Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Combined twenty-fourth to twenty-sixth periodic reports submitted by Ukraine under article 9 of the Convention, due in 2020 * , **
[Date received: 14 April 2022]
List of abbreviations
ARC – Autonomous Republic of Crimea
CHR – Commissioner on Human Rights
CMU – Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
ECRML – European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
FCU – Family Code of Ukraine
IDPs – Internally displaced persons
MESU – Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
MIAU – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
NPU – National Police of Ukraine
NSDCU – National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine
OCU – Orthodox Church of Ukraine
PBC – Public Broadcasting Company
RF – Russian Federation
ROC – Russian Orthodox Church
SEAFC – State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Affairs and Freedom of Consciousness
SMSU – State Migration Service of Ukraine
SSU – Security Service of Ukraine
UAOC – Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
UCF – Ukrainian Cultural Foundation
UAF – Ukrainian Association of Football
UOC-KP – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate
UOC-MP – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate
UWW – United World Wrestling
1.Under Article 9, paragraph 1, of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Ukraine shall submit combined twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth reports on the implementation of the provisions of this Convention. The report has been prepared in accordance with the reporting guidelines adopted by the CERD at its seventy-first session (CERD/C/2007/1).
2.The purpose of the report is to update the information contained in the combined twenty-second and twenty-third reports of Ukraine (CERD/C/UKR/22-23), as well as to describe the relevant changes in the domestic legal field in the context of Ukraine’s implementation of the Convention between January 2014 and December 2019.
3.In order to comply with the guidelines (CERD/C/2007/1) and paragraph 41 of the CERD’s concluding observations following the review of the combined twenty-second and twenty-third reports (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) on compliance with the scope restrictions, in cases when information has not changed, the updated report refers to the paragraphs of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23).
4.The report takes into consideration the Concluding Observations of the CERD based on the review of Ukraine’s twenty-second and twenty-third periodic reports (CERD/C/UKR/22-23), and information on their implementation is provided. The report was prepared by the SEAFC in cooperation with the MIAU, Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, Ministry of Health, MESU, Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Sports, State Statistics Service, the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee, the SMSU, the Prosecutor General’s Office, State Judicial Administration, the SSU, the UCF and regional state administrations.
5.In the reporting period (2014–2019) Ukraine underwent serious changes, including: temporary occupation of the ARC and the city of Sevastopol by the RF, temporary occupation territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions by the Russian regular armed forces and unites subordinated to the Defense Ministry and to other law enforcement agencies of the RF. In this regard, the collection of information in these temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine was difficult.
6.As a result of the temporary occupation of the ARC and the city of Sevastopol by the RF and Russian armed aggression in Donbas, the situation with minority rights in these areas, especially in Crimea, has deteriorated. Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, as well as people with pro-Ukrainian views regardless of their national and ethnic origin, face discrimination in Crimea. The situation with the protection of religious rights of national minorities in these areas, especially in the Crimea, has also deteriorated, and the principles of freedom of conscience and religion are being violated.
7.During this period, Ukraine has also undergone changes in the sphere of religion. In June 2016, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted an official Address to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Resolution of 16.06.2016 No. 1422-VIII), in which he asked for assistance in establishing a single Local Church in Ukraine. On April 19, 2018, by the special resolution No. 2410-VIII, the Parliament supported the repeated appeal of the President of Ukraine to Constantinople to grant autocephaly to the OCU. To this appeal were added the appeals of all hierarchs of the UOC-KP and the UAOC, some of the hierarchs of the UOC. In October 2018, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate began the procedure of granting autocephaly to the OCU. The decision of the Synod abolished the obligation of the Synodal Letter of 1686, according to which the Kyiv Metropolitanate was subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchate, and the leaders of the UOC-KP Filaret and UAOC Macarius were canonically reinstated in their episcopal ranks, the stauropegia (embassy) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kyiv was restored (the full text of the decision is available at https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2018/10/11/7194911/). Other ministers of the UOC-KP and the UAOC were also canonically reinstated in episcopal or priestly office. Accordingly, all the hierarchs were recognized as bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
8.On December 15, 2018, the Unification Council took place, at which representatives of the three OCU (UOC-KP, UAOC and partly the UOC-MP) merged into a single church structure under the name of the OCU, and elected Metropolitan of Kyiv and all of Ukraine Epiphanius. On January 6, 2019, the OCU received the status of an Autocephalous Church, whereby it was granted the tomos with inclusion in the diptych of the Orthodox Churches of the world (15th place) by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Kyiv Metropolitanate of the OCU was registered on January 30, 2019 as a religious administrative center and a representative body of the OCU. As of early 2021, this ecclesiastical jurisdiction was recognized by the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Greece and Cyprus, and has 7097 religious organizations in Ukraine (according to data as of the beginning of 2020) (1 center, 51 administrations, 6890 communities, 79 monasteries, 16 fraternities, 33 missions, 27 theological institutions, 69 periodicals), whose affairs are cared for by 4,537 clergy.
9.According to Article 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine, parts 1 and 2, citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law. There may be no privileges or restrictions, in particular on the grounds of race, political, religious or other beliefs, sex, ethnic or social origin, place of residence, language or other grounds.
10.Organizational and legal principles of preventing and combating discrimination, ensuring equal opportunities for the realization of human and civil rights and freedoms are defined by the Law of Ukraine of 06.09.2012 No. 5207 “On Principles of Preventing and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”.
11.In May 2014, the Law was amended (No. 1263-VII of 13.05.2014) in order to bring the definition discrimination in conformity with international law, including by encompassing both direct and indirect discrimination. In particular, the Law detailed the definition of basic terms used in the Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Preventing and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”, expanded the list of prohibited forms of discrimination, established new powers of the CHR in monitoring compliance with the principle of non-discrimination and enabled this control in the private law sphere by the CHR, clarified the types of legal liability for violations of anti-discrimination legislation, as well as allowed applying the principle of shifting the burden of proof of non-discrimination onto the defendant if facts of discrimination have been provided by the claimant, by amending Article 60 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Ukraine (Article 81 in the current version of the Code).
12.Under Article 1, part 1, clause 2 of the aforementioned Law, discrimination is a situation in which a person and/or group of persons is subject to restrictions on the recognition, exercise or use of rights and freedoms in any form prescribed by this Law on the grounds of race, color, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, age, disability, ethnic and social origin, citizenship, marital and property status, place of residence, linguistic or other features that were, are and may be valid or presumed, except when such restriction has a legitimate, objectively justified purpose, the ways to achieve which are appropriate and necessary.
13.Indirect discrimination is a situation in which less favorable conditions occur for a person and/or a group of persons in the implementation or application of formally neutral legal norms, evaluation criteria, rules, requirements or practices compared to other persons and/or groups of persons, except when such implementation or application has a legitimate, objectively justified purpose, the ways to achieve which are appropriate and necessary. Direct discrimination is a situation in which a person and/or group of persons is treated less favorably than another person and/or group of persons in a similar situation on certain grounds, except when such treatment has a legitimate, objectively justified purpose.
14.Article 6, part one “Prohibition of Discrimination” of this Law stipulates that, in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, universally recognized principles, and norms of international law and international treaties of Ukraine, all persons, regardless of their characteristics, have equal rights and freedoms and equal opportunities for their implementation.
15.The Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Preventing and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine” stipulates that persons guilty of violating the requirements of the legislation on preventing and combating discrimination are subject to civil, administrative and criminal liability.
16.According to Article 14 of the Law of Ukraine “On Refugees and Persons in Need of Additional or Temporary Protection”, foreigners, stateless persons recognized as refugees and foreigners and stateless persons recognized as persons in need of subsidiary protection enjoy the same rights and freedoms, as well as have the same responsibilities as citizens of Ukraine, except as provided by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as international treaties, the binding nature of which was approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
17.In 2014, the implementation of the Activity Strategy of the Ukrainian Parliament CHR in the sphere of preventing and combating corruption in Ukraine for 2014–2017 started, as approved by the order of the Commissioner of 15.11.2013 No. 23/02-13.
18.In pursuance of the Strategy and the above-mentioned order of the CHR, on March 17, 2014 the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy in 2014 was approved. It provides for the implementation of over 90 measures under five strategic vectors, including in close cooperation with human rights NGOs.
19.On August 25, 2015, the President of Ukraine approved the National Human Rights Strategy for 2015–2020, and on November 23, the CMU approved the Action Plan for its implementation until 2020. Both documents contain separate substantive sections on issues of preventing and combating discrimination.
20.In 2015 the institutional mechanism for ensuring the principle of non-discrimination was strengthened. In particular, it is about strengthening the financial and human capacity of the Secretariat of the Parliament CHR (hereinafter – Ombudsperson), to which the current legislation assigns a designated role as the national institution for equality and non-discrimination. In April 2015, the structure of the Secretariat was reviewed, and two specialized units on non-discrimination were established – the Monitoring and Response Unit and the Analytics, Information and Education Unit on Non-Discrimination.
21.In September 2015, the Ombudsperson of Ukraine initiated a discussion on the need to keep records of applications and complaints of citizens against discrimination by public authorities and local governments. The lack of such records made it impossible to assess the prevalence of discrimination at the national and regional levels. It was proposed to amend the indices of the content of appeals, defined in the Classifier of Citizens’ Appeals, approved by the CMU dated 24.09.2008 No. 858, as none of the indices directly related to discrimination.
22.Supporting this position of the Ombudsperson, on June 1, 2016, the CMU adopted Resolution No. 359 “On Amendments to Section II of the Classifier of Citizens’ Appeals”, which supplemented position 120 in the column “Contents of the issue” with the words “Prevention of discrimination” (in the current version of the resolution, it is item 130).
23.Information on the Ombudsperson as the national institution for the protection of human rights can also be found in clause 25 of Ukraine’s basic document (HRI/CORE/UKR/2018), as well as in clause 29 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23).
24.The NPU developed a draft law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Combating Discrimination” to harmonize the conceptual framework and legal terminology of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Preventing and Combating Discrimination Ukraine” in terms of qualification of various forms and manifestations of intolerance.
25.The draft law was necessary due to the need to harmonize terminology connected with the use of the notion of “intolerance”, the need to eliminate part on criminal liability for discrimination (direct or indirect restriction of rights or establishment of direct or indirect freedoms based on characteristics) from the disposition of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine with respective changes to the Administrative Code of Ukraine, to partially decriminalize acts which are currently punishable under Article 130 of the Criminal Code, establishing liability for crimes committed on the grounds of intolerance based on such characteristics as race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, transsexuality, disability, language.
26.As of October 2020, the draft act was approved by the MIAU without any comments and sent to the relevant central executive bodies for approval.
27.Information contained in item 35 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
28.Part one of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine establishes criminal liability for intentional acts aimed at inciting national, racial or religious hatred, humiliation of national honor and dignity, or insulting the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs, as well as direct or indirect restriction of rights or establishment of direct or indirect privileges of citizens on the grounds of race, color, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, disability, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, language or other characteristics.
29.Part two of this article establishes liability for the same acts combined with violence, deception or threats, as well as committed by an official. Article 67, part one, clause 3 of the Criminal Code establishes that in deciding on a criminal sentence, commission of a crime on the grounds of racial, national, religious hatred or dissent or based on gender are considered aggravating circumstances in accordance with amendments to the Criminal Code of January 12, 2018. (The Law of Ukraine of 06.12.2017 No. 2227-VIII).
30.In 2014–2019, the SSU localized more than 1,615 attempts to destabilize the situation due to interfaith contradictions and prevented 978 cases of inciting ethnic hatred that could provoke mass riots and destabilize the socio-political situation in the country.
31.In order to scale up measures to inform the Ukrainian and international community about significant violations of the rights and freedoms of priests and believers of various denominations in the temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine, relevant materials were provided to the NSDCU and the Ministry of Information Policy.
32.Together with regional bodies of the SSU, an attempt to aggravate interethnic relations between Ukrainians and Poles was blocked, one which tried to use the facts of damage to Polish historical landmarks, shooting of Poland’s diplomatic mission in Lutsk, as well as to manipulate complex pages of Ukrainian and Polish history.
33.The vast majority of identified individual offenses with characteristics of interfaith and interethnic contradictions occur mainly in order to destabilize the socio-political situation in Ukraine with the participation of external destructive forces.
34.The SSU takes measures to prevent destructive activities by radical representatives of public and political associations, including foreign ones, as well as to prevent racism and xenophobia.
A.The right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other organs administering justice
35.Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On Judiciary and the Status of Judges” of 02.06.2016 No. 1402-VIII provides for the right to fair trial. Everyone is guaranteed the protection of their rights, freedoms and interests within a reasonable time by an independent, impartial and fair tribunal established by law. Access to justice for every person is ensured in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and in the manner prescribed by the laws of Ukraine.
36.Foreigners, stateless persons and foreign legal entities have the right to judicial protection in Ukraine on an equal footing with citizens and legal entities of Ukraine.
37.Article 9 of the Law enshrines the principle of equality before the law and the courts, according to which justice in Ukraine is administered on the basis of equality of all participants in the trial before the law and the court, regardless of race, color, political, religious or other beliefs, sex, ethnicity and social origin, property status, place of residence, language and other characteristics. The court establishes such conditions under which each participant in the judicial process is guaranteed equality in the exercise of granted procedural rights and in the performance of procedural duties.
38.The Administrative Code also establishes administrative liability under Article 166-3 “Discrimination against entrepreneurs by the authorities”.
39.No cases of administrative offenses under Article 166-3 of the Administrative Code were considered in courts in 2014–2019.
B.The right to security of person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual group or institution
40.On January 19, 2019, the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Combating Bullying” of 18.12.2018 No. 2657-VIII came into force. The Law defines the concept of bullying and provides for liability not only for committing bullying, but also for concealing the relevant cases. Amendments have also been made to the Laws “On Education”, “On Preschool Education”, “On Complete General Secondary Education”, “On Extracurricular Education”, Administrative Code of Ukraine.
41.In connection with the adoption of the Law, the MESU has prepared guidelines for instilling intolerance of violent behavior, careful attitude to victims, awareness of violence as a violation of human rights among children and youth.
42.In order to implement the Law, the MESU issued an order dated 28.12.2019 No. 1646 “Some issues of responding to cases of bullying and the application of measures of influence in educational institutions”, which provided the procedure for responding to bullying in educational institutions and the procedure for applying educational measures to the parties to bullying. This order defines the subjects of response to cases of bullying, their obligations and the mechanism for dealing with cases, the procedure for the work of relevant commissions in institutions and the course of teachers’ actions to prevent bullying.
43.The heads of educational institutions are responsible for reviewing appeals on bullying, the formation of commissions for consideration of such cases, informing NPU bodies and child services on cases of bullying, taking measures to provide social and psychological services, as well as due response to cases of bullying (Article 26 of the Law “On Education”).
44.Monitoring the implementation of the action plan aimed at preventing and combating bullying in educational institutions, and consideration of complaints about the refusal to respond to cases of bullying is the responsibility of local education authorities.
45.The internal security units of the NPU regularly take measures to prevent and stop the actions of the police and civil servants to grant any privileges or impose restrictions on the basis of race, color, political, religious or other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, language etc.
46.Personnel of the Internal Security Department of the NPU take additional measures to identify persons prone to committing actions for the above reasons among police officers, as well as to identify persons who maintain stable off-duty relations with representatives of informal organizations of destructive nature, and to conduct preventive measures concerning such persons.
47.In order to prevent conflicts and take additional measures aimed at combating prejudice against persons belonging to the Roma national minority, ensure public safety and order, as well as establish mutual exchange of information between the police and Roma, the NPU has prepared and sent to the territorial subdivisions for implementation the Action Plan to Prevent the Commission of Offenses Related to the Violation of Citizens’ Equality for 2018 and also for 2019 and 2020.
48.According to the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons”, persons may not be forcibly returned or deported, extradited, transferred to countries where their lives and freedoms are threatened by discrimination, the death penalty, inhuman treatment, etc. According to Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Refugees and Persons in Need of Additional or Temporary Protection”, a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection may not be deported or forcibly returned to a country where their life or liberty is endangered on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, citizenship etc.
49.Foreigners and stateless persons who have committed an administrative offense may be forcibly deported from Ukraine by an administrative court. In order to ensure the measures necessary to implement the court decision on forced deportation, they are detained in temporary detention facilities for foreigners and stateless persons of the SMSU for a period not exceeding 18 months.
50.Under Article 7, part eight of the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which entered into force on January 1, 2020, any direct or indirect privileges or restrictions on the voting rights of citizens of Ukraine based on race, color, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, disability and state of health, language or other grounds are prohibited. Restrictions on the participation of citizens of Ukraine in the election process are not allowed, except for the restrictions provided by the Constitution of Ukraine and this Code.
51.According to Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine “On Civil Service”, civil service is carried out in compliance with the principle of equal access to civil service – prohibition of all forms and manifestations of discrimination.
52.Any representatives of national minorities who are citizens of Ukraine have the right to be elected to the positions in village, settlement, city councils, of village, settlement, city mayors, in amalgamated territorial communities and to be members of the executive committees of amalgamated territorial communities. In the Zakarpattia oblast, the most numerous minority, Hungarians, is represented in the oblast council by 8 members, which constitutes 12.5% of the total council corps.
53.Since 2014, Ukraine has been in the process of decentralizing power and reforming local self-government. Relations arising in the process of voluntary association of territorial communities of villages, settlements, cities, as well as voluntary accession to amalgamated territorial communities are regulated by the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Communities” of 05.02.2015.
54.In January-April 2020, the Ministry of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine held a series of consultations on these issues with representatives of all-Ukraine associations of local governments, regional state administrations, national minorities, council members. Information on the course of work on Prospective Plans of Community Territory Formation was provided, responses to questions were given, and proposals of interested organizations were accepted.
55.By adopting Law No. 1664-VII of 02.09.2014, Ukraine ratified the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority, which entered into force on September 24, 2014.
56.Ukraine has enabled the effective participation of national minorities in the social, cultural and political life of the country, in the adoption of state decisions on issues related to their ethnic development. They may participate in consultations in the form of public discussion.
57.Civil society organizations of national minorities are involved in the discussion of their ethno-national development by including their representatives in the advisory body of the executive or other public authority.
58.During 2014–2019, the following advisory bodies were established:
•The Council of Interethnic Harmony (Resolution of the CMU of 04.06.2014 No. 195) is an advisory body of the CMU headed by the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine. It includes representatives of central executive bodies, civil associations of national minorities, and scholars. The main tasks of the Council are: to promote coordination of executive bodies’ actions on issues of the state ethno-national policy, protection of the rights of national minorities and indigenous peoples; preparation of proposals for the formation and implementation of the state ethno-national policy aimed at observing the rights of national minorities and indigenous peoples, preserving interethnic harmony in Ukrainian society, preventing interethnic conflicts and discrimination.
