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The humanitarian situation of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons

Doc. 13651: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13651 | Revised version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly is deeply concerned about the ongoing instability in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine and the continued violation of the ceasefire signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014. The situation of all the people affected by the conflict, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, as well as those living in the areas controlled by separatist forces, is particularly worrying.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 1 with the following paragraph:

"The Parliamentary Assembly is deeply concerned about the ongoing instability in some parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and the continued violation of the ceasefire signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014. Particularly disturbing is the fact of the direct involvement of the Russian Federation in the emergence and worsening of situations in these parts of Ukraine. The situation of all the people affected by the conflict, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, as well as those living in the areas controlled by pro-Russian illegal armed groups, is particularly worrying."

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 98 in favor 8 against 8 abstentions

In amendment 21, second sentence, delete the words “the fact of”.

2The numerous reports of serious human rights violations allegedly committed during the armed hostilities and illustrated by the high number of civil casualties, disappearances and mass graves require objective investigation and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. The Assembly stresses the importance of not tolerating impunity, as one of the preconditions for the establishment of security in the region.
3Furthermore, the Assembly deplores the deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea, as reported by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights following his visit in September 2014, in particular the intimidation, harassment and discrimination of the ethnic Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar populations.
4As a result of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the armed conflict in the south-eastern part of Ukraine, over 300 000 people have been displaced within Ukraine and over 150 000 have fled to the Russian Federation. Several thousand people have sought protection in other European countries, mainly Poland and Belarus. More than two million people remain in the areas controlled by separatist forces, exposed to insecurity, serious human rights violations and inadequate living conditions.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the first sentence with the following sentence: "As a result of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the armed conflict in Ukrainian Donbas, over 850 000 people (as of January 2015) have been displaced within Ukraine and over 150 000 have fled to the Russian Federation."

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 118 in favor 10 against 5 abstentions

In amendment 22, replace the words “over 850 000 people (as of January 2015) have been displaced within Ukraine and over 524 000 have fled to the Russian Federation” with the following words : “over 921 000 people (as of 23 January 2015) have registered as IDPs within Ukraine and over 524 000 have sought asylum or other legal status in the Russian Federation”.

In the draft resolution, in paragraph 4, first sentence, delete the words "the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and".

In the draft resolution, in paragraph 4, after the first sentence, insert the following sentence: "According to the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation more than 450 000 Ukrainian nationals have sought asylum or applied for the right to reside in Russia".

5Following the ceasefire of 5 September 2014 and a relative improvement in security, around 50 000 people have returned to the south-eastern areas controlled by the government. However, the volatile security situation, destroyed or damaged infrastructure and private and public property remain a serious concern in the area.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 5, replace the first sentence with the following sentence: "Following the Minsk agreements of 5 and 19 September 2014 and a relative improvement in security, around 50 000 people have returned to areas controlled by the Ukrainian government."

Explanatory note

Here I propose a purely technical amendment which is only aimed at making right the names of the documents signed between the parties concerned in Minsk in September 2014.

6The Assembly commends the Parliament of Ukraine for the adoption, on 20 October 2014, of the law “On the rights and freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons” and the related legislation on taxation and humanitarian aid, drawn up in co-operation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6, insert the following paragraph:

"In this regard, the Assembly welcomes the efforts of the Ukrainian government, facing the problems of IDPs for the first time, to address the needs of those who were forced to leave their homes. The Assembly is inspired by the extraordinary mobilization of Ukrainian society against the background of significant humanitarian challenges and encourages continuing and developing volunteer movements in the country."

Explanatory note

Ukraine for the first time in its modern history is faced with the problem of IDPs and the Ukrainian government is doing its utmost to ensure their needs. At the same time, a revitalisation of civil society and volunteer movements in Ukraine has been marked by the media and international organisations. We need to support these efforts and encourage them.

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 112 in favor 8 against 11 abstentions

In amendment 24, replace the words “after paragraph 6, insert the following paragraph” with the following words: “replace paragraph 6 with the following paragraph”.

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 123 in favor 6 against 4 abstentions

In amendment 24, replace the words from "welcomes" to the end of the amendment with the following words: "broadly welcomes the efforts of the Ukrainian government to address the needs of those who were forced to leave their homes. The Assembly commends the Parliament of Ukraine for the adoption, on 20 October 2014, of the law "On the rights and freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons" and the related legislation on taxation and humanitarian aid, drawn up in co-operation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission). It also applauds the remarkable generosity and solidarity shown by the country’s people and civil society in responding to the humanitarian crisis."

