МАЙДАН - За вільну людину у вільній країні

Архіви Форумів Майдану

U.S. Department: Про підтримку прав людини (про Україну також) /

05/19/2004 | НеДохтор
Про Україну англійський варіант тут

Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2003-2004
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor


Ukraine is a mixed parliamentary and presidential republic governed by a directly elected president, a prime minister who heads a cabinet of ministers and a unicameral parliament (Rada). Flawed parliamentary and local elections in 2002 and 2003 restricted citizens’ right to change their government. Eleventh-hour, procedurally flawed constitutional amendment proposals in December 2003 and February 2004 raised concerns about Ukraine’s commitment to democracy. The Government’s human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained. Members of the security forces committed human rights abuses including torture and custodial deaths with impunity. Arbitrary arrest and detention, sometimes from what appeared to be political motivation, remained a problem. Authorities continued to interfere with news media by harassing and intimidating journalists, censoring material and pressuring them to apply self-censorship. The Government failed to render justice for murdered journalists Heorhiy Gongadze and Ihor Aleksandrov. In the latter part of 2003 and in early 2004, the Government intensified its repression of civil society, especially members of the opposition and independent media, curtailing civil and political liberties and violating human rights. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary; however, courts were subject to political interference and corruption and trial delays were common. Trafficking in women and girls remained a serious problem.
The U.S. human rights and democracy strategy for Ukraine focuses on creating the conditions for free and fair October 2004 presidential elections. This includes strengthening the rule of law, independent media and respect for civil liberties, and improving monitoring and advocacy capacity of human rights organizations. Combating trafficking in persons is also a key goal. To this end, the United States engaged in diplomatic efforts and supported a variety of assistance programs.

Diplomatically, the Ambassador, embassy officers and senior U.S. officials regularly met with relevant officials in Kiev, including President Leonid Kuchma, and the regions, and Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky met with high-level Ukrainian officials in Washington, D.C., to stress that membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other Euro-Atlantic institutions hinges on respect for democracy and human rights. This message was reinforced in March 2004 when Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with President Kuchma, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko and opposition leaders Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko in Kiev. Deputy Secretary Armitage stressed the importance of Ukraine holding free, fair, open and democratic presidential campaigns and elections in October 2004 in order for Ukraine to achieve its stated goal of joining Euro-Atlantic institutions and for U.S.-Ukraine relations to deepen. In particular, the United States has called for an end to harassment of independent media and the abuse of administrative resources, especially tax inspections targeting certain businesses associated with the opposition, and to attempts to amend the Constitution during the pre-electoral period. Under Secretary Dobriansky regularly met with high-level Ukrainian officials and urged them to respect human rights and uphold democratic practices especially in the run-up to the October 2004 elections.

U.S. officials continuously work with members of the international community through multilateral institutions such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations to press the Government to uphold its international human rights commitments.

Programmatically, the United States provides financial and technical assistance to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and technical assistance to governmental bodies. In Fiscal Year 2003, U.S. democracy assistance to Ukraine totaled $55 million, about $26.5 million of which was allocated for U.S.-based training and exchange programs. Embassy officials also extensively monitor and report on democracy and human rights issues and regularly coordinate assistance strategies with donors and members of the international community.

In order to strengthen the rule of law, the United States funded efforts to increase the independence and efficiency of the judiciary. Key components include establishing the first National Independent Judges Association, which provides judges with a forum to share information and resources and a mechanism to strengthen the judiciary as a counterweight to the executive branch, training judges and developing and implementing a computerized court administration program that increased pilot courts’ processing capacity by nearly 100 percent and reduced corruption. In 2003, a U.S.-funded anti-corruption program provided more than 7,000 legal consultations and represented citizens in more than 1,000 cases against government officials.

Through the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program and the Media Development Fund, the Embassy helped establish a network of NGOs that advocates human rights and media freedoms, providing 42 grants to organizations that monitor and report on human rights abuses, monitor elections and help develop the NGO sector. In September, the grantees held their second annual human rights and media freedom conference to discuss the results of their monitoring. Ambassador Herbst made his first speech on the importance of human rights at the September Democracy Commission conference, garnering press attention for the event and for the U.S. stand on these issues.

The United States continues to employ a variety of means to promote the conditions for free and fair elections in Ukraine. The United States consistently emphasizes to Ukrainian officials the importance of holding elections that fully meet OSCE standards. High-level U.S. officials and public figures also traveled to Ukraine in 2003 to deliver this message and will do so again in 2004. The State Department issued a statement decrying the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate foreign and foreign-funded NGOs involved in election-related activities. The United States and the Council of Europe voiced objections to last minute, procedurally flawed constitutional amendment proposals resulting in the withdrawal of the most controversial component. The United States also pressed the Government to appoint balanced electoral commissions resulting in the confirmation of two opposition members. Election-related programs focus on reforming key institutions, bolstering administrative capacity, coordinating domestic and international efforts, improving monitoring, increasing civic education, and strengthening independent media.

U.S. assistance aims to help Ukraine improve and comply with its electoral legislation and regulatory framework. The goal is to create the necessary institutions for democratic elections at every level. The program also aims to strengthen the professionalism, competence and independence of election commission members, civil servants, judges and all officials involved in administering, supervising and adjudicating elections.

The Ambassador initiated a series of roundtables with the international community and NGOs involved in elections, political analysis and media issues to identify the steps necessary for a free and fair campaign and election and to facilitate coordination of election-related projects and resources. In addition, the Embassy helped organize a working group of more than 20 embassies to monitor the campaign and elections to ensure that any irregularities are recorded.

