The Verkhovna Rada has ratified the Istanbul Convention, wants to make bomb shelters in new buildings mandatory, and called for other states to terminate double taxation treaties with russia.
Istanbul Convention ratified
Draft bill #0157 of June 18, 2022
Status: adopted. After Ukraine sends the ratification for keeping, the Convention will be in effect after three months.
Who is affected: women, men, children, law enforcement agencies, courts, and government bodies.
Why this is important: the Istanbul Convention is an international treaty of the Council of Europe aimed to prevent and stop violence against women, in particular, domestic violence. This is the first international document that recognizes violence against women as discrimination and human rights violations. Currently, it is signed by 47 countries (Ukraine signed it in 2011) but only 30 of them have ratified the Convention.
Summary of the bill:
- ratifies the Istanbul Convention and thus obliges Ukraine to do the following:
- to criminalize stalking, female genital mutilation, forced sterilization, and forced abortion
- to introduce effective punishment for crimes against women
- to introduce the principle of equal rights for women and men, ban discrimination against women, and repeal the laws discriminating against women
- the Convention introduces the definition of gender as socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men
- Ukraine ratifies the Convention with the following claims and reservations:
- no provision of the Convention obliges Ukraine to change the Constitution, the Family Code, or other laws on the institutes of marriage, family, adoption, or parents’ right to raise children in accordance with their beliefs
- the state will apply the Convention in accordance with principles, values, and norms defined in the Constitution
- because of the russian aggression against Ukraine, the state does not guarantee to fulfill its obligations under the Convention on the occupied territories.
What is right:
- Ukraine fulfills its obligation before the EU. One of the requirements for Ukraine to join the EU is the ratification of the Istanbul Convention
- better standard of human rights protection. Ratification of the Istanbul Convention will allow for evaluation of the efficiency of the current state policy on guaranteeing equality between men and women and non-discrimination. Also, the state will be able to introduce more effective methods for protecting women
- reservations introduced by MPs allow not to change national legislation. That helped to calm the opponents of the convention, in particular, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, concerned about the dangers of a “gender ideology.”
Voted in favor: 259 MPs from factions Servant of the People (193), Platform for Life and Peace (15), Trust (13), Restoration of Ukraine (12), Holos (10), European Solidarity (9), and For the Future (2).
Background: two electronic petitions to the President to ratify the Istanbul Convention received the necessary 25 thousand votes. The first one was submitted in 2020, and the second one — in 2022.
For more details on the Istanbul Convention, why we need it, and how it will help us, please read our article Why Ukraine needs the Istanbul Convention and what it will change
The first step towards mandatory bomb shelters in new buildings
Draft bill #7398 of May 22, 2022
Status: passed in the first reading. MPs still have time to amend the draft bill.
Who is affected: local governments, government bodies, owners of construction companies, citizens, and real estate investors.
Summary of the bill:
- obliges local governments at regional and local levels to include information on bomb shelters in city planning documentation and plan the construction of new shelters
- prohibits the transfer of land where bomb shelters are situated from state or communal property to private property of natural persons or legal entities
- makes it mandatory for any new buildings where at least 50 people will stay permanently or at least 100 will stay periodically to have bomb shelters. These shelters must also have to be accessible for people with disabilities
- requires that after the unified state system of civil defense starts to work under alert, emergency state, or special period all bomb shelters, dual-use buildings, and simple shelters have to be ready to host people within 12 hours.
What is right: people will have better protection in case of war, catastrophe, and other emergencies. The bill is especially relevant because of the actions of russia that specifically target objects of civilian infrastructure and belarus the president of which regularly threatens to attack Ukraine.
What is wrong:
- the price of the construction will significantly increase and thus the price of new buildings for potential investors will also significantly increase
- new norms are going to be applied only to buildings that will be constructed after the bill is in force, so realistically new buildings with bomb shelters will appear only in a few years.
Voted in favor: 271 MPs from factions Servant of the People (196), European Solidarity (19), Trust (11), Batkivshchyna (9), For the Future (8), Holos (7), Restoration of Ukraine (5), Platform for Life and Peace (6).
Call for other states to terminate double taxation treaties with russia
Draft bill #7430 of June 2, 2022
Who is affected: foreign governments and parliaments, foreign companies that work in russia, citizens of the RF, and russian government bodies.
Summary of the bill: the Parliament addresses foreign governments and parliaments with a proposal to terminate bilateral agreements with russia on double taxation.
Why this is important: double taxation appears in international trade or activities of international companies when a person or an enterprise pays taxes of an identical type twice in two different countries. Double taxation significantly increases the price of services and goods and hinders the development of economic ties between countries. That is why countries often sign double taxation treaties to boost international cooperation and trade.
What is right: call for termination of double taxation treaties can create new obstacles for russia in international trade, providing and receiving services, and getting investments. Less money for russia means less money for the war against Ukraine.
Voted in favor: 306 MPs from factions Servant of the People (199), European Solidarity (20), Platform for Life and Peace (13), Trust (13), Restoration of Ukraine (13), Batkivshchyna (12), For the Future (10), and Holos (10).
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