second Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

The Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health

24. A strong corpus of laws and regulations has been developed in Ukraine to combat, prevent and overcome violence against children. Between 2009 and 2011, amendments were made to domestic legislation in order to enhance the State system of protection for children’s rights, notably amendments to the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure related to the use of children for begging and amendments to certain legislative acts providing for action against the dissemination of child pornography, the establishment of a list of measures to combat trafficking in children, the raising of the level of protection afforded children in Ukraine and the improvement of the work of the law enforcement agencies in that regard.

25. To ensure that the comprehensive system of protection for children’s rights functions optimally, and in keeping with the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 2009 a National Plan of Action to Implement the Convention for the Period up to 2016 was approved. The Plan also takes account of the Millennium Development Goals and the outcome document of the special session of the General Assembly on children “A world fit for children”.

26. Furthermore, with a view to establishing an enabling environment for the realization of the rights and lawful interests of children and addressing pressing tasks in that regard, in August 2011 the post of Children’s Ombudsman was established under the authority of the President. The Children’s Ombudsman ensures that the President exercises his constitutional powers with respect to the observance of children’s rights as set forth in the Constitution and that Ukraine fulfils its international obligations in that area. It should be noted that the Children’s Ombudsman is not a fully autonomous children’s rights institution in the sense of United Nations international standards. The Constitution does not, however, provide for the establishment of specialized bodies in addition to those already envisaged in its provisions. Nevertheless, the Ombudsman of Ukraine, who, in accordance with the Act on the Parliamentary Human Rights Commissioner, exercises parliamentary oversight over the observance of children’s rights under the Constitution, has appointed a delegate with responsibility for issues relating to the rights of children.

27. Under the Constitution, general secondary education is compulsory until graduation. To ensure the fulfilment of this requirement, Ukraine has 19,800 general education establishments of all types and under all forms of ownership and administration with more than 4.29 million students, including 13,000 institutions in rural areas with 1.36 million students. As at 1 September 2011, 41,975 children aged from 6 to 18 years were not receiving full secondary education (i.e. were not attending general education establishments), including 10,472 (25.0 per cent) on health grounds and 13,200 (31.4 per cent) for other reasons. In addition, 414 individuals (1.0 per cent) were undertaking apprenticeships not leading to secondary school graduation, while 17,889 were studying at special remedial institutions for children with intellectual impairments (42.6 per cent).

28. The most acute problem at present is the cutting of the number of schools. This is due to a 40 per cent fall in pupil numbers over the past 20 years, attributable to the declining birth rate; there are now 7 per cent fewer schools. Coordinating councils have been set up in every region to devise plans for streamlining the network of general education establishments. Work is being completed on the development and adjustment of such plans. Of course, the process is inevitably painful. To mitigate the effects, outreach work is being undertaken among teachers’ and parents’ groups and school buses are being purchased to transport students and teachers living beyond walking distance from schools.

29. Amendments to education legislation in 2010 ensured that the necessary legal framework was in place for the further development of the education system, first and foremost through the introduction of integrated and inclusive education for children with special needs.

30. In accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, domestic education legislation, the relevant presidential decree, and laws and regulations issued by the Cabinet of Ministers, a comprehensive initiative is being implemented to improve the network of residential general education schools of various types. As part of the efforts to extend the integration process and entrench inclusive education, in the 2011/12 school year alone the number of special residential general education schools for children with special educational needs was reduced by seven.

31. With a view to the comprehensive rehabilitation, including social rehabilitation, of children with special educational needs (hearing, visual or locomotor impairments, mental retardation or severe speech impairments), a remedial-developmental module has been introduced in the curricula of special general education establishments. The remedial focus of vocational education ensures the practical application by students with special needs of the knowledge, skills and know-how imparted, the all-around development of students and the appropriateness of the vocational guidance provided, taking into account students’ psychophysical developmental characteristics and the recommendations of their doctors.

