“Steps” Centre on Human Rights, Animal Rights and Environmental Protection named after Leo Tolstoy was founded in 1997. Initially named CETA “Life” (Centre for Ethical Treatment of Animals), it was renamed to “Steps” Centre in 2011 due to expansion of its scope of activities. The Head of the Centre is Igor Parfenov. He is film director, producer, screenwriter, editor of the journal Human Rights "Krick", a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine. The Centre actively cooperates with organizations and private individuals from more than 30 countries.
Through the period of existence the Centre has been doing social, educational and legislative activities. Many articles about the Center’s activities were published by mass media of CIS, European and American countries. Representatives of the Centre took part in different TV programmes on rights issues. The Centre is a member of WSPA (World Society for the protection of Animals – this powerful organization is an advisory member of UNO and European Parliament and it unites over 900 organizations from more than 150 countries), of the organization PETA. The Centre is also admitted to the Anti-fur Alliance (which includes more than 30 organizations from all over the world), and is its regional representative in Ukraine. The Centre is a member of International Vegetarian Union (Great Britain). The Centre has held more than 150 activities, most of which were successful and helped the Centre to achieve its goals.
The main achievements of the organization:
• Since 1998 the Centre has been publishing “The Cry” - the first magazine distributed on the territory of former USSR dedicated to human, animal rights and environmental protection (distributed free).
• Since 2003 the Centre has been publishing monthly newspaper “Time for animal protection” – the first animal rights newspaper on the territory of former USSR. (distributed free).
• In 1999 a free courses on bioethics “Bioethics in High School” was introduced in Kharkiv Veterinary Academy. The Centre of Bioethics was opened in 1999 as well.
• With the help of the Centre a lot of inhumane tests carried out on animals at Kharkov Veterinary Academy and other High Schools of Ukraine were forbidden and new alternative teaching methods were introduced.
• Employees of the Center have translated 12 books on animal rights.
• The Center organized more than 35 conferences for rights organizations.
• 15 films on rights protection have been made by the Centre. The films were broadcast on central Ukrainian and Russian TV-channels. The films took part in different film festivals all over the world.
• The Centre has organized more than 40 demonstrations for animal protection. There have been 300-7000 people participating in each of them.
• The Centre has organized more than 20 exhibitions and contests on topic “Actors, artists, poets, cultural workers, writers and youth are for animal protection”.
• The organization has saved two chimpanzees, from poachers and has founded a shelter.
• The Centre has given new home for more than 150 stray dogs and cats. We’ve built an animal shelter for stray pets.
• Many wild animals including those who are listed in Red Book were saved with the help of the Centre. Activists of the Centre took part in many collective campaigns such as campaign against corrida in Moscow and Barcelona (as a result, corrida was forbidden there), campaign against hunting in Ukraine (as a result, spring hunting season was forbidden) and many other campaigns. Also, there’s been a new law adopted in Ukraine – animal protection law.
• Activists of the Centre took part in many international conferences and demonstrations held in England, Spain, France, Turkey, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, and Russia.
• Members of the Centre took part in more than 100 TV programmes on rights protection broadcasted in Ukraine, Russia and European countries.
• We’re permanently working on changing and improving the legislative system of Ukraine.
• Since 2007 the Centre holds every year International Rights Film Festival “Steps” which screens films dedicated to human, animal rights and environmental protection.
The aim of “Steps” Centre is to promote human rights, animal rights and environmental protection by legal and non-violent means.
Next year promises to be full of interesting events and projects:
• To organize unique International Rights Film Festival “Steps”.
• To organize poster contest “Design against fur” in Ukraine. (The best works will be exhibited at European and international contests).
• To organize a range of campaigns for animal protection.
• To submit films produced by the Center to world International rights film festivals «Steps».
Our Centre has many hopes about the future; we see great prospects for further development of our ideas.
Join us! We will be stronger together!