7The Assembly notes with satisfaction a number of positive steps taken by the Russian authorities in response to the increased flow of Ukrainian refugees following the outbreak of armed hostilities in the south-eastern part of Ukraine, in particular the resolutions establishing a simplified procedure for granting temporary asylum to Ukrainians and allowing the issue of work permits for Ukrainians arriving in “urgent and mass circumstances”.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7, after the words "for granting temporary asylum to", replace the word "Ukrainians" with the following words: "citizens of Ukraine".

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7, after the words "the issue of work permits for", replace the word "Ukrainians" with the following words: "citizens of Ukraine".

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7, insert the following paragraph:

"Humanitarian assistance from the international community contributes to responding effectively to the difficult humanitarian situation of IDPs, refugees and persons remaining in the zones affected by the conflict. At the same time, Russian so-called "humanitarian convoys", which were repeatedly sent to Ukraine without a request for official approval of the Ukrainian authorities, without necessary procedures of border and customs control, and without coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross, blatantly violate international law and established international practises."

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 127 in favor 11 against 7 abstentions

In amendment 26, replace the words from "contributes" to the end of the amendment with the following words: "is important to alleviating the humanitarian situation of IDPs, refugees and those still in the conflict areas. It has, however, included numerous Russian "humanitarian convoys", which unfortunately entered Ukraine unlawfully, without authorisation, border control or co-ordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross."

8The Assembly expresses its appreciation to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for its commendable response and assistance to the immediate needs of the displaced population and invites it to continue its efforts, particularly in the light of increased needs during the winter months.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 8, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly expresses its full support for the efforts of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights aimed at ensuring the effective observance of human rights in Crimea and the conflict-affected parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. It invites the Commissioner to continue monitoring the situation of human rights throughout Ukraine, including Crimea, using all available means."

9Another major concern is the growing number of people who are reported missing on all sides of the military conflict in Ukraine.
10The Assembly underlines that only a sustainable political solution based on respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity can lead to the improvement of the humanitarian situation.

26 January 2015

Tabled by Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, Mr Andrej HUNKO, Mr Tiny KOX, Mr Tuur ELZINGA, Mr Snorre Serigstad VALEN

Votes: 53 in favor 85 against 19 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, before the word "respect" insert the following words: "democratic rights and"

26 January 2015

Tabled by Ms Olga KAZAKOVA, Mr Leonid SLUTSKIY, Ms Olga BORZOVA, Mr Anton BELYAKOV, Mr Alexander ROMANOVICH

Votes: 130 in favor 6 against 12 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, after the words "territorial integrity", insert the following words: "and on respect for the rights of all citizens of Ukraine, irrespective of place of residence or nationality".

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 119 in favor 14 against 14 abstentions

In amendment 19, delete the following words: ", irrespective of place of residence or nationality".

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 10, add the following sentence : "Dialogue is the essential precondition for the peaceful future of Ukraine".

11The Assembly therefore calls on all sides of the conflict to:
11.1fully respect and implement the provisions of the ceasefire signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014 and refrain from the use of force and violence, particularly against civilians and civilian infrastructure;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 11.1, replace the words "signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014" with the following words: "provided by the Minsk agreements of 5 and 19 September 2014".

Explanatory note

This is another purely technical amendment regarding Minsk agreements which was already mentioned in the first sentence of paragraph number 5.

11.2abide unconditionally by international humanitarian and human rights law and, in particular, by the 1907 Hague Conventions on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, the 1949 Geneva Convention and their additional protocols, as well as by the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5);
11.3release and exchange all prisoners of war and people detained as a result of the conflict, and exchange all mortal remains;
11.4ensure immediate and unimpeded access at all times to all conflict areas for humanitarian actors and investigators, including the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
11.5provide the relevant Ukrainian authorities and, where appropriate, international investigative bodies, with all available evidence and information enabling the conduct of investigations of alleged atrocities and human rights violations committed on the territory of Ukraine;
11.6guarantee the voluntary right of return to all people displaced by the current conflict, ensuring that their return takes place in safety and dignity; and enable and facilitate the reconstruction process;
11.7take, without delay, all necessary measures aimed at helping the families of missing persons to find and, where appropriate, identify the remains of their loved ones, in close co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
11.8take measures to effectively protect the property left behind by IDPs with a view to securing restitution of such property in the future.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 11.8, insert the following paragraph:

"ensure the unobstructed delivery of Ukrainian and International humanitarian aid for people in Ukrainian territories uncontrolled by the government and take all measures aimed at preventing the blocking of humanitarian aid".

