On October 16 UCIPR presented findings from the 2020 CSO-Meter report at the round table discussion “How to Align the Ukrainian Legislation on Civil Society with the European and Global Best Practices”. The report outlines some key recommendations for advocacy, in particular:
- introduce state funding of institutional support for CSOs of youth and people with disabilities;
- vote Amendments to the Tax Code to encourage giving charitable assistance;
- push authorities to stimulate criminal investigation against journalists and representatives of CSOs;
- introduce online registration for different types of CSOs obtaining non-profit status.
The Deputy Minister of Veterans, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, and the representative of the Ministry of Justice took part at the event and supported the importance of the abovementioned changes. The head of the most progressive cultural fund allocating money to cultural projects highlighted that they are planning to implement some projects in cooperation with veterans and youth, which is an important development for Ukrainian CSOs.
Overall, around 50 people participated at the event offline and around 50 online: representatives of CSOs of human rights, veterans, youth, think tanks, etc. from different parts of Ukraine.
Discussing the legal environment for CSOs in Ukraine, participants agreed that the practice has deteriorated and there is no active reform. Processes in 4 out of 10 areas have become worse than a year ago.
Another finding is the lack of notable reforms: only 1 of the 16 recommendations of last year’s report has been implemented. Moreover, 11 out of the16 key recommendations has not even started to be implemented.
Moreover, participants summarized key priorities for authorities to improve the development of civil society in Ukraine. In particular:
- ensure the appropriate and efficient investigation of attacks on journalists and civil activists, including those who protect the rights of women, LGBT communities, anti-corruption activists and others;
- avoid initiating draft laws intended to worsen the legal environment for CSOs;
- cancel administrative responsibility for violating the non-existent procedure for organizing and holding peaceful assemblies (Article 185-1 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine);
- adopt legislation that would regulate when and how law enforcement agencies may resort to force during peaceful assemblies and oblige the representatives of law enforcement agencies participating in peaceful assemblies to have visible individual identification signs;
- implement contest-based and transparent mechanism for funding CSOs from state and local budgets, monitoring CSOs and reporting by CSOs;
- launch an automated humanitarian aid registration system; and
- adopt the National Strategy for Civil Society Development 2021–2025 and establish the Coordination Council for Civil Society Development under the Cabinet Ministries of Ukraine.
For the full report (in English) click here.