32. A comprehensive professional socialization programme has been developed for students with special educational needs during their vocational training at special residential general education schools under contracts concluded with vocational and technical training institutes and organizations offering work experience outside the schools.

33. In primary schools, elements of human rights education are being integrated in subjects of the mandatory core curriculum. Thus, it is planned to provide teaching on human rights, notably the rights of the child, by including the topic in the “Ukraine and me” course in grades 1 to 3. The elective course “Rights of the child” is recommended for primary schools. A module of the “Ethics” course for children in grade 6, which elucidates basic concepts of morality and ethics in a democratic society, is devoted to the rights of the child. In grades 9 and 10, students are required to take the “Legal studies” and “Practical legal studies” courses, which incorporate the study of human rights. In senior specialized schools, the “Human rights” course is recommended.

34. In the light of the international obligations Ukraine has assumed to afford children special care and assistance, first and foremost children who are in conflict with the law, in 2011 an outline plan for the development of the juvenile justice system in Ukraine was approved; it is intended to implement the plan progressively between 2011 and 2016.

35. One of the main tasks set out in the plan is to ensure effective justice for juvenile offenders (during the conduct of initial inquiries, pretrial investigations and court proceedings), taking into account their age and sociopsychological, psychophysical and other developmental characteristics. To this end, it is planned to provide training to law enforcement officers, judges, procurators, lawyers and staff of agencies of tutorship or guardianship on the conduct of initial inquiries, pretrial investigations and court proceedings involving juveniles and to have judges specialize in hearing juvenile cases.

36. Under the plan, the powers of children’s agencies and services will be extended and new institutions for children (a probation service to provide support to juveniles serving sentences and social rehabilitation centres for juvenile offenders) will be established. Such institutions will form a single, integrated juvenile justice system.

37. Great emphasis is placed in efforts to develop the criminal justice system on preventing juvenile crime and reintegrating juvenile offenders in society. To enable sociopsychological and educational activities to be conducted for juveniles held in remand centres, classrooms have been set up, along with training and advisory units, and 31 psychological and emotional decompression rooms are in operation. At the beginning of the 2011/12 school year, 760 juveniles were receiving training in units established in remand centres. The average coverage rate of such units stood at about 100 per cent.

38. In order to remove the factors in children’s environment that may give rise to crime, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as part of its preventive efforts, is identifying and prosecuting adults who involve children in antisocial activity; initiatives are under way with retailers to prevent sales of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to children; and educational and preventive work is being conducted with families in which the parents or guardians are failing to fulfil their duty under the law to create appropriate conditions for the life, education and upbringing of children or have committed acts of child cruelty or violence against children.

44. The Act on Children’s Agencies and Services and Specialized Institutions for Children provides for the functioning of refuges, children’s services, sociopsychological rehabilitation centres for children and social rehabilitation centres (children’s villages) for 3- to 18-year-olds who are in difficulty, including child victims of various forms of violence. The main tasks of these institutions are to provide the children concerned with comprehensive social, educational, medical, legal and other types of assistance and to create an environment in which they can lead a normal life. The refuges have sociopsychological rehabilitation departments staffed by specialists who ensure children’s all-around rehabilitation and prepare them to return to their birth families or to be placed in new families. As at 1 January 2012, there were 67 children’s refuges, children’s services and 51 sociopsychological rehabilitation centres for children.

45. The ratification by Ukraine in 2010 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, of 2005, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, was an important step forward in efforts to prevent trafficking in persons and protect victims. These instruments have in turn provided a framework for the implementation of State policy and the adoption of comprehensive, and significantly enhanced, measures in this area, as well as new legislation.

46. The Combating Trafficking in Persons Act, which provides for the protection of victims of trafficking, including children, was adopted in 2011. The Act defines special principles for combating and preventing trafficking in children, provides for assistance to trafficked children and establishes the following types of monitoring: parliamentary and governmental monitoring (within the limits of the powers of the respective bodies) and public monitoring (pursuant to the laws in this area). The Procurator-General and the procurators reporting to him are responsible for overseeing the observance and enforcement of laws to combat trafficking in persons.

