Video On Demand

Centering Human Rights in Ukraine's Reconstruction

June 7, 2024 • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

More than a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainians continue to fight for a free, dignified, and peaceful future. To realize this vision, respect for human rights and the principles of democratic governance must be at the center of all reconstruction planning and implementation for Ukraine. History has shown that reconstruction—if done poorly—can reinforce social divisions, exacerbate popular discontent, and sow the seeds of future conflict. 

The international community is acutely aware of the need to get this right, and plans for post-war reconstruction were being discussed within months of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The Lugano Declaration, the World Bank’s Rapid Damage and Needs Assessments (RDNAs), and the European Commission’s Opinion on Ukraine’s application for membership of the European Union all included assessments of Ukraine’s progress on human rights and suggested ways to align reconstruction plans with human rights principles. 

The CSIS Human Rights Initiative recently released a report that identifies key gaps in these assessments and highlights issues that merit additional attention going forward. This event will begin with a brief overview of the report, followed by an expert panel discussion on the human rights issues that are at risk of being overlooked throughout Ukraine’s reconstruction process and strategies for ensuring that those concerns are incorporated. 

Participants will include Scott Busby (Senior Associate, CSIS Human Rights Initiative), Melinda Haring (Senior Advisor, Razom for Ukraine and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council), and Bill Van Esveld (Associate Director, MENA, Children's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch). Khosravi Chair in Principled Internationalism and Human Rights Initiative Director Michelle Strucke will moderate the conversation. 

This event was made possible through the generous support of the Open Society Foundations. 

Contact Information

Scott Busby
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Human Rights Initiative
Melinda Haring
Senior Advisor, Razom for Ukraine and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
Bill Van Esveld
Associate Director, MENA, Children's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch