Human Rights in the Custodial Settings Programe

In the custodial settings a person is most vulnerable since they may become victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by representatives of specialised law enforcement bodies, penitentiary, psychiatric systems, social protection system as well as interacting with groups of simultaneous stay.
The program focuses on human security in places of incarceration, the feasibility of such places and other aspects aimed at developing and implementing innovative mechanisms ensuring fundamental human rights and freedoms in custody settings.
The purpose of the programme: to ensure potent mechanisms for the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in places of deprivation of liberty.


persons in places of detention of the National Police of Ukraine;
employees of the National Police of Ukraine;
monitors of the national preventive mechanism;
civil society institutions and human rights organisations in particular.


Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine, International “Renaissance” Foundation, National Police of Ukraine, UNDP, Freedom House.



– a system for ensuring the security of detainees during their stay in temporary detention facilities of the National police of Ukraine and protecting police officers from false accusations regarding possible improper treatment on their part.


Over the past five years ECHR has been identifying and documenting violations of the rights of vulnerable groups by law enforcement agencies. Thanks to its work and with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, an independent investigating mechanism on violations of the rights of targeted groups by civil detectives was introduced in 2018.


The most active members of public who have completed a specialised training program on tools for protecting rights and freedoms of vulnerable persons, methods of detecting actively such violations and restoring violated rights. Teams of civil detectives have been formed in 15 regions of the country, they include lawyers, journalists, representatives of human rights and service organisations and vulnerable groups.


⮚ collection and analysis of information and materials on violations of the rights of representatives of vulnerable groups;
⮚ initiation of an official investigation by authorised state bodies;
⮚ conducting educational activities for representatives of vulnerable groups and representatives of law enforcement agencies;
⮚ establishing cooperation at the central and regional levels with all state bodies and public organisations to counter violations of the rights and freedoms of vulnerable groups of the population, respond appropriately to identified violations and restore rights.


vulnerable groups;
persons who are in places of deprivation of liberty and belong to vulnerable groups;
mutual aid groups for drug addicts and sex workers;
representatives of medical institutions;
local self-government bodies (LSB);
non-governmental service organisations whose activities are aimed at protecting the rights of vulnerable groups, social workers;
Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
lawyers, in particular those involved in the system of Free Secondary Legal Aid (FSLA);
representatives of the police, Department of human rights particularly, Department of drug crime counteraction, Department of preventive activities;
State Bureau of Investigation;
press people.


The initiative “Efficient cooperation of civil society with security services in Ukraine” was founded in late 2018 in partnership with Freedom House in Ukraine, the Vostok-SOS Charitable Foundation and the “Ukrainian Institute for human rights” Public organisation.
One of the elements of the initiative is the creation of regional platforms for direct dialogue and sufficient interaction between the boards of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, and the security Service of Ukraine with civil society organisations at the national and regional levels to address systemic problems of human rights violations.

The ECHR’s civil control activities consist of expert and research work, mediation and educational activities.

The expert work covers the audit of the condition of civil control in the state, the development of procedures and policies for the observance of human rights, analysis of opportunities to ensure civil control, the development of a policy paper to improve the principles of civil control over security services.

Research activities focus on monitoring the practices of interaction between state law enforcement agencies, local self-government bodies (LSB) and civil society organisations at the regional level, analysis of legal acts in the field of civil control, and so on.

Mediation of crisis situations arising between the public and security services at the level of the local community. This is especially true for regions close to the demarcation line. We are talking about establishing a direct dialogue between the parties, objectively assessing conflict situations and the factors that caused them, as well as the consequences of the influence of regional platforms, and searching for joint solutions.

Educational measures are aimed at facilitating dialogue for the development of intersectoral interaction and informing society about the state of civil control.