Since the very first days of the coronavirus spread, the community advisers have been facilitating elimination of consequences and prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the Ukrainian communities.
Thus, according to the survey conducted by the Ukrainian paralegals in 16 regions of Ukraine, as of the beginning of April 2020, the most common legal inquiries regarding the recovery of rights violated as a result of the spread of COVID-19 were as follows:
- Violation of the labour laws (dismissal of employees, non-payment of wages, involuntary unpaid leaves);
- Violation of the patients’ rights (medical facilities refuse to render services to the sick; it is difficult to attend medical facilities and pharmacies due to lack of transport);
- Violation of the medical staff’s rights (inadequate provision of personal protection equipment and treatment; patients’ failure to adhere to the anti-epidemic conduct rules);
- Violation of rights of the people returning from aboard in terms of lack of coordination of actions of the diplomatic missions as to information and transport support;
- Restriction of the right to freedom of movement (in particular, due to lack of transport).
One of the mechanisms for preventing violation of human rights in the future may be professional consulting by the specialists from the free legal aid system on how to protect your rights and to respond to the violated rights.
The Association of the Community Advisers of Ukraine suggested prompt creation of such consultations to the senior executives of the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid.
In its turn, the Association keeps monitoring and consolidating information on violation of the Ukrainians’ rights during the pandemic.
The community advisers are planning to keep working in the following areas:
1Collection of information on the real needs of the health care facilities in the Ukrainian regions where the fight against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and elimination of the consequences are centred.
2 Monitoring of the decisions of the local authorities and executive authorities (Regional State Administrations, District State Administrations, local authorities, National Police, State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, State Emergency Service etc.) and development of:
- List of the key issues and omission by the local authorities and services in the Ukrainian regions;
- List of examples of the best management decisions on site and facilitation of use thereof in the other communities of Ukraine.
3Monitoring and development of lists of the people’s legal inquiries regarding protection of their rights violated in the context of COVID-19; interaction with the specialists of the free legal aid system in order to give exhaustive answers to the legal inquiries via the community’s communication channels and representatives.
4Control over adherence to the emergency mode by the economic operators.
5Search for efficient mechanisms for support of the local business.
6Continuous control over the operational information of the WHO and MoH as to prevention of the spread of COVID-19. Fight against fake information. Creation of available content to inform the residents of the communities as to the spread and prevention of COVID-19.
7Assessment of adherence to the anti-epidemic mode by the community residents and propagation of the need to adhere to the current disinfection and quarantine mode.
As for the initiatives of the community advisers regarding counteraction to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be noted that the key role of the advisers for the community is their role of initiators and coordinators of the volunteer movement as the ones creating communication platforms for the community, having arrangements with the authorities and dispelling fake news and rumors about of the virus.