16:32 17.09.2019

UN mission calls on Cabinet to draft bill on national minorities, indigenous peoples in Ukraine

2 min read
UN mission calls on Cabinet to draft bill on national minorities, indigenous peoples in Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine calls on the Cabinet of Ministers to draft a bill on the rights of national minorities and indigenous peoples as a matter of priority.

The law strengthening the role of Ukrainian as the official language entered into force on 16 July 2019. In order to ensure a fair balance between the protection of minority rights, freedom of expression and the promotion of the state language as an instrument for the unity of society, OHCHR calls on the Government to adopt a law on the realisation of the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine as a matter of priority, mission head Matilda Bogner said at a press conference, presenting "Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 May to 15 August 2019" in Kyiv on Tuesday.

As reported, on July 16, 2019, the law of Ukraine "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language" entered into force. A number of provisions will come into force later.

The law provides fines for violating the law on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language, however, head of the relevant committee on culture and spirituality Mykola Kniazhytsky emphasized that the rules on administrative responsibility would begin to operate in three years.

To obtain Ukrainian citizenship, it will be necessary to confirm the "appropriate level" of Ukrainian language proficiency. The necessary level will be established by the National Commission on State Language Standards.

Officials of all levels, judges, law enforcement officers, contract soldiers, employees of education sphere, health workers, officials of state and communal enterprises, lawyers, notaries will have to be fluent in Ukrainian.

The language of the educational process will be Ukrainian, but the state will contribute to the study of languages of international communication, primarily English.

The state will also ensure the use of the state language in the field of culture. The language of television and radio will be Ukrainian.

The quotas for the use of the Ukrainian language on TV and radio have been increased.

The service sector, according to the law, will work in Ukrainian. However, at the request of the client, his personal service is possible in another language. The situation is similar with the healthcare sector.

The Law on the Ukrainian Language provides for the adoption in six months of legislation on the languages of national minorities and indigenous peoples.

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