50. Between 2007 and 2010, the Ministry for Family, Youth and Sport, in cooperation with international organizations such as the office of the Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe (OSCE) Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, the Ukraine office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the La Strada-Ukraine international women’s rights centre, conducted, at national level, a number of training activities on combating trafficking in persons, including:

28 seminars on the coordination of the activities of regional government bodies in combating trafficking in persons and on specific features of preventive and reintegration work

263 training sessions on combating trafficking in persons for civil servants, trainers, psychologists, neighbourhood militia officers, staff of procurator’s offices, lawyers and jurists, representatives of non-governmental organizations and members of the media

19 round tables devoted to child safety online, Government measures to combat trafficking in children and eradicate child labour, analysis of labour migration policy, domestic legislation and international standards, and practice in other countries

7 international seminars on combating trafficking in persons

Training sessions for 114 diplomatic staff

51. The training, retraining and advanced training programmes for teaching staff of postgraduate teacher training institutes and staff of the State employment service now include a special course of lectures on preventing trafficking in persons and child slavery and a course on issues relating to labour migration and combating trafficking in persons.

69. There is a particular focus on penal enforcement in the case of convicted women. As a result of efforts to improve judicial practice with respect to the imposition of non- custodial sentences, the number of convicted women in penal institutions has declined. In September 2010, a nursery was opened at correctional colony No. 44 in Chernihiv as part of a joint Ukrainian-Swiss project to support penal reform in Ukraine. The opening of the facility has allowed Ukraine to meet the requirement, stipulated by the European Court of Human Rights, for convicted women to be held with their children aged up to 3 years; this helps to strengthen the stability and continuity of family ties and enhances the quality of the contact between mother and child.

96. As a result of this increase, a network of temporary placement centres for refugees must be developed. Currently, there are two such facilities in the country: one with 200 places, in Odesa, and another for 130 people, in Zakarpattia province (in the towns of Mukacheve and Perechyn). The spaces available are insufficient to meet the demand for temporary housing from all asylum applicants and refugees. The facilities now take in those in greatest need of protection, such as large families with young children, single women and unaccompanied minors; accommodation and food are provided using Government funding. The State Migration Service is taking steps to refurbish and begin operation of a similar centre, with 250 places, in the town of Yahotyn, in Kyiv province.

125. In June 2012, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Act on the Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse; the Act has now been sent to the President for signature. Implementation of this Convention will make it possible to establish penalties for crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children and to deal with the procedural specificities encountered in investigating such cases, which involve participation by child witnesses and victims. It will prevent the commission of illegal acts against children by persons who work in constant contact with them.

Compilation of UN information

13. UNICEF reported that children with HIV or disabilities were at high risk of abandonment, social stigma and discrimination. Most HIV-infected children were not allowed to attend kindergartens or schools, were treated negligently, and were kept isolated from other children. CRC urged Ukraine to ensure that all children enjoy their rights without discrimination on any ground.

14. CRC was concerned about the significant number of allegations of ill-treatment of detainees and at the alleged cases of torture and ill-treatment of juveniles by Militsia officers and of migrant children in the custody of the State Border Guard Services. Similarly, WG highlighted the reports of torture by the Militsia to extract confessions. CAT reiterated its recommendation that Ukraine ensure that all detained suspects are afforded, in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards against torture and ill-treatment. WG recommended that Ukraine ensure a policy of zero-tolerance of torture and that any related allegation is promptly and properly investigated. CRC made similar recommendations.

21. Noting with concern an increase in abuse and neglect of children in all settings, CRC urged Ukraine to step up its efforts to prevent and combat all forms of abuse and neglect of children, adopt preventive measures and provide protection and services for their recovery.