12Furthermore, the Assembly calls on the relevant Ukrainian authorities to:
12.1fully comply with international standards as defined in the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement;
12.2implement the law on the rights and freedoms of IDPs;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 12.2, replace the word "implement" with the words "continue implementing"

Explanatory note

The Ukrainian government is already working to meet the needs of IDPs. This specification better reflects the situation.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 12.2, add the following words: “and ensure that the surrounding legal framework is complete, coherent and transparent, taking into account the views of relevant international organisations and civil society;”

12.3ensure that IDPs are systematically informed and consulted about their rights and choices and respect their right to freely choose whether they want to return home, integrate locally or resettle in another part of the country, and take measures to assist them in fulfilling their choice;
12.4eliminate cases of discrimination of Roma people without identity documents who allegedly encounter difficulties to register as IDPs;

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 12.4 with the following paragraph:

"eliminate difficulties to register as IDPs, especially for people without identity documents, with particular attention to respect for the rights of vulnerable groups, including elderly and disabled people, large and needy families, unemployed persons, youth, orphans, victims of the Chernobyl disaster and marginalised and disadvantaged groups;"

12.5develop and put in place policies, structures and programmes for those IDPs who will be able to return safely to their homes, or find alternative durable solutions for those who may be prevented from returning;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 12.5, insert the following paragraph:

“avoid taking and/or revoke measures relating to provision of essential state services in separatist-controlled areas that may exacerbate the extremely difficult situation of those living there;”

12.6ensure the accountability and transparency of aid beneficiaries and distribution of international aid, assistance and funding for IDPs;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 12.6, insert the following paragraph:

“eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles to international and non-governmental organisations’ humanitarian aid activities;”

12.7investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute all human rights violations and violations of humanitarian law promptly, independently and impartially, and fully co-operate with international investigations where appropriate.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 12.7, insert the following paragraph:

"fully respect and implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements".

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 12.7, insert the following paragraph:

“take appropriate measures to maintain harmonious relations between IDP and host communities, including by preventing possible stigmatisation of and discrimination against IDPs, and more generally to promote national unity and reconciliation;”

13The Assembly calls on the Russian authorities to:
13.1refrain from destabilising Ukraine and militarily supporting armed separatists, and use their influence on them to make them fully respect and implement the provisions of the Minsk ceasefire;

26 January 2015

Tabled by Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Mr Serhii SOBOLIEV, Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Mr Sergiy VLASENKO, Ms Olena SOTNYK, Mr Pavlo UNGURYAN, Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI

Votes: 126 in favor 18 against 10 abstentions

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 13.1 with the following paragraph:

"refrain from destabilizing Ukraine and financing terrorism in Ukraine, militarily supporting illegal armed groups, and use their influence on them to make them fully respect and implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements";

27 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 130 in favor 8 against 13 abstentions

In amendment 32, replace the words "terrorism in Ukraine," with the word "and".

13.2ensure the security and respect for human rights of all those who live under the control of the Russian Federation in Crimea;

In the draft resolution, at the beginning of paragraph 13.2., insert the following words: "continue to".

In the draft resolution, paragraph 13.2, replace the words "control of the Russian Federation in Crimea" with the following words: "de-facto illegal control of the Russian Federation in Crimea and ensure full respect of all obligations of the occupying state in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and provide immediate and unimpeded access of the international human rights monitoring missions to the Crimean peninsula;"

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 13.2, insert the following words : "in particular the Crimean Tatars".

Explanatory note

Crimean Tatars have been subjected to systematic intimidation, harassment and discrimination as well as serious curtailment of their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression since 16 March 2014. As stated in Human rights Commissioner Muiznieks's report, many Crimean Tatar freedom activists have disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.2, insert the following paragraph:

"conduct prompt, effective and adequate investigations into all cases of human rights violations in Crimea, including the cases of disappearances;"

Explanatory note

Turkey would like to draw attention to incidents of enforced disappearances and suspicious killings of Crimean Tatar people, which started after the annexation. The UN Report dated 15 December 2014 and Mr. Muizneks's report shed light on specific incidents of Crimean Tatars getting arrested by uniformed soldiers on active duty.

