Ukrainian parliament adopts law on indigenous peoples

Ukrainian parliament adopts law on indigenous peoples

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law "On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine," initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent, 325 lawmakers supported the decision at an extraordinary parliament meeting on Thursday.

The explanatory note states that the purpose of the document is to determine the legal status of indigenous peoples of Ukraine and establish legal guarantees for full possession of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons belonging to indigenous peoples of Ukraine, which are established by international law and envisaged by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

According to the law, the concept of "indigenous people of Ukraine" is defined as an "autochthonous ethnic community that formed on the territory of Ukraine, is a carrier of original language and culture, has traditional, social, cultural or representative bodies, sees itself as an indigenous people of Ukraine, is an ethnic minority in its population and does not have its own state formation outside Ukraine." According to this definition, the law proposes to establish that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine include Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Krymchaks.

In accordance with the provisions of the legislation, the indigenous peoples of Ukraine and their representatives have the right, collectively and individually, to the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as defined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in international agreements, the binding nature of which has been approved by the Verkhovna Rada, as well as provided for in the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

The law defines guarantees for legal protection from any actions aimed at deprivation of signs of ethnicity and integrity as original peoples, deprivation of cultural values; eviction or forced relocation from places of compact residence in any form; forced assimilation or forced integration in any form; encouraging or inciting racial, ethnic or religious hatred against the indigenous peoples of Ukraine. The document guarantees the cultural, educational, linguistic and information rights of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine, the rights of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine to sustainable development.

The law provides for the determination of the legal status of the representative bodies of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine, their resource provision, and the issue of international representation.

On May 18, 2021, President Volodymyr Zelensky registered in the Verkhovna Rada the bill No. 5506 "On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine."


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