Kyiv, 12 December 2006. Fighting the poverty problem should be the main task of the Government in Ukraine, stated the participants of the Forum “Fighting Poverty: a Matter of Human Rights”. The Forum was organized jointly by the UN Office in Ukraine and the International Tolerance Centre on occasion of the Human Rights Day, observed by the international community every year on 10 December. b_89_67_16777215_00_images_content_news_835.jpg Kyiv, 12 December 2006. Fighting the poverty problem should be the main task of the Government in Ukraine, stated the participants of the Forum “Fighting Poverty: a Matter of Human Rights”. The Forum was organized jointly by the UN Office in Ukraine and the International Tolerance Centre on occasion of the Human Rights Day, observed by the international community every year on 10 December.
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Kyiv, 12 December 2006. Fighting the poverty problem should be the main task of the Government in Ukraine, stated the participants of the Forum “Fighting Poverty: a Matter of Human Rights”. The Forum was organized jointly by the UN Office in Ukraine and the International Tolerance Centre on occasion of the Human Rights Day, observed by the international community every year on 10 December.
This year fighting poverty was chosen as a theme for this year celebration, because poverty is both a cause and an effect of human right violations. The poor in many societies, including in Ukraine, cannot fully enjoy their rights to education, health and housing simply because they cannot afford.
According to the data of the independent international experts, near 2 million of Ukrainians live for less than 10 Hryvnyas a day. Moreover, according to the government’s data, in 2005 more than a half of Ukraine’s working population – 50.8% had total average-per-capita income lower than living standard allowance, while the poor amounted to 27.1% of overall population.
While opening the Forum, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr Francis O’DONNELL said that human rights constituted the fundamental values of any modern and pro-active civil society. “The promotion of human rights and the fight against poverty lie at the very heart of the United Nations mandate. These two goals are closely connected and mutually reinforcing. The essential idea underlying the adoption of a human rights approach to poverty reduction is that policies and institutions for poverty reduction should be based explicitly on the norms and values set out in international human rights law,” he added.
Analysing the direct links between fighting poverty and guaranteeing socio-economic and political human rights, the Forum participants defined a number of components leading to overall poverty. Specifically, the most significant include: discrimination, unequal access to resources, social and cultural stigmatization – all these lead to human rights violation.
Addressing the Forum, the Chairman of Verkhovna Rada Committee for human rights, national minorities and inter-ethnic relations, Mr Leonid GRACH, said that poverty was one of the most burning social problems in Ukraine. In his opinion, poverty reduction is also a way to human rights approach. Since the poor cannot afford enjoying their rights to full extent.
The participants underlined the key role the Verkhovna Rada ombudsman needs to play in defining the country’s human rights approach to poverty reduction strategies. It was said that this powerful institution “had to be an entity seeking no compromises when it comes to human rights”, while the post of ombudsman needed to be offered to a “person who would be free from political or any other influence”.
At the Forum, a report was presented on the results of all-Ukrainian survey “The Level of Human Rights Enforcement in Ukraine”. The survey was conducted this year in October by the Institute of Applied Humanitarian Research on request of the International Tolerance Centre in order to define the situation with human rights in Ukraine with emphasis on civic political, economic and social rights.
According to the results of the research, the top five most important human rights in Ukraine are the social-economic rights: right for medical care free of charge (44,8% of interrogated), right for work and just remuneration(39,8%), right for social care (34,7%), right to life (27%) and right to just and accessible court (21%). The experts of the Centre believe that such priority definition can be explained by the hard social situation in the country, no living standards improvement and social rights and social expectations of the citizens.
Many Forum participants praised the public poll as one of the very first moves made by Ukrainian NGOs on the path to establish on-going monitoring and implementation of human rights approach, as well as coupled purely scientific approaches with real human rights actions, contributing to the development of overall comprehensive poverty reduction mechanism.
Besides the presentation of the survey results, an Award ceremony of the winners of the Human Right Competition among children took place at the forum.
The participants of the Forum were the representatives of Ukrainian Government, Verkhovna Rada, UN System in Ukraine, leading human rights organizations and experts.
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For more information and accreditation please contact Ms. Veronika VASHCHENKO (254 00 35, veronika.vashchenko@undp.org)
On 10 December 1948 the United nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations Country Team is seriously concerned about the problem sunder-girding poverty in Ukraine and work concertedly with the Ukrainian Government to reduce it, and thus - to uphold human rights and human dignity in a more effective way.