RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

A visitor enjoys a traveling exhibit “Everyone has a right to know his rights.”
A visitor enjoys a traveling exhibit “Everyone has a right to know his rights.”
USAID Human Rights in Action Program

THE CHALLENGE:

Low public trust and confidence in the Judiciary

Lack of judicial independence

Widespread corruption

Unresolved legacy of human rights abuses

Ongoing armed conflict in the East and occupation of Crimea has increased human rights abuses

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Promote the establishment of an effective, transparent, and independent judiciary.

Aid Ukraine’s efforts to reduce and deter corruption.

Promote and cultivate respect for human rights in Ukraine.

Respond to the armed-conflict affected challenges.

OVERVIEW:

USAID’s support for the rule of law and human rights focuses on increasing judicial independence, accountability, and transparency, as well as promoting and cultivating respect for human rights in line with European standards.

OUR PROGRAMS:

Nove Pravosuddya (New Justice) Program

To ensure continued support for judicial reform in Ukraine, in October 2016 USAID launched the Nove Pravosuddya Program.  Building on the success of previous judicial reform activities, the new program supports Ukraine in implementing constitutional reforms related to the Judiciary adopted in June 2016. Specifically, the program focuses on five key objectives: (1) Strengthening judicial independence and self-governance; (2) Increasing accountability and transparency of the Judiciary; (3) Improving the administration of justice; (4) Raising the quality of legal education to meet the professional requirements of the Judiciary; and (5) Expanding access to justice and protection of human rights by the courts.  The program will engage multiple stakeholders from the Judiciary, Government, Parliament, Civil Society, academia, the bar, independent media, and other actors to achieve these reforms.

Human Rights in Action Program

USAID provides support for the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, an umbrella coalition of 27 human rights organizations, which works to protect, empower, and advocate for human rights defenders, organizations, and citizens whose rights were violated.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

Constitutional Amendments to the Judiciary:

USAID provided technical assistance and support to the Constitutional Commission, the Council on Judicial Reform, the Judiciary and civil society organizations engaged in drafting constitutional amendments that strengthen judicial independence, transparency, accountability and integrity, resulting in amendments that were passed in June 2016 and signed into law in July 2016.

Selection of Supreme Court Judicial Candidates:

The New Justice Program provides technical support to the High Qualifications Commission of Judges (HQC) in preparing and organizing the selection of Supreme Court judicial candidates to ensure competitive, transparent and merit-based processes. It also supports the Public Integrity Council as a body which assists the HQC in assessing whether judicial candidates meet the criteria of professional ethics and integrity.

High Council of Justice Institutionalization:

USAID provided expert recommendations to the Law on the High Council of Justice signed into law in January 2017, which established the new High Council of Justice (HCJ) as the highest judicial governance body. The New Justice Program conducted training for newly-appointed HCJ members, supported the HCJ through the procurement of hardware and software, including the capacity to broadcast its hearings online, as well as the development of the HCJ’s communications strategy and website.

Chernihiv Educational Human Rights House:

USAID assistance enabled Ukraine's first Human Rights House to launch in November 2014.  To date, this fully accessible human rights facility has hosted more than 100 events, including expert meetings, human rights schools, open debate tournament, international conferences, exhibitions, human rights documentary screenings, and strategic planning sessions of human rights NGOs.

Human Rights Monitoring and Documentation:

With the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea’s annexation continuing, the Human Rights in Action Program is training and supporting human rights monitors to investigate and document human rights abuses, file legal cases for victims, and advocate for accountability for human rights and humanitarian norms.  The Program also recently launched the Human Rights Abuse Documentation Center.

Legal Empowerment of the Conflict-Affected Population:

The Human Rights in Action Program supports legal aid centers in Slovyansk, Pokrovsk, Mariupol, Toretsk, Kramatorsk, Dnipro, Sumy, Kyiv, and Kherson, which have, to date, served over 3,500 clients with legal advice.

Last updated: November 14, 2017

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