Crimean Tatars to hold a side event at UNPFII's 15th session

On May 10th, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations and Estonian Institute of Human Rights present a side event of the 15th session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

6 May 2016 10:19

Called 'Indigenous Crimean Tatars: Strategies for Survival and Securing Rights', the side event will analyse the Crimean Tatar situation from the perspective of a people that self-identifies as indigenous and expects states to recognize them as such.

The key discussion questions will include:

- Are Crimean Tatars indigenous people or not? Who is to decide?

- What kind of support and/or protection can Crimean Tatars expect from international norms (e.g., UNDRIP), institutions (including UN system) and world’s indigenous peoples?

- What are rational survival strategies for Crimean Tatars in light of the politically charged situation: resistance, non-collaboration or, perhaps, acceptance of new realities?

The event will be attended by Mr. Eskender Bariiev, Member of Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Ukraine), Ms. Emine Dzhapparova, First Deputy Minister of Information Policy (Ukraine), Mr. Aleksey Tsykarev, Chair of EMRIP (Russian Federation), Ms. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Member and Former Chair of UNPFII (USA).

Mr. Oliver Loode, Member of UNPFII (Estonia), will moderate the discussion.

After the dramatic events of 2014, Crimean Tatars have found themselves in a vulnerable position that is aggravated by their historical experiences of deportation and genocide. New de facto authorities of Crimea have not recognized Crimean Tatars as indigenous people of Crimea, have detained Crimean Tatar activists and, most recently, banned the representative body of Crimean Tatars, the Mejlis, on grounds of extremism. While Ukraine and the European Parliament have recognized Crimean Tatars as indigenous people of Crimea and have condemned numerous human rights violations towards Crimean Tatars, this is currently of little practical help for Crimean Tatars living in Crimea who have been left mostly on their own.