Documenting Violations of Human Rights

Starting in 2014 the Centre as a member of the Coalition ‘Justice for Peace in Donbas’ has documented human rights violations that occurred during the war in Donbas. The Centre’s team participated in a number of specialised trainings, where they learned the skills of collecting, processing and storing testimonies from people affected by the war.

The Centre also participated in the creation of questionnaires, which are designed to produce evidence that can be presented in court. The Centre’s interviewers regularly go to every accessible town in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts to collect dozens of first hand testimonies of human rights violations.

The Eastern Ukrainian Centre for Civic Initiatives collects records demonstrating serious violations of human rights caused by the armed conflict in Donbas. These violations include:

  • illegal arrest and detention;
  • inhuman treatment;
  • torture;
  • enrolling minors to armed units;
  • gender and sexual based violence.

As a member of the Coalition, the Centre ensures completeness of information and access to their violation of human rights database. The database contains and displays collected information by subject, i.e. stories, participants, evidences etc. The Centre’s team supplements information received from the interviewees using publicly available sources, we thoroughly check that the information is accurate. It is critical for us to identify the perpetrators who violated human rights. We therefore seek to find at least three different pieces of evidence about committed crimes.

During the past three years, the Centre has developed standards for collecting and processing testimonies of people affected by the war. Within the Coalition, the Centre’s experts are responsible for quality control and processing of information. The Eastern Ukrainian Centre for Civic Initiatives offers legal aid and support during court proceedings free of charge.