•The Interdepartmental Working Group on Fulfillment of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Protection and Integration of the Roma National Minority into Ukrainian Society until 2020 (Resolution of the CMU of 25.11.2015 No. 993) is a temporary advisory body of the CMU headed by the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine. It includes representatives of executive agencies, civil associations and non-governmental organizations whose activities are aimed at protecting the rights of the Roma national minority, MPs, a representative of the CHR. The Group was created to improve the performance under the Action Plan to implement the Strategy.
•The Expert Council on Ethnic Affairs is an advisory body to this Ministry of Culture. It includes representatives of civil society institutions, central executive bodies, scholars, and specialists in ethnic policy and interethnic relations. The Expert Council was established to monitor, analyze and evaluate the processes taking place in the field of ethnic policy in Ukraine and abroad, to hold consultations and study problematic issues related to the policy implementation in the field of interethnic relations and protection of national minorities’ rights. During the reporting period, the Expert Council worked on the draft law “On the Concept of State Ethnic Policy of Ukraine” and the new version of the Law “On National Minorities in Ukraine”.
•The Council of Ethnic Organizations of Ukraine under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine (Since July 2017) is an advisory body under this Ministry. It includes the heads of the so-called “umbrella” organizations of national minorities and the heads of two specialized commissions operating under the Ministry of Culture and the MESU. The Council was established to form and determine the mechanisms for implementing the state ethnic policy of Ukraine. It held meetings at least once per three months.
59.A Public Council has been established and operates under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. It is an advisory body created to facilitate citizens’ exercise of their constitutional right to participate in state governance and to ensure that the Ministry takes into consideration public opinion when it decides on measures in the sector of ethnic policy and implements them. A Commission on Interethnic Relations has been established within the Public Council.
60.Since 2018, the MESU has a Council of Representatives of Public Associations of Indigenous Peoples and National Minorities of Ukraine, which includes 30 representatives of civil associations of indigenous peoples and national minorities.
61.In order to create appropriate conditions for the development of ethnic and cultural identity of national minorities, increase their role in public life and establish a constructive dialogue with the executive branch, local executive bodies have established separate advisory bodies – Councils of National and Cultural Association Representatives.
62.The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine carries out procedural support in the criminal proceeding based on prohibition of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People in 2016 on the temporarily occupied territory of the ARC and its recognition as a terrorist organization.
63.Representatives of the RF continue the policy of discrimination against one of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine – the Crimean Tatars – and contrary to their obligations as an occupying power under international law (Geneva Conventions of 1949), violate the rights of Crimean Tatar communities, restricting the activity of representative bodies, including the Mejlis. For actions aimed at prohibiting the activity of the Mejlis and illegal persecution of citizens of Ukraine, the prosecutor of the so-called “Republic of Crimea” was illegally appointed and has been served in violation of the laws and customs of war.
64.Procedural support is provided in criminal proceedings connected with persecution of the members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. According to the decision of the Supreme Court of the RF, Hizb ut-Tahrir is recognized as a terrorist organization and its activities are prohibited. However, it’s activities are not banned in Ukraine.
65.The pre-trial investigation identified more than 60 people who are being illegally persecuted by the Russian occupation administration in the form of illegal searches and criminal or administrative liability for possession of prohibited literature. The pre-trial investigation in these criminal proceedings is ongoing.
D.Other civil rights
66.Information on the rights to freedom of movement, citizenship, property, inheritance remains unchanged and is contained in paragraph 58 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23).
The right to marriage and choice of spouse
67.The main piece of legislation defining the principles of marriage is the Family Code of Ukraine (FCU). Article 23 of the FCU stipulates that persons who are of eligible age (18) have the right to marry.
68.Marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man. Forcing a woman and a man into marriage is not allowed (Article 24 of the FCU). Neither the FCU nor other regulatory acts contain provisions that have characteristics of racial restrictions when marrying and choosing a spouse.
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
69.Relations between the government and religious organizations in Ukraine are based on the principles legally enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine and relevant regulatory acts. The basic regulatory act is the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” which sets clear parameters for such relations and takes into account the factor of Ukraine’s multi-confessionalism (for more details, see paragraphs 67–74 of Ukraine’s previous report for 2015 (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) and paragraphs 147–167 of Ukraine’s 2010 report (CERD/C/UKR/19-21)).
70.In the period from 2015 to 2020, the lives of Ukraine’s religious communities, particularly the Orthodox community, underwent significant changes. In the context of the government’s intention to ensure the fullest possible exercise of everyone’s right to freedom of conscience and religion, Ukrainian legislation and state policy in the field of religion have undergone a number of changes.
71.Until 2016, Article 21, part five of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” defined the procedure for holding public events of a religious nature as permissive. By the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of September 8, 2016, No. 6-rp/2016, this provision recognized as inconsistent with the Constitution. Currently, public events of a religious nature are carried out in accordance with Article 39 of the Constitution and require only prior notification of executive authorities or local governments about their conduct.
72.In order to prevent influence on Ukrainian religious organizations and interference of public authorities and religious structures of other countries into their internal matters, as well as to facilitate for the public, particularly believers, the identification of religious organizations connected with religious centers located in the aggressor state, the Ukrainian Parliament has developed and adopted relevant changes to the applicable law. According to them, a religious organization, which, directly or as an integral part of another religious organization, is part of the structure (belongs to) a religious organization, the governing center (management) of which is outside Ukraine in the state that is recognized by law as having committed military aggression against Ukraine and/or temporarily occupied part of its territory, is obliged to reflect membership in a religious organization outside Ukraine, of which it is a part (to which is belongs) in its full name stated in its charter (regulation), by obligatory reproduction in its name of the full statutory name of such a religious organization with the possible addition of the words “in Ukraine” and/or designation of its place in the structure of a foreign religious organization.
73.In particular, the Law “On Amendments to Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’ Concerning the Names of Religious Organizations (Associations) [...]” of 20.12.2018 No. 2662-VIII was adopted, and it identified three criteria by which such religious organizations can be identified. The charters of those religious organizations which have not made the necessary changes to their names or have not registered such changes in the prescribed manner, have become invalid in respect of the names of these religious organizations.
On January 26, 2019, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine published a list of churches that have to indicate either their affiliation directly with the ROC or other ties to the aggressor country. According to the Ministry, the seventh and eighth parts of Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” included, among others, the UOC-MP.
On April 20, 2019, at the request of 49 members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Constitutional Court opened proceedings to rename the UOC-MP. As of the beginning of 2022, the case is still pending in court.
74.In order to improve the legal regulation of freedom of conscience and religion in Ukraine, the Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on the Subordination of Religious Organizations and the Procedure for State Registration of Religious Organizations with Legal Entity Status” was adopted on 17.01.2019, No. 2673-VIII.
75.This Law provided for amendments to Articles 8, 14 and 18 of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”. Improvements to Article 8 of the Law have made it possible to introduce into Ukrainian law a mechanism for religious organizations to change their subordination in canonical and organizational matters to any religious centers operating in Ukraine or abroad, in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Amendments to Article 14 of the Law have made it possible to improve the procedure for state registration of the charters of religious organizations, unifying the list of documents required for this purpose. Amendments to Article 18 of the Law have made it possible to improve the legal regulation of the exercise by religious organizations of their property rights, especially in cases where such organizations change their denominational subordination.
76.This Law also solved the problem of “double” registration of statutory documents of religious organizations, which has been occurring for the past 15 years. It expands the list of subjects authorized to register statutory documents of religious organizations by means of amending Article 1 of the Law “On State Registration of Legal Entities, Sole Proprietors and Civil Associations”, particularly by assigning the powers of state registration of legal entities which are religious organizations to the central body of executive power implementing the state policy in the field of religion, the Council of Ministers of the ARC, as well as oblast, Kyiv and Sevastopol municipal state administrations.
77.In 2019, the SEAFC was established, which is a key central executive body for the implementation of state policy in the field of interethnic relations, religion and protection of the rights of national minorities.
78.The amendments to the Ukrainian legislation made during 2016–2019 have improved the effectiveness of the state policy on religion, led to an improvement of the legal regulation in the field of freedom of conscience, and the Law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” is in line with all the relevant demands of the Ukrainian religious community and provides for the formation and implementation of Ukraine’s state religion policy at an adequate level.
79.Since 2014, part of the territory of Ukraine has been the object of armed aggression by the RF. Mass violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of conscience and religion, have been recorded in the temporarily occupied territories of the ARC, the city of Sevastopol, and in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Religion is often used by the occupying power as a criterion for combating dissent and opposition, and the religious identification of the inhabitants of these territories is a reason not only to restrict the activities of their religious associations, but also a means of pressure on them and a basis for criminal prosecution.
80.Believers and religious organizations that the RF considers disloyal to the Russian occupying administration, and those religious organizations that maintain ties with religious organizations that operate in the remaining territory of Ukraine, become the objects of pressure in the form of persecution and restrictions.
81.These offenses are committed in the following areas:
•Introduction of discriminatory laws in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, which directly violate the fundamental human rights to freedom of conscience and religion, the creation of a legal framework for the persecution of certain religious denominations;
•Persecution of the indigenous people, its displacement on religious grounds;
•Persecution of members of religious organizations on the basis of their religious identity, including abduction and torture, illegal arrests and searches of believers who do not support the occupying power;
•Systematic interference in the internal activities of religious organizations, attempts to regulate it, obstruction of missionary activity, persecution for religious publications on the Internet;
•Seizure of religious buildings, desecration, damage or destruction of religious shrines, illegal searches of places of religious gatherings;
•Cooperation with the occupation authorities of certain representatives of the UOC-MP in Crimea and the eastern regions of Ukraine;
•Prohibition of religious organizations by recognizing them as terrorist or extremist organizations.
82.The situation is particularly acute for believing Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, representatives of the UOC, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Representatives of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish religious organizations also face persecution.
83.The Crimean Diocese of the UOC is the only religious organization in the temporarily occupied ARC that refused to “re-register” its statutory documents in accordance with illegal requirements of the RF, which in turn led to persecution of UOC clergy and members of their families. Such persecution led to a reduction in the number of communities and clergy: from 48 before the temporary occupation to 6 today (with three of them operating under direct threat), and from 23 clergy to 5 people. Metropolitan of the UOC Kliment also appealed to UN Secretary General A. Guterres over the oppression of the Ukrainian Church in the ARC and Sevastopol, temporarily occupied by the RF.
84.The clergy of the Crimean Diocese of the UOC who refused to obtain citizenship of the RF were forced to leave Crimea due to constant pressure.
85.At the suit of the so-called “Ministry of Property and Land Relations of the Republic of Crimea” in June 2019, the Russian occupation administration in temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea has taken an illegal “decision” to confiscate from the property of the Crimean Diocese of the UOC its main church – the St. Olga Cathedral (Simferopol,17 Sevastopolska Str.) – and to transfer it to the aforementioned “Ministry”. The occupation authorities of Yevpatoria are demanding to dismantle the UOC church The Burning Bush through bailiffs and to pay a fine of 50,000 rubles.
86.Followers of Islam are also subject to criminal prosecution on religious grounds in the temporarily occupied territory of the ARC and Sevastopol. This is done by recognizing Muslim religious organizations as terrorist or extremist organizations. Members of them are persecuted under Articles 205.5 (terrorist organization) and 282.2 (extremist organization) of the Criminal Code of the RF.
87.The fate of individuals involved in the so-called “case of Crimean Muslims” remains unresolved. The total number of people imprisoned in this case, at the beginning of 2020 was 65.
88.In 2017, the Russian Supreme Court declared Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and banned its activities in Russia. The activities of this organization are prohibited in the ARC and the city of Sevastopol, temporarily occupied by the RF. Russian FSB officers have repeatedly searched and detained suspected participants in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization on the peninsula. Representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Serhii Filatov and Artem Herasymov, were arrested on the peninsula for conducting a religious service.
89.The following was found based on the results of final monitoring of 2019, considering the data provided by NGOs: (1) at least 89 people were imprisoned following politically motivated criminal or religious persecution; (2) 26 administrative proceedings were instituted against various religious organizations and their members (Muslims, Baptists and other Protestants, Jews, Scientologists, and Hare Krishna followers).
90.With regard to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, there is no legitimate authority that can be responsible for human rights and freedom of conscience and religion.
91.Russian occupation administration continues to create a legal framework and introduce regulatory acts of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”, which are in line with the Russian legislation and essentially imitate it. Since July 2016, the so-called “Law No. 140-INS of the DPR ‘On Freedom of Religion and Religious Associations’” operates in this territory. According to this “Law”, all religious organizations are obliged to go through the re-registration procedure, as well as to carry out a “religious examination” of their constituent documents and religious practice. Such demands made it impossible for a number of religious organizations (especially Protestants) to operate, as they became banned and faced persecutions.
92.More than 13 religious buildings of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been confiscated in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk region, and censorship measures are carried out against their representatives. Due to the lack of remedies, Jehovah’s Witnesses are unable to restore their violated rights.
93.In the Donetsk region religious organizations of the UOC are also systematically persecuted, threatened with confiscation of their churches and other property, and “deportation” of the clergy.
94.Preachers of Muslim religious organizations operating in the temporarily occupied city of Donetsk are forced to coordinate their sermons with the so-called “Ministry of State Security”.
95.In the temporarily occupied territory of the Luhansk region, a number of religious organizations are not recognized by the Russian occupation administration as religious and are subject to persecution.
96.Adopted on February 2, 2018, the so-called “Law ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations’” obliges religious organizations in this area to undergo a “state religious examination” for further “registration” under new law of the temporarily occupied territory in the Luhansk region.
97.Statutory documents of religious organizations obtained on the basis of the legislation of Ukraine are not recognized by the Russian occupation administration in the occupied territories of Donbas. However, this does not apply to documents of religious organizations of the UOC-MP, which are allowed to use statutory documents provided before 2014 by the state authorities of Ukraine.
98.In the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk region, the closure of religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been officially announced. Large-scale repressive actions are being carried out against them: arbitrary searches of private and religious buildings (during which prohibited items are planted), interrogations, property confiscation.
99.Representatives of other Protestant organizations are also forced to go underground. Worship services are prohibited not only in religious buildings belonging to these organizations, but also at the residence of believers in the private property.
100.In secular educational institutions in the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk region, the process of clericalization of educational activities is deepening, aimed at strengthening the foundations of so-called “spiritual education” and focused on the Orthodox component of the region in the context of Russian occupation ideology.
101.The occupying authorities, together with the clergy of the Luhansk Diocese of the UOC-MP, continue to take anti-Ukrainian measures, which, in their opinion, should have a lasting “patriotic and educational” effect. To this end, a chapel “in memory of the victims of Ukraine’s aggression” was opened in September 2018, and a clergyman of the Luhansk Diocese of the UOC-MP was appointed its rector.
102.Ukraine is taking steps to inform the global community of violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the ARC and Sevastopol, and to condemn such actions.
103.The fact of illegal demands for “re-registration”, violation of property rights and persecution of the religious community of the Crimean Diocese of the UOC is recorded in the draft resolution “Situation of Human Rights in the ARC and Sevastopol (Ukraine)”, adopted by the Third Committee of the UN GA on 14.11.2019, and is also reflected in a number of its previous thematic resolutions of 19.12.2016 No. 71/205, of 19.12.2017 No. 72/190 and of 22.12.2018 No. 73/194.
104.It should also be noted that, in accordance with the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, the RF, as the occupying power, is accountable for violating human and civil rights and freedoms in the temporarily occupied territory.
105.By the aforementioned acts, the RF also grossly violates Article 58 of the Geneva Convention (IV) of 12 August 1949, which requires the occupying power to allow religious ministers to provide spiritual support to their fellow believers, and Article 27, which guarantees persons in the temporarily occupied territories the right to respect for their religious beliefs and rites, habits and customs. The RF violates Article 53 of Additional Protocol I, which guarantees the protection of places of worship, and Article 15 of the same Protocol, which provides for the protection of civilian clergy.
The right to freedom of opinion and expression
106.Information contained in paragraph 74 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
107.In the territory of the ARC and the city of Sevastopol, temporarily occupied by the RF in 2014, the freedom of peaceful assembly, in particular that of representatives of religious organizations, is systematically restricted. This is done by introducing administrative liability, in particular for late submission of a notice of such a peaceful assembly, in the absence of an announcement of the purpose of such a meeting.
108.In 2016, in the temporarily occupied territory of the ARC, the occupation authorities of the RF banned the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (the highest authorized representative body of the Crimean Tatar people).
109.The information contained in paragraphs 75–77 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
E.Economic, social and cultural rights
The right to work
110.The information contained in paragraphs 78–82 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
111.Foreigners and stateless persons who: 1) permanently reside in Ukraine; 2) are recognized as refugees in Ukraine; 3) have been granted asylum in Ukraine; 3) are recognized as persons in need of subsidiary protection; 4) have been granted temporary protection; 5) have received an immigration permit to Ukraine, have the right to employment on the grounds and in the manner prescribed for citizens of Ukraine.
112.According to Article 42 of the Law “On Employment”, employers have the right to employ foreigners and stateless persons in respect of whom it is decided to issue documents for recognition as a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection in Ukraine on the basis of a permit issued by the territorial bodies of the central executive body that implements state policy in the field of employment and labor migration. According to Article 42, part 5 of the Law “On Employment”, the issuance and renewal of work permits for persons who have been granted documents for recognition as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection are free.
113.Employment centers provide information to this category of people about current vacancies and legislation on employment. Information on available vacancies and services of the employment office is disseminated, and explanations on legal aspects of employment in Ukraine are provided.
114.To implement the Law “On Employment”, in cooperation with territorial units of the SMSU and administrations of the centers for temporary residence of refugees, employment centers inform this category of individuals about available vacancies, employment opportunities with the help of the employment office, legislation on employment, including by means of awareness-raising visits carried out by employment centers.
The right to form and join trade unions
115.The information contained in paragraphs 83–87 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
The right to housing
116.Provision of citizens of Ukraine with housing is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Housing Code of the Ukrainian SSR, laws of Ukraine “On Privatization of State Housing”, “On Social Housing”, Resolution of the CMU of 23.08.2008 No. 682 “On Housing for Social Purposes”, and other acts.
117.Exercise of guaranteed rights to receive housing by citizens of Ukraine, including Roma population, permanent/temporary housing or social housing is possible if there is vacant housing in the housing stock of local councils and adequate funding in sufficient quantities. However, the problem with housing connected with its insufficient quantity or absence, existed back in 2014 when the Russian military aggression against Ukraine started, and it became particularly acute in connection with displacement of citizens from the military conflict area and the temporary occupation of the Ukrainian territory.
