1. The Committee considered the
fifth periodic report of Ukraine (CCPR/C/UKR/99/5) at its 1957th, 1958th and
1959th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1957-1959), held on 15 and 16 October 2001. At
its 1971st and 1972nd meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1971 and 1972), held on 24 and 25
October 2001, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the
detailed report submitted on time by Ukraine. It regrets, however, that while
providing information on legal norms and enactments governing Ukraine's obligations
under the Covenant, the report lacks information on the implementation of
the Covenant in practice. The Committee notes the State party's undertaking
to submit additional written information in response to the Committee's questions.
3. The Committee expresses its
appreciation for the considerable changes which have taken place in Ukraine
since the submission of the last report. These changes constitute a positive
constitutional and legal framework for the further implementation of the rights
enshrined in the Covenant.
4. The Committee welcomes the
adoption of the new Constitution in June 1996, which gives legal recognition
to human rights and freedoms of the individual.
5. The Committee welcomes the
abolition of the death penalty, including during time of war. The Committee
hopes that the State party will ratify the second Optional Protocol to the
6. The Committee notes with satisfaction
the State party's ongoing efforts to reform its legislation, including the
new Law on Refugees of 2001, the Law on Immigration of 2001, the Citizenship
Law of 2001 and the decriminalization of libel. The Committee also welcomes
the establishment of a new Constitutional Court, the adoption of a new Criminal
Code, the enactment of new legislation relating to the protection of human
rights and the creation of an appeal court system.
7. The Committee welcomes the
establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman charged with the responsibility
for protection of human rights in Ukraine.
8. The Committee is concerned
that in the case of a clash between the Covenant rights and domestic laws
the latter might prevail. Neither through examination of the report of the
State party nor during the discussion with the delegation could the Committee
obtain a clear understanding of how potential conflicts between Covenant rights
and domestic laws are resolved.
The State party must ensure the
effective implementation of all Covenant rights, in accordance with article
2 of the Covenant and including through independent and impartial courts of
law operating in compliance with article 14.
9. While recognizing that there
has been some progress in achieving equality for women in political and public
life, the Committee remains concerned that the level of representation of
women in Parliament and in senior positions in both the public and private
sectors remains low.
The State party should undertake
appropriate measures to give effect to its obligations under articles 3 and
26 so as to improve the representation of women in Parliament and in senior
positions, in both the public and private sectors. The State party should
consider the adoption of positive measures, including educational measures,
to improve the status of women within the society.
10. The Committee notes with concern
that domestic violence against women remains a problem in Ukraine.
The State party should take positive
measures, including through enactment and implementation of adequate legislation
and training of police officers and sensitization of the population, to protect
women from domestic violence.
11. The Committee expresses concern
that under the state of emergency, as envisaged in article 64 of the Constitution
of Ukraine, the right to freedom of thought under article 34 of the Constitution
and the right to freedom of religion could be restricted in a manner incompatible
with the provisions of article 4 of the Covenant.
The State party must ensure that
its framework for emergency powers during a state of emergency is compatible
with article 4 of the Covenant, taking into account the Committee's General
Comment No. 29.
12. The Committee notes with concern
that the Office of the Ombudsman is seriously under-resourced.
The State party should provide
adequate human and material resources to the Office of the Ombudsman to enable
it to carry out its work effectively.
13. The Committee is concerned
about allegations of police harassment, particularly of the Roma minority
The State party should take effective
measures to eradicate all forms of police harassment, and set up an independent
authority to investigate complaints against the police. It should take steps
against those held responsible for such acts of harassment.
14. The Committee regrets that
the delegation did not provide the requested information about measures taken
to combat racism and anti-Semitic acts and publications, and about the situation
of Jewish cemeteries confiscated under Nazi occupation.
The State party is requested to
provide the information sought by the Committee by the deadline stipulated
in paragraph 25 below. The State party should take effective measures to prevent
and punish racist and anti-Semitic acts and inform the Committee by the deadline
stipulated in paragraph 25.
15. The Committee remains concerned
about the persistence of widespread use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement officials.
The State party should institute
a more effective system of monitoring treatment of all detainees, so as to
ensure that their rights under articles 7 and 10 of the Covenant are fully
protected. The State party should also ensure that all allegations of torture
are effectively investigated by an independent authority, that the persons
responsible are prosecuted, and that the victims are given adequate compensation.