22. CRC reiterated its concern that Ukraine has not incorporated a clear prohibition of child prostitution in legislation. It was concerned about the increase of sexual abuse, exploitation and involvement of children in prostitution and pornography; the high number of internet users of child pornography and small number of criminal cases initiated in this respect. It urged the Government to harmonize national legislation with OP-CRC-SC; prevent and combat such offences; strengthen the capacity of social workers and law enforcement agencies to detect and investigate such cases; and increase the number of rehabilitation centres specializing in assistance for child victims.

23. Expressing concern about the widespread use of corporal punishment, CRC urged Ukraine to end all forms of corporal punishment in the home and other settings by implementing the existing legislative prohibition.

24. CRC expressed concern about the large number of children below the age of 15 working in the informal and illegal economy and the number of children working in mines. CRC urged Ukraine to eliminate exploitative child labour, in particular in the informal sector and ensure effective enforcement of applicable sanctions against persons violating legislation on child labour.

25. CRC was concerned at the large number of children in street situations and their vulnerability to health-related risks, including in relation to substance and drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, sexual exploitation, forced labour and police violence. It recommended that Ukraine develop a national strategy for the prevention of, support for and social reintegration of such children and increase the number and quality of shelters and psychosocial rehabilitation centres for children in street situations.

26. In 2010, the ILO Committee of Experts noted that trafficked children were between 13 and 18 years of age. Considering the seriousness of the problem regarding trafficking in children, within and outside Ukraine, the ILO Committee of Experts requested Ukraine to redouble its efforts to combat the trafficking of children, for sexual and labour exploitation, including begging.

27. CRC remained concerned that Ukraine continued to be a large source country for human trafficking. UNCT noted that victim assistance was fully reliant upon international funding. CEDAW called upon Ukraine to address the root causes of trafficking, establish additional shelters for rehabilitation and social integration of victims and ensure systematic investigation, prosecution and punishment of traffickers. CRC also recommended that Ukraine seek technical assistance from UNICEF, IOM and other partners.

31. WG observed that no separate juvenile justice system existed. UNICEF and UNCT made similar observations. CRC was concerned about the slow pace of reform in the juvenile justice system, the risk of retrogression towards a punitive approach regarding children in conflict with the law, the high percentage of juveniles sentenced to imprisonment and long prison sentences for children aged 16-17 years, and the poor level of services and support for their social reintegration. CRC urged the Government to put in place a juvenile justice system; ensure a restorative juvenile justice system promoting alternative measures to deprivation of liberty and strengthen the social support services. WG made similar recommendations.

33. CEDAW was concerned about disparities in the minimum age of marriage for boys and girls (18 and 17 respectively). It called upon Ukraine to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 for girls. CRC recommended that Ukraine increase the exceptional minimum age of marriage to 16 with a clear definition of exceptional circumstances and establish a legal minimum age for sexual consent.

34. CRC urged Ukraine to ensure that free and compulsory birth registration of all children is effectively made available, regardless of ethnicity and social background. CRC recommended that Ukraine amend legislation to guarantee the right of the child to a nationality and not to be deprived of it on any ground and regardless of the status of his/her parents.

35. CRC was concerned at the large numbers of children deprived of their family environment and at the lack of sufficient State services to protect and assist families with children. It was also concerned that the Family Code condones the abandonment of children born with disabilities. CRC was also concerned about children deprived of their family environment due to poverty, unemployment, breakdown of families and labour migration and at the large number of children in residential care. UNICEF reported that the child care system did not adequately address the prevention of abandonment, or the reintegration of children with their biological families. UNICEF noted the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Children in 2009 and an increasing number of alternative care options. However, a structural reform to build a system which discourages institutionalization of children is yet to take place, noted UNICEF. CRC urged Ukraine to strengthen its deinstitutionalization policy and expand the placement of children in extended and foster families and other family-type placements.

