Ukraine's parliament adopts law on national minorities

Ukraine's parliament adopts law on national minorities

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted a law regulating the exercise of the rights and freedoms of persons belonging to national minorities (communities) of Ukraine.

Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a Ukrainian MP from the Holos party, said this in a post on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

He clarified that 318 lawmakers had voted for Bill No. 9610 "On the Introduction of Amendments to the Law of Ukraine 'On National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine' regarding Some Issues of Exercising the Rights and Freedoms of Persons Belonging to National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine."

The parliament determined that the goal of the initiative is to improve the legislative regulation of the realization of the rights and freedoms of persons belonging to national minorities (communities) in accordance with international treaties ratified by Ukraine.

When preparing the bill for its second reading, MPs partially took into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

In particular, the law defines the term "national minority." The document also provides that schoolchildren will be provided with free textbooks (including electronic ones), with a respective decision to be made by the government.

The document regulates that in settlements where national minorities live, the use of their language will be allowed in advertising, other events and during the provision of assistance.

The law also details the procedure for defining certain settlements as the ones where representatives of one or another national minority live.

It is expected that centers of national minorities (communities) of the respective territorial community may be established in the relevant settlements (recognized as the residence of national minorities).

In addition, the law guarantees state protection of the languages of national minorities under threat of destruction, as well as support for and preservation of traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage of national minorities.

At the same time, the law will not apply to Russians living in Ukraine.

The implementation of the law is expected to have a positive effect on ensuring the realization of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities (communities) and will contribute to the fulfillment of Ukraine's international obligations.

The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law at first reading on August 23.

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