Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 26 February 2013
44,854,065 (July 2012 est.)
Prime Minister since 11 March 2010
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a
second term);election last held 17 January 2010 with runoff 7
Next scheduled election: 2015
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
The majority in parliament takes the lead in naming the prime
minister, elections: last held 28 October 2012
Next scheduled election: Fall 2017
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%,
Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census)
Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic
8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2% (2006 est.)
Republic with 24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities (mista,
singular - misto) with oblast status; Legal system is based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 7 February 2010
(next to be held in 2015); under constitutional reforms that went into effect 1 January 2006, the majority in parliament takes the lead
in naming the prime minister
Legislative: Unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; members allocated on a proportional basis to those
parties that gain 3% or more of the national electoral vote; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 28 October 2012 (next to be held fall 2017)
Judicial: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court
Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)
Human settlement on the territory of Ukraine has been documented into distant prehistory. The late Neolithic Trypillian culture
flourished from about 4500 BC to 3000 BC. The Copper Age people of the Trypillian culture were resided in the western part, and
the Sredny Stog further east, succeeded by the early Bronze Age Yamna ( "Kurgan") culture of the steppes, and by the Catacomb
culture in the 3rd millennium BC. During the Iron Age, these were followed by the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, among other
nomadic peoples. The Scythian Kingdom existed here from 750 BC to 250 BC. Along with ancient Greek colonies founded from
the 6th century BC on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea, the colonies of Tyras, Olbia, Hermonassa, perpetuated by Roman
and Byzantine cities until the 6th century AD. In the 3rd century AD, the Goths arrived in the lands of Ukraine around 250 AD to
375 AD, which they called Oium, corresponding to the archaeological Chernyakhov culture. The Ostrogoths stayed in the area but
came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. North of the Ostrogothic kingdom was the Kiev culture, flourishing from the 2nd
to 5th centuries, when it was overrun by the Huns. After they helped defeat the Huns at the battle of Nedao in 454, the Ostrogoths
were allowed to settle in Pannonia. With the power vacuum created with the end of Hunnic and Gothic rule, Slavic tribes, possibly
emerging from the remnants of the Kiev culture, began to expand over much of what is now Ukraine during the 5th century, and
beyond to the Balkans from the 6th century. In the 7th century, the territory of modern Ukraine was the core of the state of the
Bulgars (often referred to as Great Bulgaria) with its capital city of Phanagoria. At the end of the 7th century, most Bulgar tribes
migrated in several directions and the remains of their state were absorbed by the Khazars, a semi-nomadic people from Central
Asia. The Khazars founded the Khazar kingdom in the southeastern part of today's Europe, near the Caspian Sea and the
Caucasus. The kingdom included western Kazakhstan, and parts of eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, southern Russia, and Crimea. Up
to the ninth century the land was dominated by the Khazars, the Turkic semi-nomadic people from Central Asia who adopted
Judaism. In the 9th century, Kiev was conquered from the Khazars by the Varangian noble Oleg who started the long period of rule
of the Rurikid princes. During this time, several Slavic tribes were native to Ukraine, including the Polans, the Drevlyans, the
Severians, the Ulichs, the Tiverians, and the Dulebes. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev among the Polanians quickly
prospered as the center of the powerful Slavic state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus' was, geographically, the
largest state in Europe, becoming known in the rest of Europe as Ruthenia (the Latin name for Rus', especially for western
principalities of Rus' after the Mongol invasion. The name "Ukraine", meaning "border-land" first appears in recorded history on
maps of the period. Although Christianity had made inroads into territory of Ukraine before the first ecumenical council, the Council
of Nicaea (325) (particularly along the Black Sea coast) and, in Western Ukraine during the time of empire of Great Moravia, the
formal governmental acceptance of Christianity in Rus' occurred at in 988. The major cause of the Christianization of Kievan Rus'
was the Grand-Duke, Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr). Conflict among the various principalities of Rus', in spite of the efforts of
Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh, led to decline, beginning in the 12th century. Kiev was sacked by Vladimir principality (1169) in
the power struggle between princes and later by Cumans and Mongol raiders in the 12th and 13th centuries, respectively.
