Civic Oversight in Ukraine
Freedom House supports Ukrainian civil society in providing effective public oversight of the activities of the Ukrainian government law-enforcement and security services.
Security Services Under Civic Oversight in Ukraine
Freedom House supports Ukrainian civil society in providing effective public oversight of the activities of the Ukrainian government law-enforcement and security services, including the Ministry of Interior, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Defense, as well as to foster productive engagement between the security services and civil society. Freedom House and its partners work to create platforms for civil society representatives to engage directly with law-enforcement and security officials to discuss issues of mutual concern at the national and local levels, and to identify constructive solutions. The project activities aim to demonstrate that the security-sector effectiveness, accountability, and democratic governance are mutually reinforcing elements of Ukraine’s security.
Freedom House partner Expert Center for Human Rights uses research, solution-focused advocacy, and support to government agencies to introduce systemic changes in respect for human rights in Ukrainian criminal justice. Under this program, Expert Center is working to establish and support new Regional Human Rights Platforms in the regions of Kherson, Lviv and Dnipro as well as conflict-affected regions Luhansk (Severodonetsk) and Donetsk (Kramatorsk). Each Platform will serve as a clearinghouse for joint public oversight efforts by civil society and security sector officials to identify and address urgent systematic problems with the work of security-sector agencies in each region.
Promoting Reform of the Security Sector
Freedom House and partners regularly provide high-quality analysis on the security sector to guide advocacy efforts and inform lawmakers and political leaders involved in reform. The Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights conducts analysis of SSU laws, rules, and procedures that will culminate in a roadmap for civic engagement between civil society and security-sector agencies. Freedom House partner StateWatch also conducts legal analyses of key draft laws relating to the State Bureau of Investigation introduced in the Rada and makes them accessible to the larger public and policy community through public education and engagement. The Center for Civil Liberties develops mechanisms of civic oversight over law enforcement in Ukraine’s regions by engaging local activists and citizens in the monitoring activities of the OZON network.
Cooperation with the Government
Freedom House and its partners regularly engage with security sector bodies to enhance cooperation and engagement between the security sector and civil society. A key task of Freedom House and partners is to build trust between civil society and the security sector to develop productive cooperation focused on improving respect for human rights in Ukraine.
Analytical and Media Materials
Freedom House works with Ukrainian journalists to raise awareness among both governmental bodies and wider society on the topic of public and civic oversight. In particular, Freedom House works to develop popular understanding and support for the notion that public oversight is essential for a democratic society and that it can be mutually beneficial both for the security services and society as a whole.