Security and Justice in Ukraine: Perspectives from communities in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zhytomyr oblasts (2018)
In eastern Ukraine UNDP is proactively supporting peacebuilding and conflict prevention by facilitating improved service delivery, decentralization, economic recovery, rebuilding and reduction of inequality and by strengthening the rule of law and building respect for human rights.
Though there has been progress, Ukraine is continuing to face massive socioeconomic challenges. Job creation, poverty alleviation, anti-corruption measures, the decentralization process, law enforcement reform, reforming the judiciary and promotion of human rights are still key priorities that Ukraine’s authorities need to address at both the national and the regional levels. The slow pace of reforms and the lack of immediate and tangible results are contributing to public scepticism, insecurity and distrust in the authorities’ ability to create a secure living environment and maintain the rule of law and respect for human rights, especially in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine.
It is UNDP’s understanding that increasing personal and community security and providing access to justice will lower tensions and prevent conflict, particularly if this is done in participative ways that address exclusion, inequality and discrimination. In turn, this will reinforce the protection of human rights and generate further trust in the state in a virtuous circle. If communities can learn how to work together for mutual benefit, and learn how to resolve their problems and grievances on the basis of fairness and justice, society’s power will be channeled more effectively and cohesively for development at national, regional and local levels.
The key to implementation of this approach is to encourage and empower men and women in conflict-affected communities to voice their opinions on local development, planning for recovery, and providing services and solutions to build community security.
To deepen understanding of public needs, UNDP conducted its first assessment of citizens’ knowledge of, attitudes toward and experience with justice and security issues in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine in 2017. The report has helped the international donor community, the Government and civil society not only to identify public needs, but also to align interventions accordingly and advocate for citizen-oriented policy changes and reforms.
With the reforms still in process and many challenges still ahead, a new assessment was conducted this year. This assessment – which is presented in this document – is expected to serve as an important tool in planning initiatives to bring justice and stability to the people of Ukraine.