Students and teachers will get their own rights defender

Students and teachers will get their own rights defender

On June 6, at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, a resolution was adopted on the establishment of the post of Ombudsman in the field of education. The institution of the defender of the rights of pupils/students as well as teachers and academic staff will appear on 1 January. To help the Ombudsman, a special service of 15 people will be created.

At the moment, Ukraine has a Commissioner for human rights, children’s rights and gender equality. The post will be appointed on the recommendation of the Ministry of education and science (MES) for a period of 5 years. Become an Ombudsman can be a Ukrainian living in the country for at least five years, who has a higher education with experience in this field.

- Now we are actively decentralized-significant powers and funds are transferred to the field, universities and research institutions are also becoming more Autonomous. This is necessary – on the ground, it is better understood how to use resources effectively. But, unfortunately, we are also faced with abuses. Therefore, the tools that will protect the rights of students, teachers and scientists must be developed – the Minister of the Ministry of education Lilia Grinevich.

It is planned that the educational Ombudsman will consider the complaint submitted to him no longer than 1 month, and then make his “verdict” on the validity or groundlessness of the complaint and notify in writing about the result.  Interestingly, the Ombudsman will do the same “quickly” to respond to complaints, and the Commissioner for human rights, which journalists of the edition “Skin cromogen” and could not get through to the hotline.

So who is he, the mysterious Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman is an independent public official who investigates citizens ‘ complaints against government officials. A significant part of his work is complaints of injustice or ill-treatment of police officials, prosecutors or judges in cases such as housing, taxation, participation in elections, and the payment of charitable benefits (the most accurate and extensive British definition).

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Commissioner for human rights of Ukraine Lyudmila Denisova

Human rights commissioners should be independent, especially from political views. At the same time, the international community warns Ukraine to approach the issue of the appointment of the Ombudsman with caution.

– The process of selection and appointment of the Commissioner for human rights is sensitive to politicization, and the election of the Commissioner on the basis of political decisions is contrary to the UN Paris principles, – said in an address of the European network of national human rights institutions, to the head of the Verkhovna Rada Andrei Parubiy.

In Europe, the network of human rights institutions includes 40 ombudsmen, who are the Foundation of democracy. After all, in case of human rights violations or illegal actions of officials, people can seek timely and qualified help from a specialist.

So is Ukraine ready for the emergence of honest and independent human rights institutions? Or is the state Ombudsman just a tribute to the EU’s demands with a touch of Ukrainian engagement and corruption?! Whatever it was, but everyone is able to actively participate in the public life of the country, learning more about their rights and those who protect them!

Julia Gutshabes

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