Defending human rights in Crimea: EHRAC and Regional Centre launch new project
Since the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, respect for human rights has been under increasing threat, with human rights defenders subject to severe intimidation and pressure by the occupying Russian authorities. That is why EHRAC and the Regional Centre for Human Rights (Kyiv, formerly based in Sevastopol) are launching a project aimed at protecting and defending the rights of Crimean residents.
“Since 2014, our organisation has focused on identifying human rights violations in the context of the Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula and protecting human rights at the international level – at the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee and the International Criminal Court. We now have the pleasure of partnering with a renowned organisation such as EHRAC. During the course of our project we will enhance our litigation capacities and assist in advocating for the effective implementation of individual and general measures recommended by international human rights bodies.”
Sergiy Zayets, RCHR lead expert
We aim to promote the restoration of international legal standards in Crimea by:
- taking strategic cases to the European Court of Human Rights or other international mechanisms;
- legal monitoring of human rights violations;
- submissions to international mechanisms (such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the International Criminal Court and other UN bodies); and
- raising awareness of the ongoing human rights abuse in Crimea.
In doing so, we will enhance the skills of human rights defenders in Ukraine, by jointly litigating cases and delivering legal training.
“We are delighted to be working with the Regional Centre for Human Rights. The annexation of Crimea and the ensuing human rights violations – enforced citizenship, internally displaced people, voting rights, prisoners’ rights – presents one of the most pressing and complex situations in Europe.”
Prof. Philip Leach, EHRAC Director
Our new project will continue our ongoing human rights litigation in Ukraine with the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU), which addresses:
- abduction, ill-treatment and forced labour in Donbas (eastern Ukraine);
- the banning of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis; and
- the cases of Stanislav Klikh and Mykola Karpiuk, Ukrainian citizens who have been detained in Russia on allegedly politically-motivated charges since 2014.
We will remain responsive to the needs of Ukrainian NGOs (including our partners at the Regional Centre for Human Rights and UHHRU), and to developments in the human rights landscape in Ukraine.
This project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of EHRAC and the Regional Centre for Human Rights and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.