Ukrainian parliament adopts law on indigenous peoples: Rights of Crimean Tatars, Krymchaks, Karaites guaranteed

Crimean Tatars
Canan Kevser
02 July 2021, 11:15
Canan Kevser
02 July 2021, 11:15

The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted the law "On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine," at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.

The bill registered by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on May 18, 2021, was supported by 325 lawmakers during a vote on July 1.

The document aims to determine the legal status of indigenous peoples of Ukraine and establish legal guarantees for full possession of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, which defined by international law and envisaged by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

Indigenous Peoples: Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Krymchaks

The law grants legal status for Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Krymchaks as indigenous peoples 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 bearer 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."

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Under 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.

State Protection Against Any Threat

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, as well as their resource provision and international representation.