Proceedings Discontinued: The Inertia of Roma Rights Change in Ukraine

Proceedings Discontinued: The Inertia of Roma Rights Change in Ukraine

Roma in Ukraine are extremely vulnerable to infringements of fundamental human rights. A number of very serious instances of violent human rights abuse have taken place in Ukraine in recent years. In addition, systematic issues, such as widespread racial discrimination in a number of sectoral fields and the exclusion of Roma from personal and other documents, remain entirely unaddressed by government action to date.

Matters documented in detail by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and partner organisations in this report include: 

  • violence, including racially motivated violence and extreme forms of violence by state and non-state actors;
  • racial targeting, racial profiling and racial discrimination in criminal justice matters, including the systematic data-basing of Roma by the police in Ukraine;  
  • racial discrimination in social and economic areas, including housing, health care, education, employment and social services;
  • widespread lack of personal and other documents, effectively denying Roma the right to a legal personality, thwarting access to basic services, and hindering even basic civil and political participation.

Current Ukrainian laws are not sufficient to adequately protect against or punish acts of racial discrimination. This lack of legal capacity has been noted by international observers for many years. The absence of any comprehensive anti-discrimination law in Ukraine makes it virtually impossible for victims of discrimination in Ukraine to use legal means to secure justice. Furthermore, even in areas where some legal provisions and mechanisms do exist, government authorities and the judicial system continue to be unable or unwilling to utilize them to bring about meaningful change for Roma in Ukraine. This report aims to provide a summary of ERRC documentation in a number of areas of relevance to international human rights law. 

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