118.According to information provided by regional and Kyiv city state administrations, as of January 1, 2021:
•Total number of citizens on the social housing register – 7623;
•Number of citizens provided with social housing – 1564;
•Total number of vacant apartments and living quarters of the social housing stock (except social dormitories) – 170;
•Total number of citizens registered as citizens in need of housing from the housing stock for temporary residence – 4264;
•Number of citizens provided with housing from the housing stock for temporary residence – 3363;
•Total number of vacant dwellings from the stock of housing for temporary residence – 186.
119.In 2020, citizens were provided with social housing within 55 local programs aimed at construction/acquisition/reconstruction of social housing. These programs operated in 10 oblasts (Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Chernihiv). In Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and Khmelnytskyi oblasts, 14 local programs for the formation of housing funds for temporary residence have been approved.
120.Foreigners and stateless persons who have applied to the territorial bodies of the SMSU for the status of a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, on the basis of their personal application, may be provided with temporary accommodation in centers for accommodation of refugees for the time necessary to provide for own housing.
121.There are three temporary refugee accommodation points in Ukraine: in Odesa (200 places), Zakarpattia oblast (120 places) and Yahotyn, Kyiv oblast (101 places). The point in Yahotyn was commissioned on August 9, 2017 by the order of the SMSU of August 7, 2017, No. 206. Persons accommodated in such points are provided with food kits; individual beds, bed linen, mattresses, blankets, pillows, bedspreads, towels; personal hygiene products, detergents, cleaning and disinfection products, etc.
Rights to public health and medical care, social security and social services
122.Article 49 of the Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that everyone has the right to health care, medical assistance and medical insurance. It is provided by state funding of relevant socio-economic, health and prevention programs.
123.The state creates conditions for effective and accessible medical care for all citizens.
124.Article 11 of the Law “On the Fundamental Principles of the Ukrainian Health Care Legislation” establishes the rights and obligations of foreigners and stateless persons, namely: foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine, persons recognized as refugees or persons, who need subsidiary protection, enjoy the same rights and have the same responsibilities in the field of health care as citizens of Ukraine, unless otherwise provided by international treaties or laws of Ukraine.
125.In 2016, the CMU prioritized the transformation of the health care system to improve the health situationin Ukraine and ensure financial protection of citizens from out-of-pocket spending. The transformation is taking place by means of an increased efficiency, modernization of outdated systems and improved access to better quality health care.
126.In order to change the funding system of the health care sector, to determine state financial guarantees for the provision of necessary medical services and medicines of proper quality to patients at the expense of the State Budget under the program of medical guarantees, new legislation on health care financing was adopted (Law “On State Financial guarantees of Medical Care”).
127.Under this Law, a model of proportionate state medical insurance is introduced, which is based on the global best practices and the experience of health care system transformation in the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. The main source of funding for the updated health care system is the funds of the State Budget, received from national taxes. Benefits for the treatment of an individual are not tied to the amount of their individual contributions. Budget funds for medical financing are distributed through a modern mechanism of strategic procurement of medical services.
The right to education and training
128.Mechanisms for meeting the educational needs of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine are formed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Laws of Ukraine “On Education”, “On Complete General Secondary Education”, “On Preschool Education”, etc.
129.According to Article 10 of the Constitution, the state language is Ukrainian; the state ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of public life throughout Ukraine.
130.At the same time, Article 11 of the Constitution stipulates that the state also promotes the development of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.
131.Article 7 of the Law “On Complete General Secondary Education” provides that the right to complete general secondary education is guaranteed regardless of age, sex, race, skin color, health, disability, special educational needs, citizenship, nationality, political, religious or other beliefs, place of residence, language of communication, origin, marital, social and property status, life circumstances, criminal record etc.
132.According to the Laws “On Education” and “On Complete General Secondary Education”, persons belonging to the indigenous peoples of Ukraine have the right to receive complete general secondary education in a state, municipal or corporate educational institution in the language of the indigenous people alongside the state language.
133.This right is realized by creating separate classes in accordance with the legislation and teaching in the language of the respective indigenous people of Ukraine alongside the state language.
134.The Laws “On Education”, “On Complete General Secondary Education” contain many innovations; much attention is paid to safety, well-being, physical and mental health of children, access to complete general secondary education.
135.The Law “On Complete General Secondary Education” for the first time defines a safe educational environment as a set of conditions in an educational institution that prevent physical, property and moral damage to participants in the educational process, including physical and psychological violence, exploitation, discrimination on any grounds, humiliation, infringement of dignity, business reputation (bullying, dissemination of false information, etc.), propaganda, including with the use of cyberspace.
136.Under Article 10, part two of the Law, the educational process is organized at every level of complete general secondary education in a safe educational environment and with regard to the age characteristics, physical, mental, and intellectual development of children, their special learning needs.
137.The Law pays special attention to the issue of access to complete general secondary education – creating conditions that provide everyone with the opportunity to complete general secondary education in accordance with national standards, including the availability of a sufficient number of educational institutions providing free general secondary education, non-discrimination for any reason or circumstance, providing students with support in the educational process at the expense of state and local budgets in the most accessible educational institution, closest to their place of residence.
138.The right of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine to study the respective languages in municipal establishments for pre-school, primary and secondary education or through national cultural associations is enshrined in laws “On Education”, “On Complete General Secondary Education”, “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language”.
139.The Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language” provides for the possibility of additional promulgation of acts of individual action of the ARC, local governments translated into Crimean Tatar as the language of the indigenous people in Ukraine. In the manner and under the conditions specified by law, the distribution of electoral campaign materials duplicated in the languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine is permitted.
140.The Law “On Education” has been amended so that individuals belonging to national minorities whose languages are official EU languages and who started acquisition of general secondary education before September 1, 2018, in the language of the respective national minority, continue acquiring such education under the rules which existed before the aforementioned law came into effect, with a gradual increase in the number of subjects taught in Ukrainian, until September 1, 2023; others – until September 1, 2020 (the Law of 25.04.2019 No. 2704-VIII “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language”).
141.The Law “On Complete General Secondary Education” establishes:
(a)Persons belonging to the indigenous peoples of Ukraine have the right to receive complete general secondary education in a state, municipal or corporate educational institution in the language of the indigenous people alongside the state language.
(b)Persons belonging to the national minorities of Ukraine have the right to receive primary education (grades 1–4) in a state, municipal or corporate educational institution in the language of the national minority alongside the state language.
(c)Persons belonging to the national minorities of Ukraine whose languages are the official languages of the European Union and who exercise the right to study in such languages in state, municipal or corporate educational institutions shall receive: basic secondary education (grades 5–9) where the national language accounts for at least 20% of the annual study time in grade 5 with a gradual annual increase of the share (at least 40% in grade 9); specialized secondary education (grades 10–11 (12)) where the state language accounts for at least 60% of the annual study time.
(d)Persons belonging to other national minorities of Ukraine are provided with basic and specialized secondary education at the state, municipal or corporate educational institutions where the state language accounts for at least 60% of the annual study time.
142.The list of subjects (courses) studied in the state language and the language of a national minority is determined by the curriculum of the educational institution in accordance with the requirements of state standards and taking into account the peculiarities of the language environment.
143.An extensive network of educational institutions operates to ensure the right to education in the languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities and the study of these languages. Preschool education is provided in Ukrainian, English, Bulgarian, Crimean Tatar, Moldovan, German, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovak, and Hungarian. In the 2019-2020 academic year, classes in grades 1–4 were taught in Ukrainian and 8 languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities; in grades 5–11 – in Ukrainian and 5 languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities; 32 languages are studied as foreign. In total, 319,000 students in 1,177 schools study in the languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities.
144.Since 2014, general secondary education institutions in the Henichesk district, bordering the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in the ARC, have been providing part-time education for people from these territories. In total, from 2015 to 2019, 579 people received state-level education documents on an external basis.
145.In the 2019–2020 academic year, part-time education was provided for almost 150 students from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, including the ARC and Sevastopol. As of June 2, 2020, 85 of them were studying in the graduating classes of general secondary education institutions of the district to receive a certificate of complete general secondary education of the state standard in 2020.
146.There are 83 Sunday schools for representatives of national minorities in Ukraine. Their activities are facilitated by education authorities and organizations, national and cultural associations. To satisfy the ethno cultural needs of national minorities, there are centers of national culture operating in Ukraine (117 centers were operating at the end of 2019).
147.Prior to the temporary occupation of Crimea by the RF in 2014, there were 660 schools on the peninsula. All children studied Ukrainian, with almost 13,000 receiving education in this language, and more than 2,000 were taught in Crimean Tatar. Since 2014, the number of Ukrainian schools in the Crimea has decreased; the number of students studying in the Ukrainian language in Crimea has decreased 150 times. There is only one school left with Ukrainian as the language of instruction.
148.In the temporarily occupied territory of the ARC and Sevastopol, the number of educational institutions with Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian languages studied as subjects, the study time for the instruction of these languages was decreased, which illustrates a gross violation of Ukrainians’ and Crimean Tatars’ rights to education by the Russian occupation authorities. To provide assistance to children whose rights have been violated in the temporarily occupied territories of the ARC and Sevastopol, Ukraine has created the necessary conditions for remote learning of the Ukrainian language, literature and history.
149.In the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in March 2020, the Russian occupation administrations deprived the Ukrainian language of state status, thus approving the status of Russian as the only “state” language in these temporarily occupied territories.
The right to equal participation in cultural activities
150.The information contained in paragraphs 111–116, 120, 122–126 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) remains unchanged.
151.The use of languages of national minorities and indigenous peoples during cultural events is allowed if it is justified by the artistic, creative idea of the organizer of the event, as well as in cases specified by law.