41. CRC was concerned that the highest incidence of poverty was registered among families with many children or children under the age of three. UNICEF made similar observations. CRC recommended that Ukraine ensure that poverty reduction reforms focus on social assistance and benefit to low-income families and on child protection. It urged Ukraine to address poverty in families with children in the Poverty Reduction and Prevention Programme.

44. CRC was concerned that infant, child and maternal mortality remained high. UNICEF made similar observations. CRC was concerned about the deterioration in adolescent health, the increase in certain sexually transmitted diseases and the high number of teenage abortions. CRC was also concerned at increasing drug injection among children and early initiation age of tobacco and alcohol use. It recommended that Ukraine develop specialized youth-friendly drug-dependence treatment and harm-reduction services, ensure that criminal laws do not impede access to such services and address root causes of substance use and abuse among children and youth.

45. CRC was alarmed at the high rates of HIV infections and AIDS-induced deaths among children and the high proportion of mother-to-child transmissions. It was also concerned at the lack of access to care and support services for children living with HIV/AIDS. UNICEF made similar observations. CRC recommended that Ukraine effectively implement the national plan and strategy for HIV prevention among children and youth by allocating adequate public funding and resources to these programmes.

46. UNCT reported that Ukraine had made progress with one MDG target for HIV/AIDS, namely the reduction of the mother-to-child transmission rate of HIV. However, it expressed the view that other MDG targets related to HIV/AIDS were not likely to be met by 2015. While noting improvement in the national response to HIV, WHO stated that antiretroviral treatment coverage remained low and access to HIV services for injecting drug users (IDUs) was limited. WHO stated that high health care costs, health system inefficiencies and medical supply shortages constituted the greatest challenges in ensuring access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.

48. CRC was concerned at the reduction in educational facilities, which limited access to education for children in rural areas, Roma children and children with disabilities and at the decrease in the number of preschools. CRC reiterated its concern over the inadequate funding of the public education system, the low salaries of teachers and the poor quality of the educational infrastructure. CRC recommended that Ukraine ensure adequate funding for the public education system; improve availability, accessibility and the quality of general education in rural areas; and seek assistance from UNICEF and UNESCO.

49. While noting compulsory human rights education at the ninth grade level, CRC was concerned that human rights and intercultural understanding and tolerance did not feature among the fundamental principles of education in the State party. CRC urged Ukraine to develop a national plan of action for human rights education.

51. CRC was concerned at the inadequacy of educational, social and health services for children with disabilities. It regretted that the obstacles remained in ensuring equal access to education for children with intellectual disabilities and that many children with disabilities were placed in institutions. CRC recommended that Ukraine develop a comprehensive policy for the protection of the rights of children with disabilities and their equal access to educational, social and other services in their own family and community environment and introduce inclusive education to promote the social integration of children with disabilities.

54. CRC was concerned at the obstacles that Roma and Crimean Tatar children faced in accessing education, health care and other social services. CERD was concerned at the limited availability of educational materials for education in, and on, Roma language and culture and by reports of the enrolment of Roma children in special classes. It recommended that Ukraine provide education to Roma children, and on Roma language and culture.

63. CRC was concerned at restrictions in access to the asylum procedure of unaccompanied and undocumented asylum-seeking children and the detention of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and deportations. Similarly, UNHCR reported that the authorities frequently failed to appoint legal representatives for unaccompanied children and thus the children could not access the asylum procedure. CRC recommended that Ukraine ensure that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are promptly appointed a legal representative to access the asylum procedure, assistance and protection and that no asylum-seeking or refugee child is deprived of liberty. CRC and CERD recommended that Ukraine ensure the birth registration and issuance of birth certificates to children of asylum seekers born in Ukraine.

Summary of stakeholders' information

05. UPCHR stated that poverty remained a serious problem and that families with children and the rural population remained the most effected groups.

06. Noting the ratification of CRPD, UPCHR reported that the National Action Plan for Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities has not been yet adopted and that no independent structure for the promotion and monitoring of the Convention was established as required by article 33 of CRPD. UPCHR stated that many buildings of government agencies, cultural and educational institutions, and courts did not ensure access for persons with disabilities.

