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Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Reforms in Ukraine
November 29, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Corruption in Ukraine remains one of the main obstacles to development and effectiveness of reforms. It is also a serious human rights concern. Corruption takes away a significant amount of the public budget from its social function. According to the World Bank, corruption also perpetuates inequalities and has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. Reforms are often used as the antidote to corruption. Decentralization reform is one of the most unreported, and yet the most important reform currently being implemented by the post-Maidan government. It is changing the country’s political culture and spurring democratic progress. Local leaders have financial means and authority to introduce changes and be independent from oligarch-controlled national politics. Positive changes in the regions build trust in governance and political processes, and channel the energy of civil society and active citizens into constructive community- and state-building initiatives. Please join the Forum on International Affairs for a discussion on the progress Ukraine has made in struggle against corruption and its links with human rights, how the changes could be influenced by whoever wins the next elections, and what systemic changes will bring the most impact. Olena Mykhalchenko is a young human rights advocate from Ukraine, Fulbright scholar, pursuing LLM in International Human Rights Law at George Washington University Law School. Before coming to the US, Ms. Mykhalchenko had been working more than four years as lead attorney at Labor Initiatives, a non-profit organization in Ukraine committed to the idea of decent work and economic fairness. She coordinated workers’ rights center, which provided free legal advice to vulnerable groups of people seeking justice for labor-related violations, conducted analysis on labor-related draft laws, including proposed draft Labor Code and state compliance with international obligations on labor-related issues. With allied organizations initiated Gender Equity Coalition tackling discrimination in employment. Vitaliy Shpak is currently the Program Officer handling the Ukraine portfolio at the National Endowment for Democracy. Mr. Shpak holds a law degree from Lviv University and has worked in the nongovernmental, state, and private sectors in Ukraine. In the Ministry of Education, Mr.Shpak served as advisor to the Minister and head of the section famous for its corruption. After the election of now disgraced president Viktor Yanukovych in 2010, Mr.Shpak was pushed out of the government along with other young reformers by newly appointed pro-Russian government. As a Fulbright scholar he earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland. WHEN: Thursday, November 29 … 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM WHERE: 441 Fourth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001-2714> FOR MORE INFORMATION: