UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 46TH SESSION

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Item 10 Interactive Dialogue HC oral report on Ukraine

Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands thanks the High Commissioner for her update and aligns itself with the EU statement. 

Last 26 February marked the 7th year of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. The Netherlands remains concerned about the grave ongoing human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Crimea and the non-governmental controlled areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

We urge the Russian Federation and the self-proclaimed local authorities to respect the human rights of civilians in Crimea, including Crimean Tatars and people speaking Ukrainian, whose rights to freedom of expression, religion and fair justice are severely violated.

The COVID-19 restrictions on freedom of movement have further worsened the deprivation of social and economic rights - such as access to work, healthcare, property and family links - of the population in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. We call upon both the Governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation to protect human rights also in time of a global pandemic. We also call for unhindered access for humanitarian actors to those in need.

Madam High Commissioner,

What can be done to better protect the human rights of civilians affected by COVID-19 restrictions in eastern Ukraine and Crimea?

Thank you.