152.During the preparation of the draft law on the State Budget of Ukraine, the responsible central executive body is provided with funds under a special budgetary program for national activities in the field of state language policy, international relations, religion and protection of national minorities’ rights.
153.To meet the cultural and information needs of national minorities at the local level, comprehensive programs are approved to ensure education, culture and traditions of national minorities in Ukraine.
154.Every year, a set of events is implemented at the central and local levels at the expense of the State Budget, which includes cultural and educational events with the participation of ethnic communities – festivals, forums, native language days, seminars, and conferences.
155.During 2014–2017, the State Budget provided funds for the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine to conduct activities in order to meet the cultural, linguistic and information needs of national minorities. These funds were provided under the program “Measures to Restore the of National Minorities, Measures of the Ukrainian Global Coordination Council, Measures to Implement the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Measures to Establish Cultural Ties with the Ukrainian Diaspora, and Ensuring International Activities in the Field of Interethnic Relations”.
156.To conduct measures aimed at preservation and development of the cultural identity of national minorities, including ones developed and implemented by civil society institutions, the Ministry of Culture has allocated the following amounts over recent years: UAH 380,000 in 2014, UAH 261,489 in 2015, UAH 195,560 in 2016, UAH 528,930 in 2017, UAH 350,000 in 2018, UAH 599,750 in 2019.
157.The largest cultural and artistic project conducted by the Ministry of Culture in 2017–2019 at the expense of the state budget was the All-Ukraine Festival of National Cultures. Creative amateur groups and individual performers of national minorities from various regions of Ukraine are traditionally invited to participate.
158.In 2017, the UCF was established to promote the development of national culture and art, ensure favorable conditions for the development of intellectual and spiritual potential of society, provide broad access of citizens to the national cultural heritage, support cultural diversity and integration of the Ukrainian culture into the global cultural space.
159.Article 2 of the Law “On the UCF” states that the activities of the UCF are based on ensuring cultural diversity, which is a lever to combat racial discrimination. Among the Foundation’s staff and experts, there are representatives of national minorities, and the promotion of intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity are identified among the priorities.
160.In 2018, in connection with the adoption of the Law “On the UCF” there were changes in the mechanism of providing financial support for the implementation of cultural and artistic projects developed by civil society institutions. The UCF has the authority to provide financial support for the implementation of cultural and artistic projects, including those aimed at preserving, developing and promoting the culture of national minorities and cultural diversity. It supports projects on a competitive basis.
161.In 2018–2019, the UCF supported 9 projects (UAH 6,932,741.12) which demonstrated various forms of cultural expression of Crimean Tatars. Those initiatives resulted in the Audio-Encyclopedia of Crimean Tatar Culture; promotional campaign for a new element of the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine – the Crimean Tatar ornament Ornek; residence for craftspeople from Crimea and mainland Ukraine who practice this ornament; publication of the book Works of Shamil Alyadin from the series “Crimean Tatar prose in Ukrainian”; performance of the documentary theater “Crimean Tatars: When We Return...”; promotional campaign “Crimea and the South Ukraine – Space of Cultures”; short feature film “Kegelban” directed by E. Sarykhalilov, dedicated to the Crimean Tatar activist R. Ametov who was killed in Crimea in 2014.
162.The UCF supported 5 projects (UAH 3,980,227.16) related to Jewish culture and history. The following projects were funded: the development of training modules for advanced training in the theory and methods of teaching Judaic disciplines; holding the national cultural festival “Kyiv Klezmer Fest”; establishment of the School of Translation of Scientific and Artistic Texts from Yiddish and Hebrew into Ukrainian; the XXI International A. Monastyrskyi Theater Festival “Traveling Stars”; pre-production of the feature film directed by S. Loznytsia “Babyn Yar”.
163.The results of projects connected with the culture of national minorities include the creation of the web portal: “Greeks over Azov: Umurs and Rumei”, establishment of the cultural and tourist center dedicated to the Polish travelling poet Timko Padura, and two performances of the Transcarpathian Puppet Theater based on Slovak folklore.
164.In 2018–2019, the UCF supported 7 projects (UAH 4,805,324.64) dedicated to Ukraine’s cultural diversity. These projects included script writing and pre-production of eight animated videos “Ethnic Mosaic of Ukraine”, the production of six video stories for “Our Home” TV project; conducting the 11th Festival of Traditional Culture “Living Culture”; establishment of an inclusive educational and artistic camp “Art without Limits”; publication of a collection of fairy tales, parables, jokes, legends and stories “We Only Have One Ukraine”; a series of intercultural guide books “Ukrainian Bouquet of Peoples”; a collection of literary reportages “Our Others. Stories of Ukrainian Diversity” by O. Yaremchuk.
165.The UCF supported the 5th festival of world cultures Outlook World Culture Festival 2018, which took place in the Mystetskyi Arsenal and presented the culture of over 30 countries of the world in various manifestations, with the participation of embassies and diasporas.
166.To meet the cultural and information needs and to support the activities of cultural centers, cultural and educational activities of national minorities, the funding of UAH 26,930,500 was allocated at the local level under programs during 2016–2019.
167.In 2017, National Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (AT “NSTU”) began to operate. One of the main tasks of the PBC in Ukraine, established by the law “On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine” (No. 1227-VII of 17.04.2014) and the AT “NSTU” Charter approved by the CMU on 28.12.2016 No. 1039, is to support the fulfillment of information, cultural and educational needs of the population, particularly of national minorities. There are 3 regional subsidiaries functioning in minority languages in the structure of AT “NSTU”: Zakarpattia (TRC Tysa-1), Chernivtsi (TRC Bukovyna) and Odesa regional directorates. The public broadcaster produces TV and radio programs in 9 languages: Gagauz, Bulgarian, Moldovan, Romanian, German, Roma, Russian, Hungarian and Slovak. In September 2018, the Supervisory Board of AT “NSTU” approved the Concept of Broadcasting on National Minorities, and in November 2019, the Coordination Center for Broadcasting of National Minorities was established within the structure of the TV and Radio Company.
168.The PBC is working to create a single information space and provide all necessary conditions for the realization of linguistic and cultural rights of national communities in the media by collecting information from the entire Ukraine on the most important events to create national and regional content. At the national level (UA:FIRST, UA:CULTURE and digital platforms), PBC implements projects about national communities and indigenous peoples, including: a cycle of stories “Shades of Ukraine” (seasons one and two), short documentary on the Roma community “Invisible Truth”, the project “Visual Code”, a cycle “National Communities and Indigenous Peoples in Ukraine”, a cycle of stories dedicated to the International Day of Tolerance “Ours”. At the regional level, PBC informs about events in the region, country and world in minority languages. Regional TV channels broadcast projects for national communities in national languages for television, radio and digital platforms:
•UΛ: ZAKARPATTIA: “Ethno Vision”, “Hungarian Word” / Magyar Szó (in Hungarian), “Romano jivipen” (in Romani), “In my own eyes” / Mit eigenen Augen (in German), “At home with Romanians” / Acasă la români (in Romanian), “Slovak views” (in Slovak), News in Hungarian / Hirek;
•UΛ: ODESA: “Voice of the Bulgarians” (in Bulgarian), “Ana Tarafi” (in Gagauz), “Casa Mare” (in Moldovan);
•UΛ: BUKOVYNA: “Here in Bukovyna” (in Romanian), “Like at home” (in Ukrainian about other national communities in the region);
•UΛ: ZHYTOMYR: “Modern Zhytomyr: Czechs” (radio project in Czech), “Unity” (radio project in Polish).
169.Library institutions of Ukraine offer more than 125 million units of books, including in Belarusian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Gagauz, Modern Greek, Georgian, Moldovan, German, Polish, Roma, Russian, Romanian, Slovak, Hungarian, Czech. A number of publications are preserved in Hebrew and Tatar.
170.The cultural and artistic needs of national minorities are also met by amateur groups: theater, music and folklore. At the end of 2019 there were more than 5,000 amateur groups created by public organizations of national minorities.
171.Ensuring the protection of national minorities’ right to have their information needs met in their native language, the Ministry of Culture provided financial support for 5 newspapers for national minorities–Bulgarian Roden Krai, Jewish Jewish News, Polish Dzennik Kiyovsky, Armenian Aragac, Romanian Concordia.
172.In 2014, UAH 2,314,200 was allocated for the publication of newspapers and the activities of newspaper editorial offices, as well as UAH 2,050,400 annually during 2015–2018. Media broadcasting in the languages of national minorities are divided into monolingual, bilingual and multilingual. In 2019, 234 print media were published. Books and brochures are also published in foreign languages, including in the languages of national minorities.
173.For information on the issue of newspapers, periodicals, books and brochures in the languages of national minorities of Ukraine in 2019, see Annex 1.
174.The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, together with national sports federations, promote the principles of “fair play” and tolerant behavior of athletes, coaches, judges and other professionals, as well as the principles of combating racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination in sports.
175.Representatives of sports federations participate in educational forums and conferences that promote awareness of the basic principles of tolerance and equality. The executive committees of the federations monitor compliance with the Code of Ethics and the above principles, which are included in the statutes of the federations; carry out regular awareness-raising and preventive measures to prevent xenophobia, racism and any kind of discrimination.
176.In particular, in 2019, the Wrestling Association of Ukraine, together with the UWW held an international seminar for Ukrainian coaches and judges, which addressed the fight against racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination among other things.
