Summer 2019, hot topics in the project work of the German section in the 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia


2019, ISHR-Projects in the 6 Eastern Parntership countries and Russia/EaP-R

1. Media, opinion-making, human rights in total EaP/R.

With the support of the German Foreign Office

This project is all about disinformation. Throughout the Eastern Partnership area, the IGFM Sections are organizing 21 training seminars to educate participants on techniques and ways of manipulating the media and, more importantly, to discuss techniques and ways of countering this development.

The first events in Baku / Azerbaijan, Luninets / Belarus, Kharkiv / Ukraine, Yerevan / Armenia, Tbilisi / Georgia and Chisniau / Moldova (see blog posts on Human Rights Online / HR-O) have already taken place and the lively discussions confirm how significant and “hot-current” this topic is for local people. Of course, especially, as far as the broad field of human rights is concerned.

Special thanks go to the permanent representative of the German Consulate- General in Dnipr / Ukraine, Mr. Peter Schmahl, who personally opened the event in Kharkov with his excellent guest contribution (see HR-O). In the age of permanent Internet communication and disinformation, which plays a central role in the conflict with Eastern Ukraine, personal encounters and support are enormously important. A specific project of his Consulate-General with Caritas for a newsletter along the frontline, which is to oppose the Russian propaganda, is furthermore very welcome at this point.

Mention must also be made of the great response to the event in Tbilisi, whose excellent video subject on Facebook recorded more than 50,000 viewers after only three weeks (see HR-O).

And already now we would like to cordially invite all interested parties to our final conference on December 6th in Frankfurt a.M.!

Here, all country representatives will report on their project results and the current situation. Radio Liberty’s Rikard Jozwiak will provide information about the work of the EU East Stratcom Task Force and Jens-Uwe Thomas of Reporters Without Borders will give insights into his emergency area.

2. Strengthening the rule of law in Ukraine.

With the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development / BMZ

In this project framework, over the next 20 months, the Ukrainian section will monitor over 250 legal proceedings in 6 major regions across Ukraine (excluding the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine) and check for compliance with EU legal standards (fair-trials).

The successful launch began with the recent meeting in Kiev, attended by representatives of the judiciary and the legal profession, the media, process observers and NGOs (see HR-O). At two conferences in Kiev, this monitoring material will bring together all sides of the judiciary and discuss problems and solutions within the implementation of judicial reform in Ukraine. The first conference is expected to take place at the end of March 2020 and we would like to cordially invite all interested parties!

3. Monitoring of workers’ rights in Armenia.

With the support of the European Union

While in Ukraine the starting signal was given for the monitoring project mentioned above, – the final conference on the monitoring of workers’ rights took place in Armenia. Over 4,000 employees from supermarket and clothing retail chains were examined and interviewed here. It is hardly comprehensible to Western standards how striking the working conditions of these mostly female employees are: a 12-hour day without being allowed to sit down or just lean on! Without a normal break, without registration, without annual leave.
Due to the broad publicity of the media, which reached the Armenian ISHR Section with its monitoring results, the first significant achievements could be achieved. For example, the Occupational Health and Safety Department of the Republic of Armenia publicly declared these working conditions harmful to health and initiated training measures in the retail chains (see HR-O)

Your ISHR team
from Baku, Chisinau, Frankfurt, Yerevan, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow and Tbilisi