19. HRF highlighted the lack of explicit legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Furthermore, as CLGBT noted, some laws contained discriminatory provisions against LGBT persons. HRF and CLGBT pointed to intolerance towards LGBT persons in society. JS2 referred to reports indicating that LGBT persons experienced direct and indirect discrimination in employment, access to services, education, housing, health care and access to justice. JS2 also pointed to reported high incidence of bias-motivated crimes directed at LGBT individuals and organisations. Insight reported that politicians chose to use homophobia as part of their election platforms in 2010 and 2012.

24. WFUWO stated that Ukraine is a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking. JS1 and JS6 noted the delay in the adoption of legal acts for the implementation of the 2011 Law on Combating Human Trafficking. The Law, as JS1 noted, did not provide guarantees for compensation to trafficking victims. No state funding was allocated to assist trafficking victims and no shelter for the rehabilitation of those victims was established. JS1 and JS6 indicated that assistance to the trafficking vicitims was mainly granted by international and non-governmental organizations. European Union Border Assistance Mission in Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) reported that training of border guard services did not cover human trafficking despite the fact that border guards were assigned to fight organized crime, including human trafficking.

25. JS12 pointed to the lack of mechanisms for the prevention of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of children and for their rehabilitation and reintegration. The only rehabilitation centre for girls functioned in Odessa with the financial support of NGOs and donors.

26. JS12 stated that legislation did not define the term child prostitution. ECPAT International (ECPAT) indicated that legislation did not fully recognise criminal immunity of child victims of prostitution and included administrative responsibility for children between 16 and 18 years of age engaged in prostitution. Using sexual services of a child over 16 years old or of a child who reached sexual maturity was not considered as a crime under legislation. CoE and JS12 made similar observations. ECPAT recommended that Ukraine introduce a clear definition of child prostitution into legislation and revoke legal responsibility of children engaging in prostitution.

27. ECPAT stated that a rehabilitation and reintegration system for child-victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation was not developed as required by the National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on Child Rights. ECPAT recommended that Ukraine ensure specific services for child- victims of sexual exploitation, such as shelters and psychological assistance and financially assist NGOs that provide such services, and establish specialised rehabilitation programmes for children involved in the pornography and in prostitution. ECPAT recommended the criminalisation of the possession of child pornography and the act of knowingly obtaining access to it.

35. JS12 stated that in an absence of a juvenile justice system children stayed in detention places for months, awaiting a trial that causes interruption in their studies. CoE- Commissioner encouraged Ukraine to pursue its efforts towards reform in juvenile justice, recalling that in cases involving juveniles, deprivation of liberty should be imposed only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time.

36. JS6 noted that legislation, which guarantees financial assistance to single mothers and early retirement to women bringing up a child with disabilities did not provide similar entitlements to men. JS6 stated that such provisions should be extended to provide men with equal opportunities in combining family duties with work.

37. JS12 noted an increase in the number of children placed in institutions and a decrease in the number of adoptions owing to various obstacles created in adoption process. The placement of children from poor families in institutions increased, which gave raise to so called ‘social orphans’.

38. Insight reported that legislation did not provide rights to LGBT people to register their partnership, to marry or to adopt children. CLGBT explained that same-sex couples were deprived of any form of legal recognition and of any rights as a family even if they cohabit and de facto constitute a family. Same-sex couples were not allowed to jointly adopt children and legislation did not recognise any parental or custodial rights and obligations for a partner in a same-sex couple in relation to the child of the other partner. Insight concluded that the lack of legal recognition of diverse forms of families resulted in discrimination in a number of areas of life.

