Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska: "Openness, transparency and cooperation with CSO and human rights defenders are the main priorities in my activity and activity of the Secretariat"

03/06/2015 15:24

The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights declared this thesis, delivering a speech at the Human Dimension Seminar "The Role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in the OSCE Area" which was held in Warsaw (Republic of Poland).

"My personal experience proves that the most effective way to overcome threats and challenges is practical implementation of the recommendations of the Budapest Summit back in 1994, when the OSCE participating States committed to move towards a genuine partnership in a New Era, recognizing partnership with CSOs as the fundamental issue in promoting human rights and strengthening rule of Law.

That’s why three years ago, right after election, I declared openness, transparency and cooperation with CSO and human rights defenders as the main priorities for my activity and activity of the Secretariat", – Ms.Valeriya Lutkovska noted.

She emphasized that the beginning of work in 2012 was difficult and complicated. Activity of the NHRI was severely criticized by media and CSOs for not being transparent and being closed for CSOs and human rights defenders. To improve the situation and to become a really effective instrument of empowerment and horn in hands of human rights CSOs we decided to strictly follow public recommendations of those CSOs which for 15 years performed external monitoring of the Institution.

"To become a “CSO-friendly” Office we decided to set our structure, priorities, principles and policies according to recommendations of human rights CSOs – we put this issues to open discussion in social media. Everyone could make a contribution to this public dialogue – a good example of open crowd-sourcing.

As the outcome we managed to define our main priorities and to find the best candidates for Representatives of the Commissioner upon those priorities. We also agreed that the best model of activity of our Office is the model “Ombudsman plus” – Ombudsperson plus CSOs’ representatives. On the base of this model almost 3 years effectively operates the National Preventive Mechanism against tortures, which opened the doors of closed placed such as psychiatric institutions, temporary accommodation facilities for refugees, nursing homes, childcare residences, asylums homes, social rehabilitation centers and other institutions", -Ombudsman of Ukraine emphasized.

Summing up the speech, Ms.Valeriya Lutkovska underlined that whoever holds the position of the Commissioner for Human Rights, however ambitious and hardworking this person is, he or she will not be able to react effectively and efficiently to all petitions concerning violations of human rights or be strong enough to stand all those challenges and threats that appear every day. "Therefore, in my work and in the work of our Office we rely on the support of and effective cooperation with CSOs that have considerable experience in the field of human rights defense. So my short formula on how to overcome challenges and threats is: “Stronger together in friendship and solidarity” – the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights summarized.