Subsequently, all principalities of present-day Ukraine acknowledged dependence upon the Mongols (1239-1240). In 1240 the
Mongols sacked Kiev. A successor state to Kievan Rus' on part of the territory of today's Ukraine was the principality of Halych-
Volynia. During this period (around 1200-1400) each principality was independent of the other for a period of time. During the 14th
century, Poland and Lithuania fought wars against the Mongol invaders, and eventually most of Ukraine passed to the rule of Poland
and Lithuania. After the Union of Lublin in 1569 and the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Ukraine fell under
Polish administration, becoming part of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom. The 1648 Ukrainian Cossack (Kozak) rebellion and war
of independence (Khmelnytsky Uprising), which started an era known as the Ruin (in Polish history as The Deluge), undermined the
foundations and stability of the Commonwealth. The nascent Cossack state, the Zaporozhian Host, usually viewed as precursor of
Ukraine, found itself in a three-sided military and diplomatic rivalry with the Ottoman Turks, who controlled the Tatars to the south,
the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, and the rising Russia to the East. Tsarist rule over central Ukraine gradually replaced
'protection' over the subsequent decades. After the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the extreme west of Ukraine fell
under the control of the Austrians, with the rest being taken over by the Russians. As a result of Russo-Turkish Wars the Ottoman
Empire control receded from south-central Ukraine, while the rule of Hungary over the Transcarpathian region continued. When
World War I and the October Revolution in Russia shattered the Austrian and Russian empires, Ukrainians were caught in the
middle. Between 1917 and 1918, several separate Ukrainian republics manifested independence, the Tsentral'na Rada, the
Hetmanate, the Directorate, the Ukrainian People's Republic, the West Ukrainian People's Republic, and a Bolshevik government.
With the defeat in the Polish-Ukrainian War and then the failure of the Piłsudski's and Petliura's Kiev Operation, by the end of the
Polish-Soviet War after the Peace of Riga in March 1921, the western part of Galicia had been incorporated into Poland, and the
larger, central and eastern part became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Ukrainian national
idea lived on during the inter-war years and was even spread to a large territory with traditionally mixed population in the east and
south that became part of the Ukrainian Soviet republic. To satisfy the state's need for increased food supplies and finance
industrialisation, Stalin instituted a program of collectivisation of agriculture, which profoundly affected Ukraine, often referred to as
the "breadbasket of the USSR". Following the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, in September 1939, German and Soviet troops divided
the territory of Poland, including Galicia with its Ukrainian population. Over the next decades the Ukrainian republic not only
surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production but also was the spearhead of Soviet power. The town of Pripyat, Ukraine
was the site of the Chernobyl accident, which occurred in April 26, 1986 when a nuclear plant exploded. Ukraine declared itself an
independent state on August 24, 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was a founding member of the
Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 1, 1991 Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum formalizing
independence from the Soviet Union. The Union formally ceased to exist in December 25, 1991, and with this Ukraine's
independence was officially recognized by the international community. The history of Ukraine between 1991 and 2004 was
marked by the presidencies of Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma. This was a time of transition for Ukraine. Two major
candidates emerged in the 2004 presidential election. Viktor Yanukovych, the incumbent Prime Minister, supported by both
Kuchma and by the Russian Federation, wanted closer ties with Russia. The main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, called
for Ukraine to turn its attention westward and eventually join the EU. In the runoff election, Yanukovych officially won by a narrow
margin, but Yushchenko and his supporters cried foul, alleging that vote rigging and intimidation cost him many votes, especially in
the eastern Ukraine. A political crisis erupted after the opposition started massive street protests in Kiev and other cities (Orange
Revolution), and the Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered the election results null and void. A second runoff found Viktor
Yushchenko the winner. 5 days later Viktor Yanukovych resigned from office and his cabinet was dismissed on January 5, 2005.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine sometimes appear strained. In 2005, a highly-publicized dispute over natural gas prices took
place, involving Russian state-owned gas supplier Gazprom, and indirectly involving many European countries which depend on
natural gas supplied by Russia through the Ukrainian pipeline. A compromise was reached in January 2006. In March 2006, the
Verkhovna Rada elections took place and three months later the official government was formed by the "Anti-Crisis Coalition"
among the Party of Regions, Communist, and Socialist parties. On April 2, 2007, President Yushchenko dissolved the Verkhovna
Rada because members of his party were defecting to the opposition. His opponents called the move unconstitutional. When they
took the matter to the Constitutional Court, Yushchenko dismissed 3 of the court's 18 judges, accusing them of corruption. By the
time of the presidential election of 2009, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko — allies during the Orange Revolution — had become
bitter enemies. Tymoshenko ran for president against both Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych, creating a three-way race.