The United States is working extensively with NGOs, parliamentarians and election administrators at the national and local levels on long and short-term election monitoring, voter education and the development of sound election laws and administration. With U.S. support, the Committee of Voters of Ukraine conducted the first civic, long-term pre-election monitoring for the 2002 parliamentary elections, as well as for by-elections in 2003. The results were widely disseminated and published on the Internet. Another program will focus on increasing the effectiveness of civic organizations observing and monitoring elections for compliance with international standards. Additionally, the program will improve public access to information helping voters to make informed choices and raise voters’ and candidates’ awareness of their electoral rights and responsibilities.

The United States continues to promote media freedom in a variety of ways. In response to Government attempts to restrict media freedom, the United States worked with other members of the international community, including the OSCE, to press the Government to uphold its international commitments to media freedom. The United States consistently emphasizes the fundamental right of journalists to report in an objective manner without fear of reprisal. Senior U.S. officials continue to urge the Government to conduct full and transparent investigations of murdered journalists Heorhiy Gongadze and Ihor Aleksandrov and to hold those responsible accountable.

The United States also supports free and independent media in Ukraine by providing a wide range of support to Ukrainian journalists, media organizations and other NGOs, with the aim of improving the financial sustainability of outlets and supporting the production of balanced news. Projects focus on improving the legal, administrative and fiscal environment for Ukrainian media, expanding Internet use, improving professional journalist standards, providing legal assistance and increasing the operating capacity of independent media. Sixty-three percent of the journalists who received legal assistance under these programs won their cases. Training for journalists and technical assistance to 16 media outlets helped improve media quality and quantity. Consequently, fledgling media associations have emerged as strong free speech advocates.

The United States provided extensive grants and training to civil society organizations (CSOs) in an effort to foster civic activism and promote freedom of association. During 2003, the United States funded grants to CSOs in more than 15 oblasts to support advocacy and legislative reform, private enterprise development, improved public administration and training. These CSOs helped develop a national network of pro bono advocacy centers and student legal clinics that defend a broad spectrum of citizens' rights. More than 4,000 clients received assistance by the end of 2003. Senior U.S. officials repeatedly pressed the Government to register the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute so they could carry out projects supporting political party development; they were registered in September 2003.

To help eliminate human rights abuses committed by security forces, the Embassy continues to work with the Ukrainian military, primarily focusing efforts on the rules of land warfare, rules of engagement formulation and the legal basis for conflict. The Defense Institute for International Legal Studies will continue to send two mobile training teams to provide instruction on human rights issues. To ensure that the United States trains individuals who have not violated human rights, the United States uses a vetting procedure in accordance with the Leahy amendment.

Religious freedom continues to improve, but some registration difficulties and property restitution issues remain. The United States actively works with the Government to protect religious sites neglected or mistreated during the Soviet era. The United States also actively encouraged the Government to return religious properties and edifices to their rightful owners. The United States requested that the Government register religious groups who have requested registration and permit religious groups, including minority and non-native faiths, to practice freely.

The United States supports the labor movement in its efforts to obtain full government recognition as well as freedom to associate and bargain collectively. The Embassy supported NGO-administered seminars, maintained ongoing contact with union representatives and regularly reported on workers’ rights issues. The U.S. Department of Labor funds a number of technical assistance programs in Ukraine to promote basic rights of workers.

Eliminating trafficking in persons and assisting victims are priorities. The United States hosted international conferences in Ukraine to raise awareness about trafficking. The United States funds a number of well-respected organizations that assist trafficking victims and works to prevent trafficking through educational programs and information hotlines. More than 52,000 people have consulted the various hotlines to date. Partly due to U.S. efforts, the Government increased its collaboration with anti-trafficking NGOs. The Ukrainian Ombudsman publicly praised the United States for its consistent, energetic support of anti-trafficking efforts.
Released on May 17, 2004


На сайті Inopressa.ru є загальна стаття і переклад частини доповіді про Росію.
В понедельник, 17 марта, Госдепартамент США обнародовал составленный по запросу конгресса доклад "Поддержка прав человека и демократии: усилия США", в котором приводятся факты о том, что предпринимают США по всему миру с целью содействия демократии и соблюдению прав человека.
Обнародование доклада, который является дополнением к основному докладу Госдепартамента о нарушениях прав человека в разных странах, было задержано на несколько недель из-за скандала вокруг пыток иракских заключенных американскими военнослужащими.

"Содействие демократии и соблюдению прав человека в мире не только отражает самые важные ценности нашей страны, но и глубоко соответствует нашим интересам", – заявил госсекретарь США Колин Пауэлл в предисловии к докладу.

Его заместитель Ричард Армитидж, однако, во время встречи с репортерами впрямую упомянул скандал вокруг пыток.

"Мы видели, как в последние недели некоторые идеалы и институты (Америки) обрушились после шокирующего разоблачения американских нарушений прав человека в Ираке, – указал Армитидж. – Когда президент Буш выразил свое глубокое отвращение и сожаление, это была не только его личная реакция как принципиального человека. Это была также его реакция как главы государства, которое придерживается более высоких стандартов поведения как у себя дома, так и во всем мире".

В новом докладе Госдепа речь идет о 101 стране мира, ...

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Архів пітримує Громадська організація Інформаційний центр "Майдан Моніторинг". E-mail: news@maidan.org.ua