Grim statistics from eastern Ukraine: Human rights situation in eastern Ukraine deteriorates – UN report

13:42 Sep. 15, 2016

Human rights situation in eastern Ukraine deteriorates – UN report

Residents evacuate their houses with their belongings following large-caliber artillery attack, staged by pro-Russian separatist on Wednesday morning in Krasnogorivka Donetsk region, Ukraine on June 15, 2016 (Getty Images)

Number of conflict-related deaths hits more than 9,600 as death toll is on the constant rise

A new UN report released on Thursday describes the deterioration of the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine, as a result of escalating hostilities between June and August, and the continued disregard for the protection of civilians by both sides of the conflict.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said that by 15 September 2016, it recorded 9,640 conflict-related deaths and 22,431 injuries among Ukrainian armed forces, civilians and members of the armed groups since the conflict began in mid-April 2014.

The report, which covers the period from mid-May to mid-August, shows a 66 per cent increase of the number of conflict-related civilian casualties in the east, compared to the previous reporting period.

Read also UN rings alarm bells on record number of civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine

In total, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented 188 civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, including 28 dead and 160 injured, during the three months covered by the report.

"While the situation has improved since the ceasefire was restored on 1 September, the situation along the contact line remains deeply unstable, as demonstrated by the incidents which took place last week-end. In fact, there is a real risk that a new outbreak of violence could happen at any time," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

The authors of the report also reiterate that civilians living in the conflict-affected area are deprived of protection, access to basic services and humanitarian aid, and that their freedom of movement is severely hampered.

Those who fled the war-torn Donbas region are also facing serious problems, including    discrimination in accessing employment, accommodation or banking services based on their place of origin.

The situation of more than 1.7 million people registered as internally displaced people is a major source of concern, the UN Human Rights Office says.

One of the key issues lies in the decision by the Ukrainian Government to link the payment of pensions and social entitlements to IDPs to their registration and the verification of their place of residence, which has negatively impacted some 500,000 to 600,000 IDPs in eastern Ukraine.

Full report on the human rights situation in Ukraine can be read here

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