Yanukovych received 48% of the vote and Yushchenko less than 6%, an amount which, if thrown to Tymoshenko, who received
45%, would have prevented Yanukovych from gaining the presidency; since no candidate obtained an absolute majority in the first
round of voting the two highest polling candidates contested in a run-off second ballot which Yanukovych won. During
Yanukovych's term he has been accused of tightening of press restrictions and a renewed effort in the parliament to limit freedom of
assembly. One frequently-cited example of Yankukovych's alleged attempts to centralize power is the August 2011 arrest of Yulia
Tymoshenko. On 11 October 2011, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison after she was found guilty of
abuse of office when brokering the 2009 gas deal with Russia. The conviction is seen as "justice being applied selectively under
political motivation" by the European Union and other international organizations
Source: Wikipedia: History of Ukraine
After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four
times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and
its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy
industry supplied the unique equipment (for example, large diameter pipes) and raw materials to industrial and mining sites (vertical
drilling apparatus) in other regions of the former USSR. Shortly after independence in August 1991, the Ukrainian Government
liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government
and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the
1991 level. Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the
Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks. Ukraine depends on imports to meet about three-fourths of its annual oil and
natural gas requirements and 100% of its nuclear fuel needs. After a two-week dispute that saw gas supplies cutoff to Europe,
Ukraine agreed to 10-year gas supply and transit contracts with Russia in January 2009 that brought gas prices to "world" levels.
The strict terms of the contracts have further hobbled Ukraine's cash-strapped state gas company, Naftohaz. Outside institutions -
particularly the IMF - have encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms. Ukrainian Government officials
eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large
shadow economy, but more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, and improving the
legislative framework. Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president until
mid-2008. Real GDP growth exceeded 7% in 2006-07, fueled by high global prices for steel - Ukraine's top export - and by
strong domestic consumption, spurred by rising pensions and wages. A drop in steel prices and Ukraine's exposure to the global
financial crisis due to aggressive foreign borrowing lowered growth in 2008. Ukraine reached an agreement with the IMF for a
$16.4 billion Stand-By Arrangement in November 2008 to deal with the economic crisis, but the program quickly stalled due to the
Ukrainian Government's lack of progress in implementing reforms. The economy contracted nearly 15% in 2009, among the worst
economic performances in the world. In April 2010, Ukraine negotiated a price discount on Russian gas imports in exchange for
extending Russia's lease on its naval base in Crimea. In August 2010, Ukraine, under the YANUKOVYCH Administration,
reached a new agreement with the IMF for a $15.1 billion Stand-By Agreement. Economic growth resumed in 2010 and 2011,
buoyed by exports, but slowed in 2012. After initial disbursements, the IMF program stalled in early 2011 due to the Ukrainian
Government's lack of progress in implementing key gas sector reforms, namely gas tariff increases.Political turmoil in Ukraine as
well as deteriorating external conditions are likely to hamper efforts for economic recovery.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Ukraine)
The Ukrainian presidential election of 2010 is Ukraine's fifth presidential election since declaring independence from the Soviet
Union in 1991. The first round was held on January 17, 2010. The run-off between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and
opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych followed on February 7, 2010.
