Contributing to EU Human Rights Dialogue with Ukraine

Halya Postoliuk

The Opening Doors campaign recently participated in the EU-Ukraine Human Rights Dialogue, a regular dialogue between the Government of Ukraine and the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS).

Ahead of the official talks between the Government and the EEAS, Halya Postoliuk of Hope and Homes for Children Ukraine, national coordinator for the Opening Doors campaign, attended a meeting with the EEAS and civil society representatives in Brussels to update officials on the situation of children in institutional care in Ukraine and the challenges to ending institutional care in Ukraine.

In spite of a policy framework to support deinstitutionalisation (DI), Ukraine lacks the clear strategy needed to implement reform and approximately 80,000 children are in institutional care nationally – one of the highest numbers in Europe.

“Recent political upheaval, limited human and financial resources, lack of services, a difficult economic environment and resistance by broader society all contribute to a difficult environment for the implementation of any reforms”, commented Ms Postoliuk.

“The EU can play an important role by applying ongoing pressure to ensure deinstitutionalisation remains high on the political agenda”.

Ms Postoliuk also updated the EEAS on a number of urgent concerns arising as the conflict in Eastern Ukraine intensifies. She called on the EEAS to make reference to issues relating to children in institutional care and children and families in the zone of antiterrorist operation (ATO) to ensure that the protection of children’s rights are a key consideration in the government response.