ODIHR Director Link and Ukraine Human Rights Commissioner Lutkovska sign agreement to enhance co-operation in human dimension
WARSAW, 3 June 2015 - Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Valeriya Lutkovska, Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner, signed an agreement in Warsaw today for greater co-operation between ODIHR and Lutkovska’s office in a broad range of activities in Ukraine, including the promotion of tolerance and gender equality and building greater capacity to monitor the protection and promotion of human rights.
“Our institutions are committed to expanding co-operation in work to support the further development of democratic society, the implementation of the rule of law, and to foster the implementation of Ukraine’s commitments in the human dimension of security,” Director Link said at the signing ceremony.
The memorandum of understanding also calls for the promotion of mechanisms to identify hate crimes and to engage in dialogue with relevant state structures on addressing bias-motivated violence, as well as support for an impact assessment of legislation on human rights and the enhancement of consultation as part of the legislative process in Ukraine.
“Today there is an urgent need in Ukraine to raise awareness among civil society and government stakeholders on how to advocate for human rights-sensitive legislation and policies,” Lutkovska said. “Joint efforts by ODIHR and Ukraine’s Ombuds Office will amplify the impact of efforts to ensure the protection of human rights in Ukraine.”
Today’s signing builds on previous agreements between ODIHR and Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner, including a memorandum of co-operation signed in 2013, and formalizes work by the two institutions on implementing an ODIHR project to build dialogue and co-operation among civil society and government stakeholders.
The “Strengthening Dialogue among Civil Society and with Key Government Stakeholders in Ukraine” project will bring together more than 600 stakeholders from both civil society and the Ukrainian authorities in 2015 alone, to enhance effective mechanisms for dialogue to address key human rights issues in Ukraine, in line with OSCE commitments and international standards.