Stronger Together

NHRI responses to the armed conflict in
Ukraine and emerging human rights
challenges

Introduction

The ongoing armed attack on Ukraine has displaced over eight million people and forced nearly five million to flee the country. The human rights consequences – particularly for those seeking refuge – have been immense.

Reflecting their crucial role in protecting and promoting human rights in (post-) conflict situations, National Human Rights Institutions have been at the forefront of the response.

ENNHRI INITIATIVES

Conflict in Ukraine: NHRIs outline the human rights impacts across Europe

Delegation travels to Ukrainian-Polish border in support of Ukrainian NHRI and to observe the human rights situation

ENNHRI delegation to Warsaw sees local action to support those seeking refuge from Ukraine conflict

Following the armed attack on Ukraine, ENNHRI calls for its immediate end, respect for humanitarian law, and protection of human rights

NHRI responses

Discover how NHRIs across Europe are facing the many human rights challenges emerging from the armed conflict in Ukraine and expressing solidarity.

People’s Advocate of Albania

  • The People’s Advocate joins rally held in Tirana in solidarity with Ukraine (English)
  • The People’s Advocate in Albania supports ENNHRI’s statement urging the guarantee of human rights in the context of the armed attack on Ukraine (Albanian)
  • The People’s Advocate in Albania supports ENOC’s declaration for the protection of children’s rights in Ukraine (Albanian)

MYRIA

  • Press release on the war in Ukraine: working together to ensure effective protection for people fleeing war (French, Dutch)
  • Reports from meetings between public authorities, civil society, and international organisations working on international protection (French, Dutch)

Ombudswoman of Croatia

  • A letter of support to the People of Ukraine and Ukrainian Parliament Commission for Human Rights (CroatianEnglish)
  • Information for refugees from Ukraine and those helping them in Croatia: who and in what cases can they turn to the Ombudswoman? (Ukrainian/CroatianUkrainian/English
  • Article on providing rights to refugees from Ukraine (Croatian, English)
  • Article on the role of human rights in preparations for reception and assistance to refugees fleeing Ukraine (Croatian, English)
  • Exchange with Equinet on the consequences of the war in Ukraine (CroatianEnglish)
  • Ombudswoman expresses support to Ukrainian NHRI and refugees fleeing the war at ENNHRI General Assembly  (CroatianEnglish)

Public Defender of Rights

  • Leaflet with information and important links for people coming from Ukraine (Ukrainian, Czech)
  • Information leaflet with information for children coming from Ukraine (Ukrainian, Czech)
  • Video on how the registration centre for refugees from Ukraine works (Ukrainian, Russian subtitles)
  • Article on NHRI response to events in Ukraine and providing assistance to its citizens (English)
  • Article on Czech Ombudsman contacting Ukrainian Consuls and Ukrainian Ombudswoman to show their support to Ukrainians affected by the war (English)

Chancellor for Justice of Estonia

  • Responses to citizens relating to the right to apply for international protection and the question of discrimination if they are not entitled to temporary protection:
  • Letter to the Estonian Border Guard on the right to temporary protection of a spouse of an Ukrainian national, and the grounds for detaining a person seeking temporary protection (Estonian)

French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights

  • Press release: Armed aggression against Ukraine: the CNCDH calls for strict respect of IHL and human rights (French)
  • CNCDH declaration on “Acting in solidarity with Ukraine against violations of international law resulting from Russian aggression” (French)

The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in Hungary

  • Webpage on important information for persons fleeing Ukraine (Hungarian, English)
  • Information bulletin on activities in response to the war in Ukraine (English)
  • The Hungarian Ombudsman’s work to support Ukrainian refugees was recognised by the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (Hungarian, English)

Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia

  • Public Defender’s Statement on Events in Ukraine (English)
  • Public Defender of Georgia Calls on Government to Offer Ukraine to Place Orphaned Children Temporarily in Georgia until Improvement in Situation in Ukraine (English)
  • Public Defender’s Statement on Protection of Rights of Ukrainian Children in Georgia (English)
  • Public Defender’s Statement on Accommodation of Ukrainian Citizens Staying in Georgia (English)
  • Public Defender’s Office sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine (Georgian)
  • Staff of the Public Defender’s Office donated blood for Ukrainian people (Georgian)

German Institute for Human Rights

  • Press release calling for the reception of refugees from Ukraine and the EU’s external borders to be kept open (German)
  • Online human rights education manual with material on how to speak about the war in Ukraine with children (German)
  • Press release on ’20 years of International Criminal Court: “Those responsible for war crimes must be held accountable”‘ (German)

Greek National Commission for Human Rights

  • Statement of support from GNCHR President at ENNHRI General Assembly (English, Greek)
  • GNCHR President speaks at the conference of the Athens Bar Association: “Invasion of Ukraine: The threat of revisionism and the violation of international law” (Greek)
  • GNCHR President speaks at the event: “the war in Ukraine, the European Institutions and Human Rights” (Greek)

