Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv has started the training for 35 candidates for civic ombudsmen for protection of electoral rights on Friday, 17 August. It is conducted under the project “Electoral reform to strengthen the power of agents of change and support public dialog”, financed by European Union.

The training program will have two grades in August and October, and will consist of five modules, dedicated to the general characteristic of electoral rights and violations, procedure of the collection and recording evidence, court practices and media communications etc.

“The future ombudsmen will be trained by teachers and experts of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School and European Court of Human Rights, as well as experts in electoral matters. We will give them the knowledge and skills they need to protect electoral rights of citizens and prevent violations,” – stated PhD candidate in political science and Director of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School Ivan Horodynskyi.

“We expect to conduct a high-level training for civic ombudsmen. The competition was tough, and each candidate has experience in law practice and participated in the election process. Thus, our goal is to deepen their knowledge giving specific and interesting examples from real life,” – added Electoral Rights Ombudsmen Network Coordinator Mila Kutsenko.

Upon finishing the training, the participants will receive a certificate of Electoral Rights Ombudsmen School, and will be officially introduced in oblasts.

25 candidates with the highest testing grades will become civic ombudsmen in each of 24 Ukrainian oblasts and the city of Kyiv since January 2019. The other certified candidates will be selected as reserves.

Ombudsmen will be actively involved in 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections and 2020 local elections. Their activities will be based on the Code of Conduct, jointly developed by OPORA and the Ukrainian Catholic University. This Code will include, first of all, the guarantees of independence and political impartiality of ombudsmen, and enlist major functions and procedures for activities.

We would like to remind that Civil Network OPORA has signed under the project an official Cooperation Memorandum with Human Rights Representative. The Memorandum is aimed at protection of electoral rights and freedoms of citizens.

Detailed information about regional activities of ombudsmen is here.

Additional information:

The EU project “Electoral reform to strengthen the power of agents of change and support public dialog” is being implemented by the Civil Network OPORA in cooperation with the Ukrainian Catholic University and the European Center for Electoral Support. It will last from January 2018 to April 2021 with financing of 628,000 EUR.

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