Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Ukraine on the
implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/4/Add.2) at its 40th and 41st meetings
(E/C.12/2001/SR.40 and 41), held on 20 August 2001, and adopted,
at its 54th meeting (E/C.12/2001/SR.54), held on 29 August 2001,
the following concluding observations.
Committee welcomes the submission of the report of the State party
as well as its written replies to the list of issues (E/C.12/Q/UKR/2).
The Committee appreciates the frank dialogue that took place and
the delegation's efforts to address the questions raised during
B. Positive aspects
Committee notes with satisfaction the recent enactment of legislation
relating to the protection of human rights, including the Law on
Refugees, the Law on Immigration, the Law on Citizenship and the
Committee welcomes the national plan of action to improve the situation
of women and enhance their role in society.
Committee welcomes the establishment of the office of the Authorized
Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council),
which has considered many complaints in relation to economic, social
and cultural rights.
Committee further welcomes the State party's willingness, as expressed
by the delegation during the dialogue, to cooperate with United
Nations specialized agencies and other international organizations
in such areas as poverty reduction, gender equality, integration
of the Crimean Tatars, women and children's health, the review of
human rights legislation, support for the Authorized Human Rights
Representative of the Verkhovna Rada, and the trafficking of persons.
Committee welcomes the establishment by the State party of a fund
for social insurance.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Covenant
Committee notes that the State party's transition to a market economy
has had a negative impact on the implementation of the rights contained
in the Covenant.
D. Principal subjects of concern
Committee is concerned about the high level of poverty in the country
and the inadequate measures taken by the State party to combat it.
This is exacerbated by, among other things, the privatization policies
that the State party has implemented, high unemployment, the low
level of pensions and wages, a legal minimum wage which is below
the recognized subsistence level, and the scarcity of adequate housing.
Committee continues to express concern at the situation of women
in society and the insufficient measures taken by the State party
to eliminate discrimination against them. Most low-paid workers
and 80 per cent of the unemployed are women. They are also frequently
victims of violence in the family and of sexual harassment in the
Committee is concerned at the large-scale trafficking and commercial
sexual exploitation of women and children.
Committee notes with concern de facto discrimination against ethnic
minorities, such as the Crimean Tatars and Roma, and harassment
of foreigners of African origin by law enforcement officials.
Committee is concerned about the large number of children, especially
newborns and children with disabilities, who are abandoned or are
otherwise deprived of a family environment, and regrets the absence
of an effective strategy to address this phenomenon.
Committee expresses its concern about the scale of the arrears in
the payment of wages and pensions, depriving the people concerned
of the means for survival.
Committee notes with deep concern the high number of accidents owing
to inadequate health and safety standards in the workplace and obsolete
industrial equipment, particularly in the mining sector, as well
as the insufficient efforts of the State party to enforce the existing
Committee is concerned about restrictions on trade union freedoms,
including the right of everyone to join a trade union of his/her
choice, as well as acts of intimidation by local authorities against
independent trade unions and their leaders.
Committee notes with concern that the budgets allocated for education
and scientific research have fallen sharply, leading to a deterioration
in the quality of education. The Committee is particularly concerned
about obsolete teaching materials and equipment in schools and colleges,
and the low levels of remuneration for teachers.
Committee is concerned at the deterioration in the health of the
most vulnerable groups, especially women and children, and in the
quality of health services. The Committee notes with concern the
rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and
the spread of HIV/AIDS. It is also concerned about the high incidence
of alcohol abuse and tobacco use, especially among persons under
E. Suggestions and recommendations
Committee recommends that the State party evaluate the economic
reform policies with respect to their impact on poverty, and make
efforts to adjust its programmes in a manner consistent with safeguarding
the economic, social and cultural rights of the most vulnerable
segments of society. In this regard, it draws the attention of the
State party to the Committee's statement on poverty adopted on 4
Committee recommends that the State party take into account its
obligations under the Covenant in all aspects of its negotiations
with international financial institutions, thus ensuring that economic,
social and cultural rights, particularly of the most vulnerable
groups, are duly protected.
welcoming the delegation's confirmation of the State party's intention
to prepare a human rights plan of action with the assistance of
the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee
recommends that the State party elaborate, through an open and consultative
process, a comprehensive national plan of action aimed at implementing
its obligations under international human rights instruments, including
the Covenant. The Committee requests the State party to annex a
copy of the national human rights plan of action to its fifth periodic
report, and to inform the Committee about the progress made in its
Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the provisions
in its legal order with respect to the prohibition of discrimination
in accordance with article 2 (2) of the Covenant, in particular
on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or
other status. Recalling the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement
Officials (General Assembly resolution 34/169), the State party
should take all necessary steps to prevent incidents of racially
motivated ill-treatment and ensure that timely and thorough investigations
and effective prosecutions are carried out.
