Proceedings Discontinued: The Inertia of Roma Rights Change in Ukraine

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) announces publication today of “Proceedings Discontinued: The Inertia of Roma Rights Change in Ukraine”, a comprehensive Country Report on the human rights situation of Roma in Ukraine.

The ERRC has undertaken extensive research, policy, law and training work in Ukraine due to the very serious issues Roma face in Ukraine. The ERRC published a comprehensive Country Report on the situation of Ukraine in 1997. The ERRC followed up this report with a 2001 publication updating developments since the 1997 report. Since 2003, with the support of the European Commission and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the ERRC has been involved in a large three-year human rights research, training and advocacy project in Ukraine, involving a number of local Romani organisations. Research toward and publication of “Proceedings Discontinued” are components of this project.

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. 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.

“Proceedings Discontinued” provides a summary of ERRC documentation in a number of areas of relevance to international human rights law, including details of legal action in which the ERRC is directly involved. The report concludes with a number of recommendations to the government of Ukraine, detailing measures needed to bring about durable change to the human rights situation of Roma in Ukraine.

“Proceedings Discontinued” is published in English and Ukrainian versions, with a Romani-language summary.

Proceedings Discontinued: The Inertia of Roma Rights Change in Ukraine

Part 1 in English:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)

Part 2 in English:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)

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