UN Human Rights in Ukraine


The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) monitors, reports and advocates on the human rights situation in Ukraine, with a particular focus on the conflict area of eastern Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. HRMMU was deployed as part of the Human Rights Up Front policy of the UN Secretary-General.

Type of engagement
Human Rights Monitoring Mission
Year established
Field offices
Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol and Odesa
Number of staff
Annual budget needs
US$ 7,226,000


  • HRMMU raises awareness of national stakeholders, parties to the conflict and the international community about the human rights situation in Ukraine. As of July 2020, 29 periodic reports and 6 thematic public reports have been released. The reports are publicly available on the OHCHR website.
  • The Mission has documented over 600 cases of torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees. Through its direct intervention, HRMMU contributed to the opening of investigations and redress actions. In addition, more than 800 state officials throughout the country, mainly from the Security Service, Prosecutor's Office and prison system of Ukraine, benefited from training sessions delivered by HRMMU experts on the Istanbul Protocol, a manual on effective documentation and investigation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 
  • The Mission enabled a dialogue between the Ombudsperson's Office of Ukraine and the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk people's republic' to help transfer prisoners who were convicted before the beginning of the armed conflict from territory controlled by armed groups to Government-controlled territory. As of July 2020, more than 400 pre-conflict prisoners had been transferred.
  • As a contribution to the reform process, HRMMU provided legal expertise and reviewed multiple draft laws, such as on temporarily occupied territories, on missing persons, and on protection of civilian victims of the armed conflict. 
  • HRMMU facilitated the development of Ukraine's first Human Rights Strategy and National Human Rights Action Plan in 2015. In partnership with UN Women, the Mission contributed to the development of the Strategy to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Ukraine.
  • HRMMU enhanced the capacity of four national NGOs to document grave human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment, and to provide psycho-social support to victims and their families, as well as to families of those detained and missing. HRMMU also provided capacity-building training to officers of the Civil-Military Cooperation Unit on prevention of arbitrary detention, torture and conflict-related sexual violence, as well as protection of housing, land and property rights.
  • In addition to its regular monitoring, HRMMU started monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and related prevention and mitigation measures on the human rights situation in Ukraine, especially in the conflict-affected area, and more broadly in Ukraine with a focus on people in situation of vulnerability in order to leave no one behind.

Partners and Donors

Partners: Government of Ukraine, Parliament of Ukraine, law enforcement and judiciary, Ombudsperson’s Office, UN agencies, international and regional civil society organizations.

Donors: Canada, CERF, Estonia, European Commission, Germany, Norway, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America.

UN Human Rights Focus Areas

Thematic pillars
  • Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
  • Peace and Security: Early warning, prevention & protection of human rights in situations of conflict & insecurity
  • Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
  • Prevention
  • People on the move
  • Inequalities
  • Corruption
Spotlight populations
  • Women
  • Young people
  • Persons with disabilities

Last reviewed: July 2020

Contact Information


Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Europe and Central Asia Section
Email: ecasection@ohchr.org

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