Committee calls upon the State party to take all effective legal
measures to prohibit gender discrimination in all fields of civil,
political, economic, social and cultural life.
Committee recommends that the State party include in subsequent
reports comparative data on levels of employment, including the
representation of women at the various administrative levels, and
in areas such as law enforcement, the legal profession and the judiciary,
stressing the progress made during the reporting period.
Committee calls upon the State party to ensure that employees are
remunerated in a timely manner and that legislation on minimum wages
is fully enforced.
Committee recommends that the State party ensure that adequate resources
are allocated for workplace accident prevention programmes, and
that it continue to strengthen the resources and powers of the labour
inspectorate. The Committee recommends that the State party consider
ratifying the ILO Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81).
Committee emphasizes that the right of trade unions to function
freely shall be subject to no restrictions, other than those prescribed
by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests
of national security or public order or for the protection of the
rights and freedoms of others. The Committee requests the State
party to ensure that such restrictions contained in the labour law
are fully in line with article 8 of the Covenant, and that acts
of intimidation against trade unions and their leaders are prohibited.
Committee recommends that the State party adopt all appropriate
measures to prevent and combat incidents of domestic violence and
sexual harassment, as well as appropriate measures to reduce unemployment
Committee encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to
combat the trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of women
and children. It recommends that the State party vigorously pursue
the enforcement of criminal laws in this regard; ensure that victims
are not penalized and are provided with rehabilitation; ensure that
the National Coordination Council against Trafficking is adequately
resourced and staffed; and reinforce its cooperation with international
and regional organizations, as well as on a bilateral basis. The
Committee recommends that the State party, in its fifth periodic
report, provide full information on the trafficking and commercial
sexual exploitation of women and children, including data on the
scale of the phenomenon.
Committee urges the State party to take effective measures, including
the development of strategies and awareness-raising activities,
aimed at reducing and preventing the abandonment of children. In
particular, the Committee recommends that the State party promote,
through counselling and community-based programmes, the family as
the best environment for the child and assist parents to keep their
children at home. Moreover, it is recommended that the State party
take effective measures to increase and strengthen family-based
alternative care, so that children are placed in institutions only
as a last resort.
Committee recommends that the State party ensure that its commitment
to primary health care is met by adequate allocation of resources
and that all persons, especially from the most vulnerable groups,
have access to health care. The Committee suggests that the State
party establish comprehensive reproductive health programmes, as
well as measures to ensure that abortion is not perceived as a method
of contraception. It further recommends that adolescents have access
to and be provided with reproductive health education, as well as
with STD and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. The Committee recommends
that the State party provide children with accurate and objective
information about alcohol and tobacco use, and discourage activities
on public mass media promoting their consumption.
Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures
to allocate the required resources to implement effectively the
1991 Law on Education. The Committee recommends that the State party
ensure that general comments No. 11 on plans of action for primary
education and No. 13 on the right to education, as well as general
comment No. 1 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the
aim of education, are duly taken into consideration when elaborating
its educational policies. The Committee recommends that the State
party promote the participation of parents and communities, especially
ethnic minorities, in school governance in order to improve enrolment
rates and monitor the quality of education.
Committee encourages the State party to consider ratifying the 1951
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees as well as its 1967
Protocol, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless
Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Committee recommends that the State party develop an ongoing programme
for the dissemination of information regarding the content of the
Covenant and its implementation among the public, civil society,
and all sectors and levels of administration. Moreover, the Committee
recommends that the State party develop systematic and ongoing training
programmes on the provisions of the Covenant for professional groups,
including parliamentarians, judges, lawyers and local government
the Committee requests the State party to ensure the wide dissemination
in Ukrainian society at all levels of the present concluding observations
and to inform the Committee of steps taken to implement the recommendations
in its fifth periodic report, to be submitted by 30 June 2006.