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

  • Statement on the need to focus on the human rights and equality impacts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine (English)
  • Contribution to the 4th Progress Report on the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings in the European Union – with details on actions to protect Ukrainian refugees (English)
  • Ireland’s Human Trafficking Rapporteur tells EU how accommodation for trafficking victims remains a chronic problem (English)
  • National Anti-Trafficking Report – featuring information concerning the impact of the war in Ukraine (English)
  • Opinion piece from Chief Commissioner, Sinéad Gibney: “We welcome refugees from Ukraine, but why is there less sympathy for those coming from elsewhere?” (English)

Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia

  • Ombudsman calls for coordinated approach in order to minimise the risks of human trafficking of Ukrainians fleeing the war (Latvian)

Seimas Ombudspersons’ Office

  • Declaration on Ukraine from the European Network of Ombudsmen, signed by the Seimas Ombudspersons Erika Leonaitė and Milda Vainiutė (English)
  • Employees of the Seimas Ombudspersons’ Office donated funds to provide goods for Ukrainian babies at a children‘s hospital (Lithuanian)
  • The Seimas Ombudsperson has met with political figures – including the Head of Parliament – on specific issues concerning Ukrainian refugees, such as providing support to women subjected to sexual violence.
  • The Seimas Ombudsperson addressed the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to express her commitment to actively highlight the crimes of the Russian Federation and Belarus against Ukraine and its people, and to provide all possible support for Ukraine within international frameworks of Ombudspersons and beyond.
  • Participation of a representative at the inter-institutional meetings concerning refugees from Ukraine.

Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

  • Webpage on the war in Ukraine and its impact on human rights in the Netherlands (Dutch)
  • Article on discrimination against Russians in the Netherlands (Dutch)
  • Information on the prohibition of Russian media and the right to freedom of expression (Dutch)
  • Support for the Ukrainian NHRI and endorsing ENNHRI’s statement (English)

Commissioner for Human Rights

  • How to support refugees from Ukraine with disabilities – Ombudsman writes to Minister Paweł Szefernaker (Polish)
  • Representatives of the Ombudsman visit the reception centre at the Global EXPO hall in Warsaw (Polish)
  • The Ombudsman’s actions to combat the risk of trafficking in human beings among those fleeing from Ukraine; Ombudsman Marcin Wiącek writes to Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Liudmyla Denisova (Polish)
  • Health care issues of those fleeing from Ukraine: the Ministry of Health informs the Ombudsman about its activities following a request (Polish)
  • Round table on education – consultations on educating children and youth from Ukraine at the Office (Polish)
  • Ombudsman’s intervention to help Polish students who had been studying medicine in Ukraine and the response from the Ministry of Health (Polish)

The Romanian Institute for Human Rights

  • Republic of Moldova, the Associations ANAIS, PATRIR, CEDROM, the Institute (English)
  • Webpage with information on supporting those fleeing the war in Ukraine (English)
  • Participation in a round table on the migration situation resulting from the war in Ukraine (Romanian)
  • Participation in an emergency meeting on monitoring the rights of and receiving persons seeking refuge from the war in Ukraine  (Romanian)
  • Open letter calling for the creation of a hub for solidarity and peace as well as testimonials in the context of the Ukraine situation (together with Romanian civil society organisations) (English)

Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia

  • The Protector of Citizens visited Ukrainian refugees accommodated in the Vranje Reception Centre. (Serbian, English)
  • The Protector of Citizens invited the Ombudswomen of the Russian Federation and Ukraine to a meeting to agree on ways to protect all human rights of citizens in Eastern Europe (Serbian)
  • The Protector of Citizens held an online meeting with the Ombudswoman of Ukraine on tackling human trafficking (Serbian, English)
  • The Protector of Citizens calls for protection of refugees from Ukraine from human trafficking in TV appearance (Serbian, English)
  • The Protector of Citizens visited Ukrainian refugees accommodated in the Vranje Reception Centre. (Serbian, English)

Slovak National Centre for Human Rights

  • Letter of support to the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (English)
  • Leaflets for those seeking legal assistance or general guidance on temporary protection and asylum (Slovak, English, Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Expression of solidarity with people affected by the war in Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Slovak, English, Ukrainian)
  • Article on violations of international law linked to the armed attack on Ukraine, including the human rights implications (Slovak)
  • Joint call to action – “the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, girls and marginalised groups affected by the Ukraine conflict” – co-signed by civil society and human rights institutions from numerous countries (Slovak, English)

Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia

  • Article on the role of human rights institutions in times of crises in Strasbourg (English)
  • International Ombudsman Institute delegation visits the Hungary-Ukraine border (English)
  • Statement of the Mediterranean Ombudsmen on the escalating crisis in Ukraine (English)
  • Article on ENNHRI’s statement on the armed attack on Ukraine (English)
  • ENOC statement regarding the safety and well-being of children trapped following the outbreak of war in Ukraine (English)

Ombudsman of Spain

  • Ombudsman of Spain condemns the invasion of Ukraine (Spanish)
  • Statement from Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsman (FIO) condemning Russian aggression and calling for the restoration of peace and respect for human rights (Spanish)
  • Article on the Ombudsman speaking about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine during an appearance in parliament. (Spanish)
  • Ombudsman meets with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Spanish)

Related ENNHRI work

Learn more about ENNHRI’s related work on NHRIs under threat and their role  in protecting human rights in (post) conflict contexts.