On February 14, Viktor Yanukovych, with 48.95% of the popular vote, was declared President-elect and winner of the 2010
Ukrainian Presidential election. According to Article 104 of Ukraine's Constitution the President must be sworn into office within 30
days from the official declaration of the poll before the Ukrainian parliament.The Ukrainian Parliament has scheduled Yanukovych's
inaugurated Yanukovych on February 25, 2010.
On February 17, 2010, the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine, suspended the results of the election on appeal from Mrs.
Tymoshenko. The court suspended the Central Election Commission of Ukraine ruling that announced that Viktor Yanukovych won
the election, but did not postpone or cancel Mr. Yanukovych’s inauguration. Tymoshenko withdrew her appeal on February 20,
During Yanukovych's term he has been accused of tightening of press restrictions and a renewed effort in the parliament to limit
freedom of assembly. One frequently-cited example of Yankukovych's alleged attempts to centralize power is the August 2011
arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko. On 11 October 2011, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison after she was
found guilty of abuse of office when brokering the 2009 gas deal with Russia. The conviction is seen as "justice being applied
selectively under political motivation" by the European Union and other international organizations
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Ukraine
1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Belarus remains un-ratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and
reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete with preparations for demarcation underway; the
dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a
December 2003 framework agreement and ongoing expert-level discussions; Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to
monitor transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria Region, which remains under OSCE
supervision; the ICJ gave Ukraine until December 2006 to reply, and Romania until June 2007 to rejoin, in their dispute submitted in
2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary; Romania opposes
Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea.
Limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; some synthetic drug production for export to the
West; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Africa, Latin
America, and Turkey to Europe and Russia; Ukraine has improved anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from
the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in February 2004; Ukraine's
anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF.
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Reports: Ukraine
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Ukraine is a republic with a presidential-parliamentary system of government. The constitution provides for a directly elected president, a
prime minister who is appointed by the president and confirmed by parliament, and a unicameral parliament (Verkhovna Rada). Recent
changes to the constitution strengthened the presidency at the expense of other branches of government. Viktor Yanukovych took office
as president in February 2010 following two rounds of voting that met most international standards for democratic elections. Security
forces generally reported to civilian authorities.
The most serious human rights development during the year was the politically motivated detention, trial, and conviction of former prime
minister Yulia Tymoshenko, along with selective prosecutions of other senior members of her government. The second most salient
human rights problem was the government’s measures to limit freedom of peaceful assembly. Under political pressure courts denied
permits for the vast majority of protests that were critical of the government. For those protests that were approved an overwhelming
police presence discouraged participation; actions by protesters were limited and tracked by the authorities. The third major problem was
increased government pressure on independent media outlets, which led to conflicts between the media owners and journalists and to
Other serious problems included police abuse and deaths in custody, beatings and torture of detainees and prisoners, and an inefficient,
corrupt judicial system. In addition, the following problems were reported: harsh conditions in prisons and detention facilities, arbitrary
and lengthy pretrial detention, government pressure on nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and pervasive corruption in all branches
of government. Societal problems included violence against women, trafficking in persons, xenophobic attacks and hate crimes, and
societal discrimination, harassment, and attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.
The government generally did not prosecute security officials who committed abuses, especially against ethnic minorities and prisoners.
Prosecutions for corruption, which were frequent, were often criticized as selective. Impunity was a problem throughout the
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COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations: Ukraine
2 February 2011
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the State party’s periodic report (CRC/C/UKR/3-4) as well as the written reply to its
list of issues (CRC/C/UKR/Q/3-4/Add.1) and commends the self-critical nature of the report, which provided a better understanding of
the situation in the State party. The Committee expresses appreciation for the constructive and open dialogue held with the cross-sectoral
delegation of the State party.
