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UN concerned by Kiev’s economic blockade of eastern Ukraine

December 15, 2014, 16:13 UTC+3 GENEVA
The report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva said these steps could aggravate the situation which “is becoming increasingly dire for the population"
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In a meal center, Luhansk region

In a meal center, Luhansk region

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

GENEVA, December 15. /TASS/. The United Nations in its report on Monday expressed concerns about Kiev’s decision to relocate all state institutions and organizations in the areas not under the government’s control in the country’s east.

The report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva said these steps could aggravate the situation which “is becoming increasingly dire for the population still living in the east,” and could violate people’s social and economic rights.

“With the onset of winter and no let-up in the hostilities, the situation of approximately 5.25 million people living in the conflict and post-conflict affected areas is further deteriorating due to significant damage of the infrastructure, the breakdown of economic activities, and the disruption of social and medical services and social welfare benefits,” the report reads.

Since December 1, all allocations from Ukraine’s state budget, including for social payments, to areas not controlled by the government, ceased. Residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are required to register by December 31 in the territories under the government’s control to continue receiving social payments.

“These measures, and their implementation could have considerable consequences for the population in the eastern regions as the consequent institutional vacuum, lack of provision of public services and access to social payments is likely to create a severe protection gap, and to exacerbate economic and social vulnerabilities,” the report says.

The UN has called on the Ukrainian government to thoroughly consider the implementation of these measures and “particularly their impact on the most vulnerable.”

These steps may raise a question of “the breach of the state’s obligation under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to respect the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health, education, social security and work,” it says.

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