01 Aug
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Human rights activists requesting the Ombudsman to take under control the issue of Roma rights protection

The coalition of Roma non-governmental organizations of Ukraine, "Strategy 2020", on July 27, 2017 appealed to the High Commissioner on Human Rights of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Valeria Lutkovska. The letter contains a request to take on Parliamentary control over the issue of protecting the rights and freedoms of Roma in Ukraine.

The reason for the appeal of the Coalition of Roma NGOs to the Ombudsman was the desire to prevent the cases of spreading of information in Ukraine that promote a discriminatory hostile attitude towards Roma community. In particular, a few days ago, on one of the internet resources has appeared an article stating that in supposedly in Odessa one of the ultra-right organizations published on its Facebook page a post containing hate speech, insults and threats addressed towards Roma, as well as some information that activists of the organization are spreading leaflets with respective content across the city. Such activity, as the authors of the article affirm, has the signs of a crime envisaged by Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("violation of equality of the citizens depending on their race, nationality or attitude to religion").

"Facts of spreading (postcards - ed.) are not confirmed, but such organization exists. Which motives it has behind posting it on the internet is finding out the SSU (Security Service of Ukraine). We have appealed to the Ombudsman to analyze and find out the reasons of discrimination against Roma, as well as to prevent such cases", has explained Volodymyr Kondur, the Head of the Coalition of Roma NGOs, to "Legal Space".

In their letter, human rights activists emphasize that recently a negative situation has occurred in society: it is said about the negative attitude towards the representatives of   Roma minority.

The Coalition refers to the findings of the monitoring "On the Observance of the Rights of National Minorities in Ukraine": from 2016 until present time, Roma are experiencing violations of their rights more often than representatives of other national minorities: illegal eviction, arsons of temporary Roma residence, murder and so forth.

"This is especially felt by representatives of Roma minority from Transcarpathian, Odessa, and Kharkiv regions, who are forced to hide in other cities across Ukraine and to find income or housing there. Certain groups of people are in a more vulnerable position than others, and therefore requiring for special attention.

Taking into consideration mentioned   above, we are asking you to take on the parliamentary control over the issue of protecting the rights and freedoms of representatives of Roma nationality in Ukraine, proclaimed by the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukrainian laws and international treaties of Ukraine", - human rights activists are calling.

The Ukrainian version of the text on the link

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