3. The Committee reminds the State party that these concluding observations should be read in conjunction with its concluding
observations adopted on the State party’s initial report under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict
B. Follow-up measures undertaken and progress achieved by the State party
4. The Committee welcomes as positive the adoption of the following legislative and other measures:
(a) The Law on Prevention of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Social Protection of the Population in December
(b) The Law to Combat Child Pornography in January 2010;
(c) The Law on Social Protection for Orphans and Children deprived of Parental Care in 2005;
(d) The National Plan of Action for Children 2010-2016 in March 2009 as a Law on the National Plan of Action for Children;
C. Main areas of concern and recommendations
1. General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44, para. 6 of the Convention)
The Committee’s previous recommendations
6. The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the State party’s
previous report (CRC/C/15/Add.191, 2002) and on the initial report under the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Child Pornography (CRC/C/OPSC/UKR/CO/1, 2007) which have yielded positive results. However, the Committee
regrets that many of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed.
7. The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding
observations of the second periodic report under the Convention and the initial report under the Optional Protocol on the Sale of
Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, including those related to
allocation of resources, data collection, harmonization of national legislation with the Convention and its Optional Protocols, torture and
ill-treatment, administration of juvenile justice, children deprived of their family environment, sexual exploitation and abuse, and children
of minority groups, and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations.
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"We’ve Been Talking About Carrots For Too Long. Carrots Don't Work."
David Kramer, president of Freedom House, told The Ukrainian Week about sanctions as a necessary step similar to
measures against Russia
Nov 30 2012 - 1:43pm
David Kramer is president of Freedom House. One of the oldest human rights organizations in the world, it has been promoting
democracy and human rights, and monitoring the state of freedom on the planet, for 70 years. This summer Freedom House warned
Kyiv about possible sanctions against Ukrainian top officials. After the October parliamentary election, David Kramer talks about
sanctions as a necessary step similar to measures against Russia.
UW: Freedom House published a critical report “Sounding the Alarm Round 2: Protecting Democracy in Ukraine” in July, saying that
Ukraine may head down a path toward autocracy and kleptocracy. Quite a few concerns were linked to the parliamentary election. How
do you see the election against the backdrop of the report and your earlier observations?
I must say that your government ignored most of our remarks, unfortunately. Ukraine will head the OSCE in 2013. However, our
concern is that Kyiv failed to comply with its commitments to the OSCE to hold a fair and transparent election. Ukraine has made a step
back in terms of cooperation with the OSCE. This has been highlighted in comments from the OSCE-ODIHR, the US Department of
State, and other observers.
UW: Did the campaign meet your expectations?
We started the monitoring well in advance this time. Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton wrote a great article about the abuse of
administrative resources, pressure on the media, the Central Election Commission, and voter bribery. But it was published only a week
before the election, and that was too late. A warning like that should be disclosed at least a month before the election takes place.
Eventually, we saw the violations similar to those in the widely criticized local election in 2010. In nationwide terms, this year’s
parliamentary election was the worst since the rerun of the presidential election in 2004.
UW: Many serious violations and wide-scale falsifications in favour of pro-government candidates in first-past-the-post districts were
reported during the vote count. Just take the scandal in Pervomaisk, Mykolayiv Oblast. How do you assess this situation?
It’s discouraging to see this sort of violations and violence. Such developments do not create the necessary ground for solving political
conflicts. They further polarize the situation and raise doubts about election results.
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Ukraine: Amnesty International tells Ukraine’s new parliament it’s time to address country’s appalling human rights record
12 December 2012
Amnesty International is urging Ukraine’s newly elected parliament to address urgently the country’s appalling human rights record as
the Verhkovna Rada opens its first session today. The human rights organisation calls on parliamentarians to get to work fulfilling
Ukraine’s outstanding human rights obligations.
Since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the country has made some progress towards protecting human rights. However, this
progress needs to be rapidly accelerated if the country is to fulfil the commitments it has made to the European Union, UN and Council
Ukrainian politicians cannot seriously expect closer integration with Europe as long as their citizens continue to be routinely abused by
police, imprisoned because of their political affiliation, or discriminated against because of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The organisation is delivering a set of its recommendations on how to address rights abuses in the country to each of Ukraine’s 445
members of parliament, along with a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International wants every member of
the newly elected parliament to know that, for the next five years, they are responsible for the rights of the Ukrainian people, and
accountable to them. In a letter to parliament the organisation reiterated its major human rights concerns - including police torture and
impunity, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the forced return of refugees and asylum seekers.
