Ombudsman in Ukraine

Ombudsman V. Lutkovskaya, photo: 

THEORY. The Constitution of Ukraine and adopted on its basis on December 23, 1997. The Law of Ukraine “On the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine” provides basis for the creation of an ombudsman, which is characterized by the following features:

– the high constitutional status of the Commissioner for Human Rights, which is enshrined in Articles 55, 85, 101 of the Constitution of Ukraine;

– the independence of the Commissioner from any state authority or local government, or their officials;

– the broad jurisdiction of the Commissioner, which applies both to public authorities, including courts, and to local government bodies and their officials;

– significant powers;

– the possibility of direct appeal to the Commissioner of the broad strata of the population;

– prohibition of interference in the activities of the Commissioner;

– the right of immediate reception by the highest officials of the state;

– the right to freely visit any state authority, local government, enterprise, institution, etc.

PRACTICE. The right to appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights is vested with:

  1. Members of the Parliament of Ukraine
  2. Citizens of Ukraine, regardless of their location
  3. Foreigners, stateless persons
  4. Legal entities

The Ombudsman examines all applications for violation of human rights and freedoms, except:

– those that are filed more than a year after the discovery of the violation;

– considered in courts (but complaints about actions or inaction of judges are considered);

– personal disputes, except those that have signs of discrimination.

STATISTICS. According to official sources for 2015, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada had 19030 appeals, including:

– individuals – 17,902;

– members of the Parliament  – 274;

– legal entities – 849;

– on its own initiative – 5.

A total of 50,625 people submitted applications (with legal entities – 56,856).

The most frequently violated rights and freedoms in Ukraine (for 2015):

  1. Civil – 24,475

(Including the right to judicial protection, legal aid, citizenship, treatment of prisoners)

  1. Personal – 6,369

(The right to life, dignity, freedom and inviolability, the presumption of innocence)

  1. Social – 6,344

(Issues of pensions, housing, medical care, social security)

  1. Economic – 2830

(The right to safe products, labor rights, property issues)

  1. Political – 2 607

(Freedom of thought and speech, access to public information)

  1. The principle of equality before the law and the court, equality of rights and freedoms – 254

Ukraine is in the process of establishing the institution of the Commissioner by the President of Ukraine on the rights of the child (since 2014 – Nikolai Kuleba) and Business Ombudsman (since 2014 – Algirdas Shemeta). But these institutions have not yet received a sufficient amount of rights and opportunities to fulfill the full range of necessary powers.