MINELRES: UN Human Rights Committee Reviews Ukraine

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Oct 30 20:09:07 2006

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

Premiere Human Rights Law Oversight Body Convenes to Assess Ukraine's 
Compliance with International Law

Advocates Report on Extreme Roma Rights Concerns

Budapest, Kyiv, 23 October 2006. The United Nations Human Rights 
Committee today reviews Ukraine's compliance with the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In advance of today's 
hearing, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) submitted written 
comments on the very troubling situation of Roma in Ukraine.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, the ERRC has undertaken extensive 
research, policy, law and training work in Ukraine due to the serious 
issues Roma face in Ukraine. 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.

Roma in Ukraine are extremely vulnerable to infringements of 
fundamental human rights guaranteed by the ICCPR. Matters documented 
in detail by the ERRC and partner organisations in recent years 
include: (i) violence, including racially motivated violence and 
extreme forms of violence by state and non-state actors; (ii) racial 
targeting, racial profiling and racial discrimination in criminal 
justice matters, including the systematic data-basing of Roma by the 
police in Ukraine; (iii) racial discrimination in social and economic 
areas, including housing, health care, education, employment and 
social services; (iv) widespread lack of personal and other 
documents, effectively denying Roma the right to a legal personality, 
thwarting access to basic services, and hindering basic civil and 
political participation.

The Ukrainian government's report to the UN Human Rights Committee 
provides no information on any of these matters, and is therefore 
misleading at best. At points, the Government has made statements to 
the Committee which are patently untrue, as when, for example, at 
paragraph 356, the Government states that, "No reports or complaints 
regarding discrimination or persecution of members of ethnic 
minorities have been received by either the Ukrainian procurator 
general's office or the State Committee for Ethnic Minorities and

The ERRC submission presented to the Committee for today's review 
aims to provide a summary of ERRC documentation in a number of areas 
of relevance to Covenant law, including:
* Failure to Give Effect to the International Law Ban on Racial
* Compilation of Race-Based Identity Databases
* Mass Searches
* Physical Abuse / Torture
* Presumption of Guilt
* Failure to Investigate Complaints
* Police Inaction in the Face of Mob Violence
* Discrimination in Access to Social and Economic Services
* Lack of Personal and Other Documents
Haunting nearly all aspects of the human rights situation of Roma in 
Ukraine is a pattern of violence by public officials and private 
parties, rarely if ever provided with any form of adequate due legal 
remedy. The submission concludes with a number of recommendations to 
the Committee.

Under the project noted above, today the ERRC and partners convened a 
training workshop in anti-discrimination law for Ukrainian judges and 
prosecutors, involving among others senior officials from the Council 
of Europe. It is hoped that this training, as well as today's UN 
Human Rights Committee review, will constitute steps toward 
improvement of the human rights situation of Roma in Ukraine.

The full text of the ERRC submission to the UN Human Rights Committee 
is available at: http://errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2135

* Zola Kondur (ERRC Ukraine Project Coordinator): 
zola.kondur@errc.org, (380) 67 24 97 119
* Claude Cahn (ERRC Programmes Director): ccahn@errc.org, 
(36 20) 98 36 455


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest 
law organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal 
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about 
the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at 

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax: +36 1 4132201


The European Roma Rights Centre is dependent upon the generosity of 
individual donors for its continued existence. If you believe the 
ERRC performs a service valuable to the public, please join in 
enabling its future with a contribution. Gifts of all sizes are 
welcome; bank transfers are preferred. Please send your contribution to:

European Roma Rights Centre
Budapest Bank Rt.
1054 Budapest
Bathory utca 1

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