Challenges of Donbas war: Ukraine wants to create a register of missing persons

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukrainian parliament registered bill that will define the legal status of such persons
14:46, 25 November 2016

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missing persons war
Agence France-Presse

Ukraine might create a Commission on missing persons and a single register of such persons. This is stated in the bill 5435 “On the legal status of missing persons” that was registered in the Verkhovna Rada by a First Vice Speaker Irina Gerashchenko, MPs Maria Ionova, Iryna Lutsenko, Irina Friz (Block of Petro Poroshenko), Andriy Teteruk (Popular Front), Oleksiy Ryabchyn ("Fatherland") and Sergiy Melnychuk (parliamentary group "Will of the people").

Related: German Green Party MP: No ceasefire - no elections in Donbas


As noted in the explanatory note to the document, the lack of proper regulation of the legal status of those missing is a gap of current legislation of Ukraine, which aggravated the need to address in connection with the armed conflict in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Donbas. The authors of the legislative initiative stress that the right to know the fate of missing relatives is provided by international humanitarian law.

Related: Donbas: Artillery strikes in Mariupol sector

In this case, MPs noted that the recommendations on establishment of such a mechanism were given to Ukraine in peacetime - in 2007. In particular, while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was asked to create a state body responsible for tracing missing persons as a result of armed conflict or violence within the state and protection of their relatives, or alternatively, to give these powers existing executive agency. In addition, the ICRC recommended to create a single registry of data on persons missing (both military and civilian) for the effective investigation and determining their fate. Already during the armed conflict in Donbas on the need to address the legal status of such persons and the establishment of effective mechanisms for their investigation pointed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Monitoring Mission and the UN Human Rights Council in Ukraine.

Related: 2,000 went missing in Donbas conflict, - ICRC

According to deputies, to solve this problem is the adoption of the most appropriate single law that will determine the legal status of persons missing, and ensure regulation of relations connected with the account of these persons and their investigation, in order to maximize overcome the devastating effects of conflict.

Key provisions

According to the authors of the bill, they took the developed by the Red Cross Guidelines / Model Law on persons missing, containing basic rules for the use of any power in the world in the development of legislation on protection of missing persons. These standards are reflected in the draft law considering the existing legal framework of Ukraine.

Related: Volunteers set up a large database of Russian presence in Donbas

Thus, the document defines the missing person as "an individual against whom there is no information about her whereabouts at the time of the application for the search," establishes the rights of individuals and provides them with adequate protection. Also, there is a definition of "person that disappeared in connection with armed conflict." Under the bill, this is "a person who disappeared in the area of armed conflict (international or not of an international) during military service or any other circumstances proving that the person staying in the area."

In addition, the project is proposed to consolidate the people's right to know the fate of their missing relatives is a basic norm for protection of their rights relating to the legal status of persons reported missing.

Among other things, the document provides for the establishment of the Commission on missing persons - the body responsible for the study of the fate and whereabouts of such persons. This will be a permanent subsidiary body of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, established to ensure coordination of agencies authorized to register / search for missing persons. The main task of the commission will determine the fate and whereabouts of such persons.

Related: ICC to decide on Maidan, Crimea and Donbas separately

Also, the powers of the authority will be the Unified Register of missing persons. It will contain information about:

- Search for people missing in connection with armed conflict, hostilities;

- Search for people missing in connection with emergency situations of natural or man-made disasters;

- Search for people missing in connection with the unrest within the country and any other circumstances;

- The existence or absence of a court decision on the recognition of wanted persons missing or dead in the manner prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine;

- Unidentified remains and associated objects and things.

Commission, National Police, the Security Service of Ukraine, central executive authority, which provides development and implementation of public policies on national security in the military sphere, would fill the information about the registry.


Related: Hague requests Ukraine to send more materials on Euromaidan, Crimea and Donbas

Also in the bill fixes procedure for tracing missing persons - from application to search and to its termination. The bodies authorized to search are National Police, territorial authorities, which accept the application for tracing missing. Police will be required within three days of receipt of such statement or information inform the Commission. The latter sends the appropriate inquiries entities, public authorities, local governments, public associations and international humanitarian organizations who may have relevant information. The Commission summarizes the information within three days and submit it to the relevant territorial authority of the National Police to implement measures to search for missing persons.

As previously reported, Russian-backed militants keep 109 Ukrainian citizens as hostages in Donbas are 109 citizens of Ukraine. Today Ukrainian authorities know the whereabouts of 57 hostages. In Minsk, representatives of the so-called "DPR" and "LPR" recognized maintenance of 47 hostages, another 495 are still considered missing.

Related: Belarusian president: Minsk ready to organize local election in Donbas

Recall, the chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrycak declared readiness of Ukraine’s Security Service to exchange one hostage for three.

Related: Poroshenko thanks Canada, Trudeau for helping Ukrainian boy crippled in Donbas

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