CrimeaSOS: Ukraine needs the involvement of foreign resources to help the families of the disappeared

13 / 07 / 2023

Due to the large number of enforced disappearances, Ukraine should attract the resources of foreign countries and international organizations to cover at least the primary needs of the disappeared and their families. CrimeaSOS analyst Yevhenii Yaroshenko told this at the public discussion “Five years of the Law on the Legal Status of Missing Persons: Is There Progress?”.

“The number of victims of enforced disappearances is so large that neither the resources of the state nor the resources of human rights organizations are sufficient to cover at least the primary needs of families. The question arises about attracting the resources of foreign states and international organizations to provide the necessary psychological, legal, and social support to both the disappeared and their family members”, — says Yevhenii Yaroshenko.

In his opinion, it is also worth demarcating the investigation of cases of enforced disappearance between the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and other states whose legislation allows for the investigation of such cases within the framework of the mechanism of universal jurisdiction.

According to CrimeaSOS, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, at least 644 people have become victims of enforced disappearances in the Kherson region.

On July 12, 2023, a public discussion “Five years of the Law on the Legal Status of Missing Persons: Is There Progress?” was held. Five years ago, on July 12, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law that determined the legal status of persons who disappeared under special circumstances, in particular in connection with the armed conflict and the occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine. Only in May 2023, the Unified Register of Persons Missing Under Special Circumstances became operational in Ukraine. 

In particular, Oleh Kotenko (Commissioner for Missing Persons under Special Circumstances), Oleksandr Kononenko (Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights in the System of Security and Defence Sector Bodies), and Matthew Holliday (Europe Program Director of the International Commission on Missing Persons) took part in the discussion.

The discussion was organized by the Ukraine 5 AM Coalition, ZMINA Human Rights Centre and Media Initiative for Human Rights.


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