Human rights activists call for social protection of civilians affected in Donbas
Human rights activists have stressed the need for legislative regulation of the rights of all civilians affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The head of the board of the Luhansk regional human rights center "Alternative," Valeriy Novikov, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday that servicemen injured as a result of hostilities in Donbas were very carefully counted, but civilians are not taken into account.
"Many who were in captivity and were illegally detained by illegal armed groups have injuries and disabilities. They need help from the state in regulating their status. Today it can be said that at the legislative level the status of civilians affected by the conflict is not regulated. There is no law on compensation or social protection for such people," he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday.
At the same time, he noted that in some cases, civilian casualties are paid one-time assistance, "but after leaving hospitals, people remain alone with their problems, and often it is hard for such people to find a new job."
"Disability as a result of injury is registered only for military personnel, and they write 'general trauma' to civilians. This is humiliation. I would like to remind you that the PACE adopted a resolution in which it recommended that the Ukrainian authorities develop a mechanism of compensation for civilians who were injured or lost relatives as a result of hostilities," he said.
In turn, the head of the board of the Civil Committee for the Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens, Mykola Kozyrev, said that the Social Policy Ministry had already drafted a bill to protect those affected by the fighting.
"But this document does not take into account those who were held captive, so we plan to develop a correct document that will take into account the interests of all people affected by the conflict, and we will try to submit it to parliament," he said.
He added that two lawsuits had been filed with Kyiv courts for assistance from the state.
"One of the lawsuits is to protect the interests of a civilian who 'was kept in the basement' in Luhansk, where he spent six months… The second lawsuit concerns two people wounded in a landmine explosion. Article 20 of the law on combating terrorism provides for compensation for the harm caused by a terrorist attack," Kozyrev said.
Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Yevhen Zakharov noted that the group considered it necessary to compile an accurate list of civilians affected by the conflict in Donbas.
According to him, about 2,500 civilians have been killed, 11,000 wounded, and 1,500 missing in Donbas since 2014. About 5,000 houses have been destroyed as a result of hostilities.