MINELRES: ERRC Welcomes CESCR Concluding Observations on Ukraine

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Dec 10 22:34:47 2007

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

ERRC Welcomes CESCR Concluding Observations on Ukraine 

Concluding Observations of the CESCR on Ukraine welcomes the progress
but underlines the need for further action. 

The European Roma Rights Centre today welcomed the Concluding
Observations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (CESCR) on Ukraine. The Committee included a number of
concerns regarding the situation of Roma in Ukraine, including police
violence, lack of effective protection against discrimination, and the
difficulties Roma in accessing employment, health services, education
and housing.

The Concluding Observations, issued on 23 November 2007, followed the
fifth periodic report of the Ukrainian government on its implementation
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Concluding Observations underlined the cooperation of the Ukrainian
government and acknowledged the legislative measures adopted to promote
equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination against women, and
disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups. The Committee
also welcomed the recent ratification of the Revised European Social
Charter by Ukraine.

However, the Committee express its concern “regarding the reports about
police abuse and denial of effective protection against acts of
discrimination and violence committed against ethnic and religious
minorities”, including Roma. Furthermore, the Committee noted with
concern that more than 1,000 Roma lack personal documents, which are
necessary to access employment, health services and education. The
Committee underlined that few Roma can find regular employment in State
institutions, that the majority of the employed Roma work as unskilled
labourers and that discrimination against Romani job applicants is
reportedly rife in the country. As far as housing is concerned,
according to the Committee, many Roma live in informal settlements and
camps lacking basic infrastructures and services, without legal security
of tenure and under a constant threat of eviction. The Committee also
expressed concern regarding the high drop-out rate amongst Romani
children frequent refusal to enrol Romani children in mainstream
schools, and their segregation in special classes or special schools for
children with mental disabilities.

The Committee issued the following recommendations for the Ukrainian
government to improve the situation of Roma in Ukraine:
• Adopting comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and amending
its Criminal Code to include provisions on racially-motivated crimes;
• Removing administrative processing fees and bureaucratic requirements,
to provide all Roma with personal documents, with a view to enabling
them to access employment, health care and education, as well as other
economic, social and cultural rights;
• Taking effective measures to combat discrimination against Roma in the
field of employment and increase its efforts to reduce Roma unemployment
through specifically targeted measures, such as vocational training, job
training and placement, financial incentives for employers, and
assistance for Roma opening their own businesses;
• Securing the access of all Roma to adequate and affordable housing; 
• Adopting special measures to increase school attendance by Roma
children, combat discrimination against Roma pupils, promote their
admission to mainstream schools and classes, raise awareness among Roma
families on the importance of education, including for girls, and
provide additional catch-up and Ukrainian and Russian language classes
for Roma pupils. 

The ERRC calls on the Government of Ukraine to take all the necessary
measures to improve the situation of Roma, in accordance with the
Committee’s recommendations. 

The full text of the Committee’s Concluding Observations are available
at: http://www.errc.org/db/02/8C/m0000028C.pdf.

In the run up to the review, the ERRC submitted a parallel report to
contribute to the Committee’s review of Ukraine. The ERRC notes with
pleasure that the Committee’s findings echo the very serious concerns
raised in its parallel report. The ERRC’s parallel report is available
at: http://www.errc.org/db/02/8A/m0000028A.pdf.

For further information on the situation of Roma in Ukraine, please

Olga Demian, ERRC Legal Advisor, olga.demian@errc.org, +36.1.413.2200


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation 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 http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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