Human rights defender
Svitlana has worked as a coordinator of a project to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the zone of armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea since 2014. She is in charge of the organisation of field missions, training of documenters, and developing analytic reports. She also takes part in advocacy and outreach activities on the national level. In addition to this crucial work this, Svitlana works as a security trainer for civil society activists and Human Rights Defenders in Ukraine and Georgi
The work Svitlana is conducting is of the upmost importance, as violence and human rights violations in Eastern Ukraine escalated into a civil conflict with Russian involvement. In Crimea, Russian restriction on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association have been enforced, and pro-Ukrainian activists were targeted by paramilitaries and persecuted by the de facto authorities. Because of her work documenting human rights violations, Svitlana faces the possibility of being harassed, taken hostage, tortured, or arbitrarily arrested. During Svitlana’s stay in The Netherlands she will get the chance to regain her strength and continue her work in a safe environment. Her stay will offer her opportunities to share her story with the purpose of informing government officials, NGO’s and the public about the challenges she and her colleagues are facing. She will further improve skills necessary for her work as a Human Rights Defender through training programs, and build on her social and professional network in the Netherlands.