Ukraine is creating a new institute for monitoring the observance of human rights in conditions of full-scale aggression

In order to comply with international humanitarian law during the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Reintegration initiated the draft law “On the application and observance of norms of international humanitarian law in Ukraine”, FREEDOM informs.

According to Iryna Vereshchuk, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, the draft law will allow the creation of new institutions for monitoring compliance with international humanitarian law on the territory of Ukraine, while Russia violates it in every way.

“This is the impotence of the strong, when, it would seem, international humanitarian law, the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross, all others watch helplessly as people, women, children, civilians are killed, as they simply refuse — officially refuse to open the corridor, and even if the corridor are opened, then this is only an agreement between the two parties, and the international institute here plays the role of only an observer, that is, no responsibility,” said Vereshchuk.

The draft law provides for the introduction of the Institute of the Commissioner for the Application of IHL as an official of the executive branch of government. He will be responsible for the implementation of Ukraine’s international legal obligations in the field of international humanitarian law. In particular, it will monitor the observance of the rights of persons who have the status of prisoners of war.

“This will be the first draft law that will at least define the legal framework, it will really be infrastructural. We will understand who is doing what at the national level. And the most important thing is that our international partners will support us in this, they say that we have every right to be leaders in this,” said Vereshchuk.

The new position of the Commissioner for International Humanitarian Law will not duplicate the functions of the human rights ombudsman already in force in Ukraine:

“The Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada is a body of parliamentary control, and we say what we want in the conditions of an armed conflict, when the tasks of protecting people’s rights become much, much greater in connection with the war. This is the issue of war prisoners of war, the civilian population during the occupation, the bodies of the dead — this work in the executive branch of government should be headed by a person who will be professionally trained and really have the authority to do so,” said Oleksandr Bakumov, head of the Temporary Special Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The bill was written based on the experience of all world armed conflicts. But right now, according to Bakumov, during a full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine, Russia is using all kinds of modern and prohibited weapons – these facts will be able to supplement the protocols of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war after the end of the war.

“A doctrine is also being formed in Ukraine – a new scientific teaching on international humanitarian law and the practice of international humanitarian law. I think you and I will witness protocols, additional protocols to the conventions of the Kyiv Protocols, which will regulate the rules, customs of waging war, behavior with prisoners of war, exchange. Because, unfortunately, these are the practical elements of waging war that we saw here, on the territory of our state!”, Oleksandr Bakumov emphasized.

In addition, it is envisaged to create a temporary special commission that will monitor compliance with international humanitarian law in Ukraine. Its task is to study the issues of observing rights and freedoms in the conditions of war, as well as to take care of the return of Ukrainian prisoners of war. Currently, the draft law is being considered by specialized committees, then it will be submitted to the parliament.