26 January 2015

Tabled by Mr Ömer SELVİ, Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Mr Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ, Mr Mehmet Kasım GÜLPINAR, Mr Yıldırım Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ

Votes: 141 in favor 6 against 14 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.2, insert the following paragraph:

"cease disproportionate and excessive searches and checks carried out by armed and masked members of the security forces in Crimean Tatar religious institutions, businesses and private residences".

Explanatory note

Systematic discrimination and intimidation of Crimean Tatars and intrusive search of their homes, businesses and public and religious buildings have been ongoing since the annexation of Crimean territory. The raids by local security forces on the Crimean Tatar Mejlis building in Simferopol on 16 September and the mosque in Yalta on 22 September are solid cases in point.

13.3continue to offer protection to Ukrainian refugees who request it;

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 13.3, add the following words: "and render assistance to those Ukrainian refugees who wish to return to Ukraine".

Explanatory note

It is natural that some refugees want to return to their homeland in Ukraine. If the Russian Federation took over the care of their stay in Russia, it would have to help them to return.

13.4simplify the procedure for the submission of an application for asylum and allow applications to be submitted also in areas of the Russian Federation not adjacent to Ukraine, particularly in Moscow and St Petersburg;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.4, insert the following paragraph:

“allow Ukrainian refugees to relocate also to Moscow and St Petersburg in cases where, for example, close relatives are already established there;”

13.5refrain from imposing quotas with regard to the settlement of immediate asylum seekers;
13.6ensure that those who are granted asylum are systematically provided with identity documents which allow them to benefit from access to social services.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.6, insert the following paragraph:

“ensure that efforts to protect Ukrainian refugees do not lead to discriminatory diversion of resources from protection of asylum seekers of other nationalities;”

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.6, insert the following paragraph:

"immediately release all prisoners of war, including member of the Ukrainian parliament and Ukrainian PACE member, N. Savchenko and other Ukrainian citizens who remain illegally detained in Russian prisons."

26 January 2015

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.6, insert the following paragraph:

“immediately release Nadiya Savchenko, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, who on 18 June 2014 was taken captive in Ukraine whilst participating in the ongoing conflict and was shortly thereafter taken into the custody of the Russian authorities, which have not yet brought her to trial on any offence.”

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 13.6, insert the following paragraph:

"ensure that all initiatives of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine be agreed with the Ukrainian government and implemented in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, international law and established international practices."

14The Assembly calls on the international community to:
14.1continue providing material and organisational assistance to the Ukrainian IDPs and refugees, in particular in the winter months, and to assist the Ukrainian authorities in putting in place long-term assistance programmes, including material, organisational and medical help, for those IDPs who will be able to return to their homes safely, as well as for those who may be prevented from returning;
14.2provide immediate and long-term support for essential reconstruction efforts, projects to restore water and other essential services;
14.3ensure the accountability and transparency of aid beneficiaries whether these be the government, local authorities, international organisations, non-governmental organisations or others.

26 January 2015

Tabled by Mr Ömer SELVİ, Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Mr Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ, Mr Mehmet Kasım GÜLPINAR, Mr Yıldırım Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ

Votes: 144 in favor 10 against 5 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 14.3, insert the following paragraph:

"continue to follow closely the situation in Crimea, in particular regarding the Crimean Tatars, with a view to ensuring their full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Explanatory note

There are clear manifestations of policy of pressure and intimidation against Crimean Tatars. Respecting the rights and freedoms of the Tatar community is essential for preservation of peace and stability on the peninsula. The international community should continue to closely follow the situation there.

26 January 2015

Tabled by Ms Olga KAZAKOVA, Mr Leonid SLUTSKIY, Ms Olga BORZOVA, Mr Anton BELYAKOV, Mr Alexander ROMANOVICH

Votes: 33 in favor 107 against 12 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 14.3, insert the following paragraph:

"continue to offer protection to Ukrainian refugees who have requested it."

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 14.3, insert the following paragraph:

"simplify the procedure for the submission of an application for granting refugee status for Ukrainian nationals."

15The Assembly invites the Council of Europe Development Bank to consider action with a view to assisting the displaced Ukrainian population and the reconstruction process in the devastated areas.