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Workshop on Discrimination, Human Rights, Freedoms and Minorities’ Protection in Ukraine

March 2011  |  Ukraine
On March, 18-19, 2011 in Yalta, Ukraine there was held a Workshop for representatives of civil society and institutions on the issues of discrimination, human rights and freedoms, minorities’ protection. The Workshop was attended by the representatives of Ukrainian civil society, human rights’ practitioners, civil servants, academia and local minorities.

The major objective of the Workshop was to provide an analysis of the current state of protection of human rights and freedoms, minorities’ protection in Ukraine from the theoretical and practical perspective. The Workshop focused on three major topics: minorities' protection system and practice in Ukraine; EU experience in the field of minorities’ protection and its implication on Ukraine; minorities in the context of regional and cross-border cooperation on the Ukrainian borders with the EU.
The Workshop addressed a wide range of topics covering: conceptual problems of the national minorities’ rights protection in Ukraine, Ukrainian legislation and practice on prohibition of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination, the rule of law and minorities rights in the process of cooperation between EU, Council of Europe and Ukraine, the European model of minorities’ protection, anthropological problems of political modernization of Ukraine in the European perspective. The participants also discussed such issues as the case of national minorities in Crimea, the role of national minorities in fostering cross-border cooperation between administrative units of Ukraine and Bulgaria, protection of economic rights of citizens in Ukraine. The Workshop also provided a platform for the exchange of views on challenges for the human dimension of the European integration, Renewed Strategy of Ukraine towards the EU in the sphere of human rights and freedoms, minorities’ protection in the EU in the case of Slovenia and Italy, EU member states’ approaches toward religious minorities.
In final session the experience of Ukrainian minorities was thoroughly discussed focusing on Hungarian, Romanian, Moldovan, Bulgarian and Gagauz national minorities with a separate reference to Odesa as a multicultural urban society and Chernivtsi oblast as a poliethnic region. The role of regional cooperation in the Black Sea region as a tool for improving human rights and minorities’ protection was analyzed.

Programme of the seminar:   English,   Ukrainian.

The Seminar resulted in participants’ recommendations (English, Ukrainian) which stressed the need: to strengthen human rights’ enforcement mechanisms, to work for a greater accountability of state bodies in implementing the human rights’ protection mechanisms and state-building; to ensure effective implementation and application of legislation, to provide an efficient constitutional control over the human rights' mechanisms; to provide for a necessary institutionalization of relationship between the central authorities and minorities in Ukraine, to create an institutional channel of communication between both; to enhance minorities’ self-governance and participation in public life; to develop specific educational programs concerning the history, culture, languages of minorities in all parts of educational system etc.

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