on creation of the Coalition for Protecting Civil Society in Ukraine
We, representatives of the civil society organizations, human rights activists, civic activists, journalists, lawyers and all active citizens express our deep concern regarding tendencies, which threats civil society in Ukraine and attack on the freedom of assembly and expression.
Civil society as a community of active citizens and voluntarily created civil society organizations plays a key role on the path of democratic development of the country, establishment of the rule of law and ensuring protection of human rights and basic freedoms. The work of civic activists is extremely important in combating authority abuse, controlling the government and facilitating reforms in Ukraine.
Establishing on the legislative level financial control on the anticorruption activists in combination with setting up criminal liability and attempts establishment of further inadequate and disproportional limitations on the activity of all civil assemblies as well as multiple cases of pressure on CSOs and certain activists, including falsified criminal cases and discriminating campaigns against authoritative CSOs, threats and physical attacks on activists, which are not investigated effectively create serious obstacles on the way of all civil society and poses a threat for democratic efforts of Ukraine as e European state.
We call the government immediately take all necessary steps in order to stop different abuses, which contradict international obligations of Ukraine in the sphere of protection of freedom of assemblies and associations as well as protecting human rights activists, journalists and anticorruption activists.
At the time when world celebrates 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Protecting Human Rights Activists, which defines the right of every citizen to protect human rights, Ukrainian government, which supposed and promised to protect human rights and create conditions for its implementation, initiates its violations. Aside from this, government does not react properly on failure to keep the rule of law in Ukraine, which in turn creates impunity in the country.
Understanding the need of joint actions and solidarity in protecting civil society in Ukraine, we announce a creation of the Coalition, which will unite the efforts of the civil society organizations, civic activists, journalists, lawyers and other stakeholders for consolidated contraction both separate threats and attempts of systemic oppression of the civil society and the freedom of assemblies in Ukraine, done by the government.
Coalition for Protecting Civil Society in Ukraine is a non-partisan assembly, which acts on the basis of principles of respect to human rights, non-violence and non-discrimination.
Coalition sets the objectives of its activities as follows:
- Promote human right values and ideas of civil society, spread information on the importance of the work of human right activists, journalists and civil activists, who work to protect community’s interests.
- Conduct monitoring of the cases of oppression of human right activists, journalists and activists; analyze forms of pressure on them and threats to their work including monitoring and analyzing legal framework that worsen the civil sector in Ukraine.
- Develop a system of emergency response measures on cases of oppression and threats of human right activists, journalists and civil activists including, legal, informational and other assistance in case of oppression or harassment.
- Stimulate fast, effective and fair investigation of criminal cases for attacks on human right activists, journalists and civil activists as well making all responsible liable. In addition, take all measures to avoid attacks in future.
- Promote changes to national legislation in a way, which does not complicate or create obstacles for activity of CSOs and individual activists, which in particular conduct anticorruption work.
- Promote educational and legal materials in order to raise the level of security of CSOs in Ukraine (in particular, in informational, accountant, administrative and other spheres of their activity)
- Interhas act with all stakeholders, in particular with international organizations to combat the pressure on human right activists, journalists, anticorruption activists and civil society overall.\
Active participation of individuals, organizations and institutions in protecting human rights, combating corruption and defending community’s interests has crucial role because civil society besides the other helps governments to fulfil their obligations in human right sphere and basic freedoms, combating corruption and protecting democratic principles and rule of law. Ukrainian government must acknowledge importance and legal role of human rights activists and defenders, who work to protect community’s interests and instead of preventing them, facilitate their work and conduct effective investigation all cases of threatening, attacks, bluffing, repressions or any other kinds of harassment.