Free access to legal counsel and doctors should be guaranteed in practice,
immediately after arrest and during all stages of detention. The arrested
person should have an opportunity immediately to inform a family member about
the arrest and the place of detention. All allegations of statements of detainees
being obtained through coercion must lead to an investigation and such statements
must never be used as evidence, except as evidence of torture.
16. The Committee is concerned
at reports of bullying and hazing (dedovshchina) of young conscripts
in the armed forces by older soldiers, which in some cases have led to deaths,
suicides and desertion.
The State party should strengthen
measures to end these practices and prosecute offenders, and take steps by
way of education and training in its armed forces to eradicate the negative
culture that has encouraged such practices.
17. The Committee remains concerned
about the permissible length of detention as a "temporary preventive measure"
(up to 72 hours) in the custody of law enforcement authorities and before
detainees are informed of charges brought against them, and about the practice
of extending the period of such detention for up to 10 days in certain cases
on the initiative of a prosecutor. Such practice is incompatible with article
9 of the Covenant. The Committee is also concerned that no effective mechanism
exists for monitoring such detention.
The State party should take all
necessary measures to reduce the length of such detention and to improve judicial
oversight so as to ensure compliance with Covenant rights. The Committee also
requests detailed information about the composition, manner of appointment,
functions and powers of the "body of inquiry" referred to by the delegation,
as well as information as to its actual practice.
18. The Committee remains concerned
about the continuation of practices involving the trafficking of women in
The State party should take measures
to combat this practice, including the prosecution and punishment of those
found responsible, and give full effect to the provisions of article 8 of
19. The Committee is concerned
about the continued existence of the propiska system, which is incompatible
with the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence provided in
article 12 of the Covenant.
The State party should abolish
the system of internal permits and give full effect to the provisions of article
12 of the Covenant.
20. The Committee notes with concern
the information given by the State party that conscientious objection to military
service is accepted only in regard to objections for religious reasons and
only with regard to certain religions, which appear in an official list. The
Committee is concerned that this limitation is incompatible with articles
18 and 26 of the Covenant.
The State party should widen the
grounds for conscientious objection in law so that they apply, without discrimination,
to all religious beliefs and other convictions, and that any alternative service
required for conscientious objectors be performed in a non-discriminatory
21. The Committee is concerned
about the intimidation and harassment, in particular by government officials,
of human rights defenders.
The State party must take measures
to end the intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders. Reported
instances of intimidation and harassment should be investigated promptly.
22. The Committee is concerned
about reports of intimidation and harassment of journalists. It is further
concerned about the absence of criteria for granting or denying licences to
electronic mass media, such as television and radio stations, which has a
negative impact on the exercise of freedom of expression and the press provided
in article 19 of the Covenant. It is also concerned that the system of government
subsidies to the press may be used to stifle freedom of expression.
(a) The State party should ensure
that journalists can carry out their activities without fear of being subjected
to prosecution and refrain from harassing and intimidating them, in order
to give full effect to the right to freedom of expression and of the press
provided in article 19 of the Covenant.
(b) The State party should take
effective measures to define clearly in law the functions and competences
of the State Communications Committee of Ukraine. The decisions of the State
Communications Committee should be subject to judicial control.
(c) The State party should ensure
that clear criteria are established for payment and withdrawal of government
subsidies to the press, so as to avoid the disbursement of such subsidies
for the purpose of stifling criticism of the Government.
23. The Committee expresses its
concern about the vague and undefined concept of "national minorities", which
is the dominant factor in the State party's legislation on national minorities
but does not cover the entire scope of article 27 of the Covenant. The Committee
is also concerned about reports of cases of discrimination and harassment
of persons belonging to minorities.
The State party should ensure
that all members of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities enjoy effective
protection against discrimination, and that members of these communities can
enjoy their own culture and use their own language, in accordance with article
27 of the Covenant.
24. The Committee calls upon the
State party to publicize the text of these concluding observations in appropriate
languages, and requests that the next periodic report be widely disseminated
among the public, including non-governmental organizations operating in Ukraine.
25. Pursuant to rule 70 (5) of
the Committee's rules of procedure, the State party is invited to provide,
within a period of 12 months, information about steps being taken to address
the issues raised in paragraphs 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19 and 23 of the present
26. The Committee requests the
State party to submit its sixth periodic report by 1 November 2005.