Amid a recent uptick in violence and martial law being imposed, the standing ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been regularly violated along the 280-mile contact line. Civilians continue to lose their homes, their livelihoods, and even their lives in the continuing conflict. Based on our research and on-the-ground presence, CIVIC is assisting the Ukrainian government in the development and implementation of policies, tools, and training on protection of civilians (POC), including formulating a national policy on POC and civilian harm mitigation (CHM). The national policy will bring Ukraine into alignment with NATO’s policy on civilian protection and extend post-harm assistance to all civilians harmed by the conflict, regardless of the perpetrator.
In addition, CIVIC has made significant progress in standing up a civilian casualty mitigation team (CCMT) within the Ukrainian Armed Forces, designed to track and analyze patterns of civilian harm. In 2019, we will also provide officers, soldiers, and other military and civilian stakeholders with specific, scenario-based training on CHM and how to best implement the CCMT. Finally, CIVIC is supporting the Ukrainian government’s efforts to improve assistance to civilians by helping develop more streamlined procedures and standards for the delivery of post-harm assistance.