55. HRI and JS7 reported that the proportion of young injecting drug users was growing and referred to their limited access to harm reduction and drug dependence treatment services that were designed primarily for adult opiate users and failed to take into account the dynamics and specificities of drug use among younger people. JS4 recommended that Ukraine implement the recommendations made by the CRC to set up specialised services for children and young people addicted to drugs and amend legislation that criminalise children for possession of drugs for personal use.

56. M‘ART Youth Alternative (M‘ART) expressed concern about the process of so-called “optimization”‖ in general educational institutions leading to the closure of significant number of schools, which had an aggravating impact on children from rural areas. Downsizing schools with small number of children took place on the basis of local authorities‘decisions with no prior comprehensive assessment. M‘ART also referred to cases when the decisions on liquidation and reorganization of schools were made with a violation of the legislation.

57. M‘ART stated that Ukraine did not adopt a national plan of action for human rights education. At the level of the secondary education, human rights were taught only as a component of legal courses that included limited teaching of human rights-related topics. Similarly, at the higher education level, political and legal studies and philosophy have some chapters on human rights. M‘ART also indicated the lack of specialists who were trained to teach human rights.

58. M‘ART stated that the education policy does not comply with the principles of inclusive education and that the Government set up specialized inclusive classes instead of ensuring integration of children with disabilities into the general schools. Children with mental disabilities and serious physical restrictions were deprived of any access to education. Joint Submission by the Coalition of the Organizations of People with Disabilities (UCOPD) made similar observations. JS5 recommended that Ukraine develop state funded inclusive education system.

60. UCOPD recommended that Ukraine: review legislation and programs to bring it in line with CRPD; ensure the provision of community-based services for children with disabilities, protect people with disabilities from discrimination in employment and ensure effective implementation of the requirement of a 4 percent quota for people with disabilities in public and private companies and institutions; ensure the provision of individual technical rehabilitation and transportation equipment for people with disabilities; amend the legislation to ensure the right to vote to persons with disabilities and ensure physical accessibility of the polling centers.

61. UNPO recommended that Ukraine formally recognize the Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people. UNPO stated that the preservation of the Crimean Tatar language remained a serious issue. Official documents were not translated into Crimean Tatar, which is one of the official languages in the Crimea. Education in the Crimean Tatar language remained limited. UNPO reported that the Government supported local media in Crimean Tatar, including two state-funded newspapers, however, the situation worsened for the past two years because of irregular state funding.

63. CoE-CoM stated that the Roma faced social and economic difficulties. JS11 stated that many Roma communities lived in extreme poverty, with little or no access to basic social services. JS11 referred to the research findings indicating that members of the Roma had problems in accessing quality education, housing, healthcare, and employment in Odessa oblast. Lack of access to personal documents also remained a problem, which negatively affected the enjoyment of rights by members of the Roma. Roma children were put in segregated schools or sent to special schools for children with mental disabilities. The distance between Roma settlements and schools and cost of education were also obstacles for the Roma children ‗access to education. Members of the Roma often lived in inadequate housing conditions without heating, water, electricity and sewage in Odessa oblast. JS11 highlighted that members of the Roma faced those problems also in other regions of Ukraine. JS11 stated that no comprehensive policy to address the disadvantaged situation of the Roma was adopted and the Government‘s measures were not sufficient to address their problems. JS11 recommended that Ukraine: ensure that the Roma children are enrolled in mainstream schools; develop programmes to relocate segregated Roma communities into integrated areas, resolve the status of informal settlements and housing and provide water, electricity and other necessary infrastructure in Roma settlements.

64. CoE recommended that Ukraine improve the legislative framework pertaining to minority issues, in particular in the field of education and media to bring it in line with international norms. It also recommended that Ukraine: improve the social and economic situation of persons belonging to disadvantaged minorities, particularly the Roma and the Crimean Tatars and promote equal opportunities for access to education at all levels for persons belonging to national minorities and provide quality textbooks and qualified teachers for minority language education. Furthermore, CoE recommended that Ukraine create conditions to facilitate wider participation of persons belonging to national minorities in elected bodies.