The organization continues to urge the government to solve the problem of torture and other ill-treatment by police, and to establish a
fully resourced independent agency to investigate all allegations of human rights violations by police officers.
Police are encouraged to torture detainees by a climate of impunity, caused by a lack of adequate investigations
and prosecutions of those officers who abuse the people they are supposed to protect. The new parliament is
now accountable for police reform and needs to protect all Ukrainian citizens from torture.
The letter reiterates a call for draft law # 8711, which seeks to outlaw ‘homosexual propaganda’, to be thrown out. The law passed its
first reading during the previous parliament despite the fact that if enacted it would breach Ukraine’s commitments to uphold the right to
freedom of expression.
The letter also called on Ukraine’s new parliament to ratify several international treaties as a matter of priority – including the Rome
Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
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Ukraine: EU Should Raise LGBT Rights at Summit
Condemn Homophobic Bills, Violence
February 21, 2013
(Brussels) – The European Union should urge the Ukrainian government at the upcoming EU-Ukraine summit to end abuses against
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch and 23 other groups said today in a letter to EU
The letter, signed by 22 Ukrainian nongovernmental organizations, and Equal Rights Trust as well as Human Rights Watch, called on the
EU to speak out against homophobic bills pending in Ukraine’s parliament and to condemn attacks against LGBT activists. The summit
meeting will be held in Brussels on February 25, 2013.
“These homophobic bills are unacceptable for a country that aspires to deeper relations with the European Union,” said Anna Kirey,
Finberg fellow at Human Rights Watch. “The EU should state clearly at the summit that discrimination against LGBT people has no place
in the EU neighborhood.”
The two “homosexual propaganda” bills are scheduled to be discussed by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, during its current
session. The bills would, among other things, ban the production, publication, or distribution of materials “promoting” homosexuality.
Violators would face fines and up to five years in prison.
The groups urged the EU to call on the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanykovych, to reject the two bills if the parliament adopts them.
A December 2012 resolution adopted by the European Parliament said the bills, if passed, would violate fundamental human rights –
including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly – and are deeply discriminatory toward LGBT people
in Ukraine. The bills would create an unacceptable environment of state-promoted discrimination against LGBT people, including those
under 18, the groups said. The bills would also endanger the ability of human rights defenders to protect the rights of LGBT people.
In recent months LGBT activists in Ukraine who held public events supporting LGBT rights were attacked by neo-Nazi and nationalist
groups. Svoboda, a political party that holds 12 percent of seats in parliament, publicly supported the December 2012 attacks. Kiev Pride
organizers have been attacked on a number of occasions including during 2012 and 2013.
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Dmytro Tabachnyk informs on the main priorities of education policy
25.02.2013 | 17:36
Press Service of the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports
Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports Dmytro Tabachnyk named the main priorities of education policy in 2013 during
press conference, which was held at the Government House on February 25
Dmytro Tabachnyk said that in 2013 the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports will continue to implement the measures
defined by program of economic reforms of the President of Ukraine for 2010-2014 "Rich society, competitive economy, effective
state." The Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports, in his speech, in particular, spoke about the priorities of education
policy in each direction of the industry. Thus, according to the Minister, pre-school education is the foundation of the entire educational
sector, and in 2013 the main priorities of pre-school education are centered on the development of the network of pre-school education
institutions by returning the facilities, which are used for other purposes, the commissioning into operation of new buildings and opening
kindergartens in adapted premises.
According to the Minister in the development of secondary education one of the major tasks for 2013 year is further improve the quality
of education in rural schools. About 1900 educational districts has been created, and within them covered for more than 1 million people.
The Minister also spoke about the planned full implementation of the School Bus State program in 2013, as the dynamics of its
performance for the years 2010-2012 showed excellent results.
"From September 1, 2012 first graders began to study in accordance with the new State Standard," Dmytry Tabachnyk noted.
According to him, from September 1, 2013 2 and 5 grades begin to study in accordance with the new standards, and in June 2013 will
be held the second nationwide action "New Standards - New School."
