This report provides the results of the September 2018 round of the survey conducted by the Charitable Foundation «The Right to Protection» (R2P) at the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) to the nongovernment controlled area (NGCA). The survey has been administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The EECPs are located in Donetsk (Maiorske, Marinka, Hnutove and Novotroitske) and Luhansk (Stanytsia Luhanska) Oblasts. This survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of the human rights of the conflict-affected population within the framework of the project «Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population of Ukraine» implemented by R2P with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The purpose of the survey is to explore the motivations and concerns of those travelling between the NGCA and the government-controlled area (GCA), as well as the conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through the EECPs. It should be noted that the survey results should not be directly extrapolated onto the entire population crossing the checkpoints, but it helps identify needs, gaps and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts. The data collection methodology was the same at all EECPs. R2P monitors surveyed civilians in the pedestrian and vehicle lines in the direction of both the GCA and NGCA on the government-controlled side of EECPs. The survey was conducted anonymously and on a voluntary basis. All persons interviewed for the survey were informed about its purpose. This report is based on data collected during 31 visits to the five EECPs in September 2018. This reporting period was characterized by the autumn reduction of operational times (from 6:00 – 20:00 to 7:00 – 18:30) at all EECPs, the beginning of the academic year, reconstruction activity at Marinka, Novotroitske and Luhanska EECPs, and the temporary closure of Stanytsia Luhanska EECP due to reconstruction (2-7 September).
The gender and age proportion of respondents have remained relatively consistent throughout all survey rounds. Women over 60 constitute the largest share of respondents.
The vast majority of respondents (89%) were NGCA residents. The trend of GCA residents having far fewer reasons to travel across the line of contact than NGCA residents remains unchanged. Although the broad categories of reasons for crossing the line of contact remain consistent, there were some fluctuations due to the change of season (for example, fewer individuals crossing for vacation).
During the reporting period reconstruction at Marinka EECP was completed. The renovated EECP was officially launched on 17 September.
On 28 September reconstruction started at Novotroitske EECP. At the end of September, reconstruction at Stanytsia Luhanska was still ongoing.
As the number of control counters and the State Border Guard Service staff was increased as a part of reconstruction, lines at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP were significantly reduced. Conversely, the reconstruction at Marinka did not have any significant effects on the traffic capacity of the EECP.
The majority of respondents spent 2-5 hours to pass through the checkpoints.
It took the most time to cross the line of contact at Marinka EECP. Waiting times at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP were the shortest. The crossing process took more time at NGCA checkpoints at all EECPs except Stanytsia Luhanska.