A round table “Ways to Eliminate Discrimination in the Field of Registration of Civil Acts of Birth and Death of Persons from the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine”, where the non-governmental organizations “Center for Legal and Political Studies “SIM” and “Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union” presented an analytical report on the relevant issues was held in Odessa on the 17th day of January, 2018. The representatives of Odessa Regional State Administration, Central Territorial Administration of Justice in Odessa Region, Odessa Regional Appeal Court, the representatives of public organizations, of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine had been invited to attend the event. The Mission of the President Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was not invited to attend the event by its organizers.
The specified report of public associations proposes to change the existing procedures for registering the acts of birth and death that took place in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In particular, the authors of the report suggested replacing the existing judicial procedure for registering the acts of birth and death of the citizens of Ukraine for the inhabitants of Crimea, provided for by the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine, with the preservation of such a procedure for residents of the temporarily occupied Donbas. The authors of the report explained this possible discrimination against the citizens of Ukraine living on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in the East in comparison with citizens living in Crimea by the fact that, in their opinion, the territories of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are allegedly “not occupied” by the aggressor state.
In the draft of amendments to the legislation, the authors of the report, among other things, offered the bodies of state registration of civil status acts to consider “information provided in the acts (decisions, documents) issued by the illegal authorities (officials and officers) in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as institutions, organizations and establishments operating in the specified territory” while confirming the facts of birth and death of citizens residing at the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea. Unfortunately, our Mission was not informed by the organizers of the event and did not have an opportunity to examine materials of the report or to discuss the relevant offers at the round table.
The Mission is adamantly opposed to any attempts of legalization of the authorities of the aggressor state in Crimea and implementation of additional discrimination against the citizens of Ukraine residing at the temporarily occupied territories, depending on the area of their residence and presence or absence of the fact of unlawful annexation of such territories by the aggressor state. Besides, the registration of acts of birth and death of persons at the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea without judicial examination substantially increases the corruption risks in this field, and it is highly likely that the special services of the aggressor state and criminal groups acting in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea and controlled by it would play the card of this situation.
In its turn, the Mission does everything possible within its competence and powers to simplify the procedures for registering birth and death acts at the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea. Among main practical issues in this field the following should be specified: insufficient number of judges and lawyers in the areas close to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea, insufficient level of additional training of these officials on issues of the international humanitarian law and human rights, procedural imperfection of the regulations of the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine. The elimination of these negative factors would be a constituent of the Action Plan of urgent measures in the field of counteraction to the Russian aggression from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in Crimea, for protection the interests of the state, of citizens of Ukraine and of Ukrainian legal entities in Crimea, which is currently being processed by the Mission.