177.Members of the Ethics and Fair Play Committee of the Ukrainian Football Association and the “Football Ukraine” trade union organize annual educational lectures among professionals, amateurs and young people on compliance with the Code of Ethics and Fair Play, Ukrainian Association of Football’s Disciplinary Rules and other regulations of the federation.
178.The Basketball Federation of Ukraine is conducting outreach work with basketball clubs and fans to prevent racism, xenophobia and discrimination during sporting events.
179.During the approval of the Rules of the XXIX Championship and Cup of Ukraine in men’s basketball in the 2019-2020 season and the Rules of the XXIX Championship and Cup of Ukraine in women’s basketball among women’s teams of the season 2019–2020, the Executive Committee of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine tightened responsibility for discrimination and/or racism, offensive public statements about race, color, language, political and religious beliefs, sex or ethnic origin, and any other act of discrimination and/or racism or contempt by any person against a particular person or groups of people during and after the match.
180.In the event of situations of racism, xenophobia and any form of discrimination, the disciplinary commissions of the federations shall investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action.
181.The UAF has a working body – the Ethics and Fair Play Committee, which oversees compliance with the Code of Ethics and Fair Play of the UAF, which establishes rules for fair play and tolerant behavior of those involved in football. In case of detection and establishment of violations, the Committee draws a conclusion and submits it for consideration to the bodies of football justice for a final decision. The Supervisory and Disciplinary Committee and the Appeals Committee may independently consider cases of violation of the following provisions of the UAF Disciplinary Rules approved by the UAF Executive Committee: demonstration of racist, discriminatory, politically extremist, abusive behavior that violates competition rules, moral and ethical standards of the football community; behavior that damages the reputation of football and the UAF. Based on the results of such consideration, various disciplinary sanctions may be applied to those who violated the rules.
182.In pursuance of the Framework Program of Cooperation between the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and the CE in the field of youth policy for 2016–2020 and within the CE’s “No Hate Speech Movement – NHSM” campaign, the mentioned Ministry provides measures to develop the competencies of people working with the youth, to raise awareness of the Ukrainian youth in human rights, including human rights online, combating hate speech, protection of their rights and the rights of others:
•On November 21–26, 2016, Zhytomyr hosted the International Training “No Hate Speech Movement” (35 direct participants, it reached about 2,000 people);
•On June 18–23, 2017, the International Action “Ho Hate Speech Movement” (Zhytomyr, Berdychiv, Korosten, Novohrad-Volynskyi) (110 direct participants, and it reached about 2,000 people);
•Within the project “Art action ‘Youth against Hate,’” in order to support IDPs and young people living in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, some events were held:
•On June 24–29, 2016, in Berdiansk, Mariupol and Sviatohirsk (100 direct participants, about 3,000 were reached);
•On June 24–28, 2017, in Lubny, Rubizhne, Sievierodonetsk and Sviatohirsk (120 participants, about 5,000 were reached);
•On June 22–27, 2018, in Novohrodivka, Pokrovsk, Starobilsk, Lysychansk and Novoaidar (100 participants, about 5,000 were reached);
•On May 1–5, 2018, Chernihiv hosted the International Training as part of the CE Campaign “No Hate Speech Movement” aimed at raising awareness of the youth in the field of human rights, combating hate speech online and resolving conflicts based on hate speech, cyberbullying and Internet violence (30 young people from different regions participated);
•On November 26–28, 2018, the final youth event of the CE Campaign “No Hate Speech Movement” was held in Kyiv to discuss the results of the project and of public activists on combating hate speech.
Regarding the status of minority languages under domestic law
183.Information contained in paragraphs 132–133 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) concerning the status of languages of national minorities and indigenous peoples remains unchanged.
184.On February 28, 2018, the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine No.2-r/2018 declared the Law “On Principles of State Language Policy” unconstitutional, as this Law was unable to ensure comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian as the state language in all spheres of public life and did not contain norms that would become appropriate guarantees for the preservation of the state language as a tool of unity of the country’s population, strengthening its role in public life.
185.On April 25, 2019, the Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language” was adopted, which entered into force on July 16, 2019. The Law regulates the use of the state language in public life throughout Ukraine; it is aimed at strengthening the language’s state-building and consolidation functions, increasing its role in ensuring the territorial integrity and national security of Ukraine. It regulates the status of the state language as an element of the constitutional order, which is fully consistent with European legislative practice of language regulation.
186.The Law does not apply to the language of religious rites and the sphere of private communication; every citizen of Ukraine is free to choose languages in private communication (paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law); the procedure for using the languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine in public life should be determined by a separate Law on the procedure for exercising the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities(Article 2, paragraph 3 and Section IX “Final and transitional provisions”, paragraph 8, subparagraph 3 of the Law).
187.The Constitution of Ukraine operates the concepts of “state language”, “languages of national minorities”. These categories have different natures: the state language is an integral attribute of the constitutional order of the state and performs a nation-building function, while the use of national minority languages is one of the elements of ensuring the cultural and linguistic rights of national minorities. The example of other states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, France, etc.) confirms that the state language has a separate status regulated by a separate law, and the use of national minority languages takes place within the protection of the rights of national minorities.
188.This way of legislative regulation of the state language use is not only consistent with the practice of language regulation in European countries, but also fully complies with the ratified obligations under the ECRML and in no way violates the rights of national minorities. The ECRML clearly states: “the protection and encouragement of regional or minority languages should not be to the detriment of the official languages and the need to learn them”.
189.Representatives of indigenous peoples and national minorities are guaranteed the right to study in their native language alongside the state language in classes (groups) established in accordance with Article 7, part one of the Law “On Education” and Article 21, part one of the Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language”.
190.Establishment of the institution of the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language, whose tasks are (1) to protect the Ukrainian as the state language and the right of Ukrainian citizens (regardless of their ethnic origin) to receive information and services in public life and (2) to remove obstacles and restrictions on the use of the state language, does not in any way discriminate, but on the contrary establishes a mechanism for the state language to perform the function of the language of interethnic communication, which is a factor of unity and national security of Ukraine. This way of institutional support of the language sphere corresponds to the practice of the Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, where its expediency and effectiveness are beyond doubt.
191.Asked about the legitimacy of the adoption of the Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language”, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) stressed that promoting the state language and making it mandatory for all citizens is a legitimate goal of the state.
192.The same applies to public measures to ensure language learning by all citizens, as such measures serve as a way to overcome existing inequalities and promote more effective integration into society of persons belonging to national minorities.
The right of access to any place or service intended for use by the general public
193.The right of access to public places is granted by the principle of equality of all citizens enshrined in law, regardless of their race, nationality or other characteristics.
194.As part of the monitoring of the situation with respect for citizens’ rights to freedom from discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, the CHR received information that on March 15, 2014, a large group of Roma (approximately 80 people) was not admitted to the Sting disco club in the village of Velyka Dobron, Uzghorod district, Zakarpattia oblast, to a concert of a famous Hungarian singer because of their ethnicity.
195.In connection with this incident, the Commissioner pointed out to the administration of the Sting disco club the inadmissibility of direct discrimination on the grounds of nationality in such areas of public relations as access to goods and services and made a legal request to prevent such situations in the future. The administration of the disco club, although it did not directly acknowledge the fact of discrimination on the basis of nationality, referring to the existing dress code for club visitors, assured the Commissioner that it would prevent similar violations in the future.
196.A similar incident occurred in January and June 2015 in Mykolaiv. Employees of the Sotka bar refused to provide catering services to several citizens due to their ethnic origin.
197.In the latter case, based on the response of the CHR to the facts of direct discrimination on national grounds, the Investigative Department of the Central District Precinct of the Mykolaiv City Police started a criminal case under Article 161 (“Violation of citizens’ equality depending on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, disability status or other characteristics”).
198.As a result, the authorities responded in a timely manner to these and other violations of the right to access to public places.
199.Information contained in paragraphs 143–144 of Ukraine’s previous report (CERD/C/UKR/22-23) concerning access to justice remains unchanged.
200.According to the Law “On the Verkhovna Rada CHR”, the CHR directly or through an authorized representative possesses the following powers in order to protect human and civil rights and freedoms:
•To apply to the court for protection of the rights and freedoms of persons who, due to physical condition, young age, old age, incapacity or limited capacity are unable to protect their rights and freedoms;
•To take part in court proceedings in cases in which proceedings have been opened on the Commissioner’s claims;
•To intervene in cases in which proceedings are opened on claims, applications, petitions of other persons, at any stage of their trial;
•To initiate a review of court decisions regardless of the Commissioner’s participation in court proceedings;
•To send acts of response of the Commissioner to relevant bodies in case of violation of human and civil rights and freedoms for such bodies to take appropriate measures;
•To check the state of observance of the established human and civil rights and freedoms by the relevant state bodies, including those carrying out operational and investigative activities, enforcing court decisions; to make proposals to improve the activities of such agencies in this sector.
201.The fundamentals of the national policy in the field of education and the principles of educational activity are the formation of respect for human rights and freedoms, intolerance to the humiliation of the person’s honor and dignity, to physical or mental violence, as well as to discrimination on any grounds (Article 6 of the Law “On Education”).
202.Educational institutions constantly carry out information, educational, and pre-emptive work to prevent manifestations of xenophobia, racial and ethnic discrimination among schoolchildren and students in the form of educational hours, conversations, round tables, lectures by psychologists.
203.Museums throughout Ukraine promote the culture of ethnic communities through special museum expositions dedicated to their history, everyday life, and traditions. Libraries hold book exhibitions, meetings, educational conversations, and other events aimed at forming tolerance, respect for the culture, history, language, customs, and traditions of different nationalities and countering xenophobia, racial and ethnic discrimination in Ukrainian society.
