Championing Free Expression in Ukraine
Freedom House works to support civil society activists, media, and citizens in advocating for expansive freedom of expression in Ukraine.
Strengthening Champions for Free Expression in Ukraine in a Time of Conflict
Freedom House works to support civil society activists, media, and citizens in advocating for expansive freedom of expression (FOE) in Ukraine in order to galvanize government actors to develop policy that upholds respect for international standards of FOE. Freedom House and its partners support journalists, civil society activists, and others to develop the capacity and nuanced understanding to take collective action to protect FOE. Freedom House also develops and leverages a considerable body of evidence to support FOE advocacy and defense, ensuring that FOE is defended from the local courtroom up to parliamentary hearings.
Monitoring Violations of Freedom of Expression
Freedom House partner the Institute for Mass Information (IMI) is Ukraine’s leading local FOE advocate and regularly monitors and reports on FOE developments in Ukraine. Under this project, IMI maintains a network of 10 regional representatives and monitor violations to FOE at the national and local levels, producing regular reports based on its monitoring. IMI also provides extensive consultations to journalists on legal and ethical matters they encounter in their work and provides regular analyses of laws, policies, and cases connected to FOE. IMI also maintains its Barometer of Free Expression and Media Watch Network (MWN).
Advocacy for Freedom of Expression
Freedom House and partners work to establish collaborative relationships with local authorities and the police to address the crisis of violence against journalists. Through extensive collaboration with traditional and new media, educational and training programs, and domestic and international human rights advocacy, Freedom House partner ZMINA Human Rights Information Center contributes to a growing knowledge and respect for human rights across sectors in Ukraine. Under this project, ZMINA produces news, TV and radio broadcasts, and other materials on national and regional stations covering FOE policy challenges and solutions.
Under this project, Freedom House supports independent researchers based in Ukraine for forward-looking briefs that focus on media and human rights issues. In January 2020, Freedom House published its first policy brief in this series, entitled “Investigative Journalism and Its Role in Ukraine’s Democracy.” Written by local analyst Oleksandr Yaroshchuk, the brief overviews the role of investigative journalism in Ukraine, as well as the obstacles that journalists face in the course of their work.
Legal Assistance to Journalists
With a strong network of lawyers across Ukraine, Freedom House partner Human Rights Platform (HRP) provides direct legal assistance to journalists and media promptly and efficiently. HRP has played a leading role in assessing laws’ and policies’ consistency with domestic and international FOE standards, intervening in controversial FOE cases, and providing analysis on the balance between FOE, digital rights and national security, and territorial integrity and sovereignty. Under this project, HRP provides full-spectrum legal assistance to journalists, activists, and others in FOE cases, including court representation as necessary, and engages with professional journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and government officials to educate them on FOE.
Click here for HRP’s new Guidebook on Reporting on Conflict-Related Cases, which contains an analysis of Ukraine’s national legal framework and international standards relating to limitations on FOE in times of armed conflict.
Freedom House Statements and Blogs
Freedom House regularly releases official statements in defense of civil society in Ukraine. All official statements and other press related to Ukraine can be found on the News and Updates page.