The priority is also to ensure the rights of children with special educational needs, the Minister said.
In addition, he said that in 2013 will be implemented nationwide "swimming lesson". According to him, in 2012/2013 academic year
All-Ukrainian pupils Olympiad on physical culture and sports will be held for the first time.
In higher education the most important tasks for 2013, as informed the Minister are: drafting of the Law of Ukraine "On postgraduate
education"; the implementation of measures to further optimize the network of higher education with the need to improve its quality and
affordability, the formation of a unified education area of Higher education; the introduction of competitive procedure for placement of
orders for training specialists with higher education, further expansion of the program budget for training students in leading foreign
universities in the priority areas of education and science, increased participation of leading Ukrainian universities in international rankings
Important priority the Minister named the creating conditions for increasing the number of foreign students who are educated in Ukraine.
According to him, today there are 60.5 thousand of such students that is a truly significant achievement.
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Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights signed the Memorandum of cooperation with the
International Labor Organization
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 12:29
oday, on the 20 February 2013 the official ceremony of signing the Memorandum of cooperation between the Office of the Ukrainian
Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) was held.
The aim of the document is to consolidate efforts to promote in Ukraine international standards in the sphere of labor and social human
rights, raise society awareness in this sphere, further strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian Ombudsman institution while exercising
parliamentary control over the observance of constitutional human rights and freedoms in the sphere of labor rights and carrying out
monitoring of the implementation of the ILO Conventions Ukraine is a party of.
Parties agreed to cooperate in the format of organization of scientific and practical activities, educational campaigns, elaboration of joint
proposals and recommendations to draft laws and other legal acts in this sphere as well as accession of Ukraine to important international
Focusing the attention on the importance of this agreement Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska emphasized that “This is of a symbolic matter, that
we are signing such important document today, on the World day of social justice. I believe that the cooperation with the International
Labor Organization, which continues to greatly contribute to the sphere of labor and social rights protection, will be useful for all citizens
of our country”.
ILO National Coordinator in Ukraine Mr. Vasyl Kostrytsya is sure that the Memorandum between the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament
Commissioner for Human Rights and the ILO would enhance the cooperation in the sphere of fundamental rights protection, including
the right for employment, freedom from forced labor and the prohibition of using child labor.
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Human rights activists: fight against discrimination is only to con the EU
The Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine asserts that anti-discrimination legislation in Ukraine is not being formulated to protect
human rights, but merely for the purpose of visa liberalization with the European Union. The latest draft law from the Justice Ministry,
which the public were not included in the discussion of, again fails to contain adequate effective mechanisms for defending victims.
In order to change the situation, on the day of the EU-Ukraine Summit, civic activists organized a performance outside the Verkhovna
Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations.
During the action, the participants, taking the role of people who have suffered various forms of discrimination (on the grounds of age,
gender, religion, state of health, etc) approach a judge asking for protection. The judge can find no mechanisms of defence in the law,
since the legislators “forgot” to put it in.
The action demonstrated how defenceless Ukrainians are and pointed to the lack of possibility of defending themselves using legal
After the performance, members of the Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine handed MPs proposals on improving the draft law
and suggested creating a working group with the involvement of experts from civic society in order to work further on it.
According to the Coordinator of the Coalition, Iryna Fedorovych, the Coalition is ready to provide its experts, proposals and other
assistance both with working on improving this draft law and on drawing up others on preventing and countering discrimination in
The Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine is made up of civic organizations and independent experts who are working in solidarity
to defend the interests of groups in Ukraine facing discrimination in order to achieve real equality.
The Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine was founded on 5 April 2011 as a national nongovernmental civic human rights initiative
through the signing by Ukrainian NGOs of a special referendum. On 15 February 2012 the decision was taken to transform the Coalition
into a union of NGOs and individual experts united by human rights values and who are taking part in efforts to overcome discrimination
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President since 25 February 2010
First Deputy Prime Minister
since 24 December 2012
Yuriy Boyko, Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Oleksandr Vilkul
Deputy Prime Ministers since 24 December 2012