204.Every year, educational institutions join the organization and holding of the all-Ukraine campaign “16 Days against Violence”, during which a number of awareness-raising and educational events are conducted, including training sessions “In a World Without Violence”, “Ways to Counter Aggression and Violence in Adolescence”, correctional classes with the element of training “Cruelty and Violence”.
205.For the International Day of Tolerance, educational hours were held, lessons of kindness, contests of thematic leaflets, actions “This Hand Will not Hit Anyone”, hours of communication with a psychologist “Life without Violence”, school-wide parent meetings “Responsible Parenting”; preparation of posters on the topic “A World Without Violence”; educational conversations with students on “Ways to Overcome Violence at School”; viewing the film “Stop Bullying, Stop Violence”; educational hour “Understand a Different Person”; production of posters for the Day of People with Disabilities on the topic “We Are Different, We Are Close”.
206.The MESU promotes the implementation of the project “Creation of a system of mutual understanding services for the introduction of mediation on the principle of ‘equal-to-equal’ and peaceful resolution of conflicts in educational institutions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” by the NGO “La Strada Ukraine”; the project is implemented with the support of the UNICEF.
207.To prevent manifestations of radicalism, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of extremism among children, and to prevent discrimination against representatives of national minorities in educational institutions of Ukraine, the following events were held: awareness-raising and legal education hour, “Protecting the rights of Roma children”, “We know our rights, we fulfil our duties”, “We respect others – we respect ourselves”;
•Practical exercises devoted to the study of xenophobia, antisemitism, discrimination, and racism in the modern world;
•educational and artistic actions “Children against violence” together with employees of juvenile prevention;
•Viewing multimedia presentations about the life of Roma in Ukraine: “Roma of Ukraine”, “Roma nationality – history, culture, and traditions”;
•Drawing and poster contest: “We are all different, but everyone is equal in rights”, “Tolerance is the way to harmony”, “ABCs of peace”, “Children against racial discrimination”;
•Educational hours: “Customs and traditions of different peoples”, “Spread of xenophobic and racist manifestations among children. Causes and consequences”, “Tolerance in relations between people”, “Manifestations of racial discrimination and the fight against them”;
•Thematic exhibitions of fiction and nonfiction “In a united Ukrainian family”, “Ukraine in a European family”;
•Psychological trainings: “Xenophobic thinking: logic, threats, and laws of fear”, “Learning to communicate and respect others”, “How to communicate productively”;
•Thematic lessons and round tables: “Ukraine is a multinational state. Opportunities for the development of nations and nationalities”, “Countering xenophobia, racism among young people”, “No to racism”;
•Meeting of the high-school students’ club “Help your neighbor”, “I am among people”, “Our strength is in friendship”;
•Parental general education “Youth subcultures”;
•Survey of students in grades 8–11 “Are you tolerant?” “What do I know about tolerance?”;
•International festival “College gathers friends”, training seminar “Stop violence”;
•Actions “Students are against!”;
•Awareness-raising activities in institutions of general secondary, higher, and vocational education regarding the tolerant attitude towards students from India, the Middle East, and Africa.
208.Nationwide communication campaigns dedicated to the Remembrance Day of Victims of the Crimean Tatar People Genocide and to the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples have been launched.
209.In March 2019, the Ministry of Information Policy within the framework of the project of the CE Office in Ukraine “Protection of national minorities, including Roma, and the language of national minorities in Ukraine” presented these information materials as part of the communication campaign “We are different, but we are one”, aimed at establishing tolerance. The thematic video “We are different, but we are one” was posted on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Information Policy and the media resources of Ukrzaliznytsia.
210.Awareness-raising and educational work was carried out with parents of students of educational institutions on the following topics: “Ethnic minorities in Ukraine”, “Countering biased attitudes towards people of other nations”, “Roma people: features, traditions, and stereotypes”.
211.Various practices of countering bullying have been developed and are being implemented in the education system. The work in this area continues and is under control of the administrations of educational institutions. As part of the “Education Quality Assurance System Initiative”, which is implemented as part of the “Government Reform Support in Ukraine” (SURGe) project, and is an international technical assistance project implemented by Amnesty International and funded by the Government of Canada to help educational institutions, a step-by-step instruction is recommended for the principal “How to create a non-discriminatory environment in school”.
212.The MESU is working to improve curricula and history textbooks. It is important to know how different representatives of ethnic groups got along in one multiethnic city, what was the ethno-social background of relations and stratification of the city, how interethnic cooperation was built. The authors of textbooks emphasize the positive features and aspects of cooperation, attempts to find mutual compromises, show a complex problem and the ways in which it was solved.
213.Several elective courses are being introduced in educational institutions, in particular, the project “Culture of good neighborliness” has been implemented since 2011. Under the program “Me. We. Country” of this project, 27 classroom teachers of general secondary education institutions of II – III stages were trained at an interregional training seminar in Chornomorsk (June 18–23, 2019). 77 teachers were trained who gained experience in conducting interactive classes and using other techniques for working with children.
214.In 2019, 136 teachers of preschool education institutions from nine regions (Zakarpattia, Kyiv, Lviv, Luhansk, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernivtsi oblasts and Kyiv) completed 5-day interregional training seminars on the methodology of working under the “Ukrainian wreath” program of the “Culture of good neighborliness” course. Thanks to the training seminars in three oblasts – Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv, it was possible to expand the network of educational institutions that participate in the testing and implementation of the course in primary schools.
215.The creative group developed the program “Culture of good neighborliness” for systematic work with adults on the development of psychological and pedagogical competence of relatives or guardians of the child during the parental meeting “Parental meetings in a new way: relevant, interactive, useful”. In May 2019, the course’s experience in Ukraine and Moldova was presented in Odesa at a meeting of the International Steering Group GPPAC.
216.On November 21–23, 2019 in the village of Boyany, the 7th working meeting on testing and implementation of the course “Culture of good neighborliness” was held in the Chernivtsi oblast. It was attended by more than 100 teachers representing all oblasts of Ukraine. International experts on peacekeeping and intercultural education from Australia, Armenia, Mexico, the US, Bosnia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, and the GPPAC Peace Education Working Group attended the meeting.
217.During the period of active implementation of the course on the mainland Ukraine in 2014–2019, more than 1,200 teachers were trained for primary schools and more than 400 teachers – for preschool institutions.
218.The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy actively promotes the establishment and deepening of dialogue between civil society organizations of national minorities and state executive authorities.
219.During the reporting period, meetings of Councils of representatives of national and cultural societies – consultative and advisory bodies under local executive authorities – were held. During the meetings, issues of development and support of national minorities, preparation of national holidays were considered.
220.On the basis of cultural centers and library institutions, numerous events are organized annually, aimed at preventing and countering discrimination on racial, religious, and national grounds, as well as forming a tolerant attitude towards the culture, history, language, and traditions of different nationalities.
221.The NPU, together with civil society organizations, has developed information posters on countering racial discrimination, combating racism and xenophobia, responsibility for actions that have characteristics of discrimination, and ways of legal protection for persons who have suffered from discrimination. The information posters are placed in police departments and crowded places.
222.The MIAU, together with representatives of public associations of Roma who are part of the permanent working group on law enforcement and migration activities, acting as part of the interdepartmental working group on the implementation of the action plan for the realization of the Strategy for the protection and integration of the Roma national minority into the Ukrainian society for the period up to 2020, developed information materials on Roma topics intended for conducting an awareness campaign in the media in the context of the need to comply with the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
223.Information activities to promote mutual understanding, tolerance, and friendship between nations and racial or ethnic groups are carried out by regional state administrations. On December 15, 2016, in Dnipro, with the support of the Regional State Administration, a seminar on “Integration and national dialogue – models and accumulated international experience” was held, organized by the European Center for Minority issues (Flensburg, Germany) within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Program “National Minorities and Ethno-Political Issues: Belarus ‒ Moldova ‒ Ukraine”. Representatives of the Roma community from Lithuanian, German, and Belarusian communities took part in the event in Pavlohrad. The Zakarpattia Oblast State Administration regularly holds academic events on the topic of ethnic communities, in particular, in 2017, there was a round table meeting “Ethno-national policy of Ukraine: the experience of Zakarpattia”, in 2020 – a round table meeting “Roma of Zakarpattia on the way to integration into the Ukrainian society”.
224. On October 30–31, 2018, Dnipro hosted a two-day training session on “Recognition and response to discrimination”, which was held at the initiative of the UCHR. Representatives of national and cultural societies of the oblast took part in the events.
225.The Ministry of Information Policy has developed a guide “How Ukrainian media can approach European standards”, which contains practical recommendations on ethical coverage of the activities of national minorities in the media.
226.The National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine (NC), based on the provisions of the Laws “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”, “On Information”, “On Advertising”, takes measures to prevent and stop broadcasting programs with elements of propaganda and/or incitement to interethnic, racial, religious hatred, dissemination of information with elements of sexism, information that violates ethical, humanistic, moral norms.
227.In 2019–2020, the NC applied sanctions and appealed to the court to revoke the license of a TV company that disseminated information containing calls for unleashing an aggression, inciting national, racial, or religious hatred, disseminated propaganda of exclusivity, superiority, or inferiority of persons on the grounds of their religious beliefs, ideology, belonging to a particular nation or race, sexual orientation (Decision No. 125 of 07.02.2019; No. 1319 of 05.09.2019; No. 342 of 27.02.2020).