67. AI recommended that Ukraine amend legislation to provide complementary protection in the context of international or internal armed conflict; abide by its international obligations not to send individuals to countries where they face a real risk of grave human rights abuses, including torture or other ill-treatment; provide full and fair refugee determination procedures by ensuring that SMS are fully functional and able to accept applications, that asylum-seekers are provided with interpretation, and that no asylum-seeker is detained for having entered the country illegally. JS12 recommended that Ukraine establish the procedure for assessing the age of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

No recommendations were accepted or rejected.

The following recommendations are pending:

P - 97.5. Consider an early ratification of the third Optional Protocol to CRC on a communication procedure (Slovakia);

P - 97.12. Take further measures and accede to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Ireland);

P - 97.22. Consider bringing national legislation relating to trafficking in and sale of children in line with the Optional Protocol to the CRC, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Slovenia);

P - 97.29. Enact legislation which clearly prohibits child prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, consistently with the international obligations undertaken by the country, bearing in mind that the Lanzarote Convention will enter into force as regards Ukraine on 1 December 2012 (Italy);

P - 97.39. Ensure effective implementation of the National Plan of Action for children (2010-2016) (Republic of Moldova);

P - 97.40. Take effective measures to implement the National Plan of Action for children (2010-2016) and allocate sufficient funding for implementation (Iran (Islamic Republic of));

P - 97.41. Efficiently implement recently ratified international conventions, especially in the field of child rights (Kazakhstan);

P - 97.76. Continue to strengthen provisions to address domestic violence, and programmes to reinforce mechanisms for the protection of women and children (Chile);

P - 97.81. Step up the national efforts in the field of trafficking in persons through a victim-oriented approach that attaches special focus on the protection of children from abuse and sexual exploitation (Egypt);

P - 97.83. Redouble its efforts in regard to combating trafficking in persons, particularly in combating the trafficking of children for sexual and labour exploitation, including through addressing the root causes of trafficking, establishing additional shelters for rehabilitation and social integration of victims and ensuring systematic investigation, prosecution and punishment of traffickers (Indonesia);

P - 97.85. Continue its efforts aimed at fighting trafficking in persons, particularly children and women, and at ensuring compensation and rehabilitation for trafficking victims (Algeria);

P - 97.86. Introduce a clear definition of child pornography into national legislation (Portugal);

P - 97.87. Take note of the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in the National Plan for the application of the CRC until 2016 (Nicaragua);

P - 97.115. Consider stepping up efforts towards reform in juvenile justice (Slovenia);

P - 97.116. Strengthen and advance its efforts for establishing a juvenile justice system and promote alternative measures to deprivation of liberty for juvenile offenders (Austria);

P - 97.125. Review its legislation to ensure the right of all boys and girls to have a nationality and ensure birth registration, regardless of their ethnic origin or their parents' status (Mexico);

P - 97.126. Ensure adequate funding for the public education system and improve the availability, accessibility and quality of general education in rural areas (Iran (Islamic Republic of));

P - 97.127. Strengthen efforts in mitigating the effects caused by the decline in schools in recent years to ensure that the children’s schooling cycle is not left vulnerable (Sri Lanka);

P - 97.133. Ensure implementation of legislation and other measures protecting the rights of persons with disabilities by, inter alia, allocating adequate funding for projects aiming at establishing a barrier-free living environment, and guaranteeing for children with disabilities equal access to education in mainstream schools (Finland);

P - 97.134. Adopt a national programme for implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Iran (Islamic Republic of));

P - 97.137. Take further steps to promote education in the languages of the national minorities, including in the areas where the number of students may be decreasing (Romania);

P - 97.138. Further ensure, in a sustainable way, the education in minority languages (Republic of Moldova);

P - 97.139. Further improve the situation pertaining to minority issues, especially in the social and economic fields for the disadvantaged groups, and promote equal opportunities for them to have access to education and other related sectors at all levels (Cambodia);




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