The event “Transparency and Human Rights: Ukraine on the Path to Recovery” was held


On December 14, Global Compact Network Ukraine concluded the Anti-Corruption Days 2023 with a high-level event “Transparency and Human Rights: Ukraine on the Path to Recovery”. The event was timed to coincide with International Anti-corruption Day and International Human Rights Day. It was aimed at fostering discussion and collaboration among stakeholders committed to tackling corruption and promoting human rights.

Tetiana Sakharuk, the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Ukraine opened the event. She expressed gratitude to all the companies, organizations and government institutions that have been working with the UN Global Compact for years within the anti-corruption program: 

“By acting together, we turn on the light. Only with light can we see the hidden sides of improper behavior. Our task is to change such behavior, build a new culture of intolerance towards corruption, and work towards its prevention. Thank you to all who join collective actions against corruption. We can only overcome this phenomenon together.”

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, supported Ukrainian business, which works in the field of anti-corruption and human rights even amidst the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine. 

“Empowering business growth with integrity: strategies for sustainable scaling”

The first panel discussion united local business leaders and entrepreneurs to explore the critical aspects of conducting business during conflict times, all while balancing between sustainability and development and maintaining unwavering integrity and anti-corruption measures.

The panel discussion was moderated by Svitlana Lutsiuk, Senior Associate at Arzinger Law Firm. She believes that both private and public companies need to establish robust compliance departments and implement international anti-corruption standards.

The anti-corruption framework for business operations is established by the state, with one of the key entities in this regard being the NACP. Yurii Sverba, Head of the NACP’s Public and Private Integrity Policy Development Department, noted that among the challenges for business integrity, the state identifies a high level of corruption tolerance and an underdeveloped compliance institution. He added:

“To address these issues within the framework of the state’s anti-corruption program, at NACP, we are developing highly inclusive anti-corruption standards, which will be presented next quarter. Additionally, we are finalizing guidelines that are intended to assist the private sector in establishing its internal anti-corruption policies”

From the perspective of a business actively implementing integrity policies, Mykyta Mozharovskyi, Head of DTEK’s compliance service, spoke. DTEK currently carries significant responsibility for ensuring Ukraine’s energy security, requiring elevated risk prevention standards. Mykyta shared:

“We work with humanitarian aid to restore energy infrastructure in three dimensions: through bilateral contracts, through state programs, and through collaboration with international organizations such as USAID. Each of them has its challenges. However, as a result, donors must be confident that the equipment they provide has not been lost or stolen, is used for its intended purpose, and is installed where promised. The issue of ensuring transparency in the restoration process is critical”


State Operator For Non-Lethal Acquisition is a new agency, which operates under the Ministry of Defense and builds a resilient supply system for the AFU in accordance with NATO standards.

Dmytro Bihunets, Director for risk management and compliance, State Operator For Non-Lethal Acquisition, is convinced that trust is always at the core of integrity, and adherence to international standards helps sustain it.

“I am convinced that our state-owned companies should focus on two things. Firstly, corporate governance, as the future lies in it. Secondly, the adoption of the best international integrity practices. The international anti-corruption standard ISO 37001 is a good reference for companies wishing to develop an anti-corruption structure but that are unsure how to do so. This standard is broader than the requirements outlined in Ukrainian legislation. Implemented, the risk of corruption cases occurring is significantly lower than in those without it”

The aviation sector of Ukraine suffered a lot from the full-scale Russian invasion. Inna Kolyniak, authorized for the prevention and detection of corruption, Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport told how the company works today:

“At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, it seemed like all our work had come to a halt. A lot of the employees were laid off. The other part of the team is working in Zheshuv and is ready to return to Lviv as soon as we can resume operations. Many of those who stayed, including myself, were retrained by the company. NACP developed a strategy for training authorized persons, making it easier for me and many others to delve into the compliance sphere.

Speaking about the company’s compliance practices, Inna emphasized:

“Every enterprise can have risks. Therefore, we need to answer three questions: what can happen, why it can happen, and what consequences it can lead to. A risk register can help bring these risks under control”

 “Upholding human rights amidst the war: companies’ best practices” 

This panel discussion highlighted best practices and initiatives undertaken by companies to uphold human rights in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The discussion revolved around how businesses actively promote human rights, support the reintegration of individuals returning from the war zone, and contribute to Ukraine’s recovery.

“We stand on the threshold of recovery, but recovery is impossible without people, especially those who defended our freedom and returned from war,” emphasized Rodion Kolyshko, Adviser, Confederation of employers of Ukraine. Rodion moderated the panel discussion. 

Olha Bezpalko, Head of the Social Policy Department of JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia”, shared the experience of implementing projects aimed at the reintegration of veterans. They include psychological support and assistance to families, as well as an internal communication project:

“10,200 of our employees were called to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We have numerous reintegration projects, including psychological support and assistance to families. Often, families experience the veteran’s injuries more profoundly than the veteran himself. We also work with an internal communication project where veterans share with their railway colleagues how they dealt with certain challenges in their lives after returning from the war. It’s crucial to instill a sense of dignity in all our railway workers, regardless of who they are and where they work. Unfortunately, we either overly idealize veterans or perceive them only through their traumatic experiences. Instead, we need to adopt their teamwork experience and decision-making skills in critical conditions”

At MHP, 2346 people have been mobilized. This is every tenth employee of the company. Viktoriia Nahirniak, International Partnership Expert, MHP,  spoke about the reintegration program ‘MHP Together’, which assists veterans and military families in adapting to the new reality:

“As part of the ‘MHP Together’ project we support our mobilized employees, addressing individual requests to brigade needs. This also helps us reintegrate veterans. An essential issue is how socially mature our society is towards the return of individuals who went to war and now have a completely different life. Veterans return to their families but do not return from the war. Therefore, our task is to educate families and communities on how to welcome veterans. For 2024, we have planned to develop a new program aimed at working with local communities to ensure they are prepared and socially mature for the return of veterans to the rear.”

The largest IT company in Ukraine with over 10,000 employees is also implementing projects to adapt veterans to civilian life. Dmytro Yakymets, ESG Head, EPAM Ukraine, told about these projects.

“In addition to social security, we have introduced additional paid leave for veterans upon their return. Veterans should not be stigmatized. They are individuals who have seen not only death but also life. They have acquired many skills that can be applied in the workplace. There are examples where this experience helps them take on leadership positions within the company,” emphasizes Dmitry.

The creative industry has a wide range of opportunities to shape public opinion about veterans. It is crucial to show them in both news and artistic works. That is what Yana Honcharenko, Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer, Starlight Media, talked about during this panel discussion.

“We need a system that covers the entire process of working with the military. It’s crucial to leverage the experience individuals gain during the war, not just return them to the same workplace they left. We have already implemented an additional month of leave for colleagues returning from the war, followed by three months of flexible scheduling. This year will be a year of investment in the adaptability of these programs for us at Starlight Media”


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