Ukraine to take full responsibility for upholding apprehended migrants? rights

Kyiv, 28 January 2013

Ukrainian state authorities will ensure respect for the rights of apprehended irregular migrants.

From 2009 till 2012, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) monitored irregular migrants? accommodation conditions and the exercise of their rights. This project was funded by the European Union (budget EUR 2,377,204) and implemented in cooperation with the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS), the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Commissioner on Human Rights (Ombudsman), the Ministry of the Interior, the State Migration Service (SMS) of Ukraine (from 2011) and other Ukrainian state authorities.

Since the IOM Ukraine projects came to an end, this function becomes the full responsibility of the Ukrainian State.

A number of positive changes in 2012 will support Ukraine to provide comprehensive internal and external monitoring of the rights of apprehended irregular migrants. For example, the Ombudsman?s office took the lead in the National Torture Prevention Mechanism; the Administration of the State Border Guard Service introduced the practice of written surveys among migrants about their accommodation conditions and rights observance; and SMS and IOM hotlines which field complaints and questions are functioning. Finally, the SBGS and SMS gained experience in hosting and organizing monitoring visits.

?The current practice, institutional capacity and preventive mechanism give us confidence that the effective monitoring of migrants? accommodation conditions and rights can be conducted using state budget funds and upon the initiative of the respective state authorities,? noted IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.

In upholding the rights of irregular migrants, Ukraine fulfills its international obligations on the prevention of inhumane or humiliating treatment of apprehended irregular migrants. Inter alia, this is stipulated by the Optional Protocol to the European Convention on Torture Prevention and by the EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalization Action Plan.

From 1 January 2009 till 30 June 2012, the SBGS apprehended 9,751 people for illegal border crossing. The SBGS-administered Temporary Holding Facilities are short-term placement structures for persons who have violated the border regime, including irregular migrants. The SMS-administered Volyn and Chernihiv Migrant Accommodation Centres (MAC) are able to simultaneously accommodate 373 irregular migrants. According to Ukrainian legislation, a foreigner or a stateless person may stay in a MAC for up to a year waiting for the implementation of a court decision on expulsion. From 1 January 2009 till 30 June 2012, over 1,500 persons were accommodated in the Volyn and Chernihiv MACs.

For further information please contact IOM Ukraine Communications Officer Ms. Varvara Zhluktenko (+38 044 568 50 15, 067 447 97 92, and EU Delegation Communications Manager Ms. Bianca B?umler (+38 044 390 80 10 ext. 1704,