The law is made officially effective following ‘Voice of Ukraine’ office newspaper publicatiion on Friday.
The law ‘On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine’ was initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky and adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on July 1 this year.
Key provisions of this document include:
The definition of the notion of ‘indigenous people of Ukraine’, according to which it is an autochthonous ethnic community in the territory of Ukraine, a carrier of original language and culture. It has traditional, social, cultural or representative bodies, is an ethnic minority and has no state of its own outside Ukraine.
It is proposed to establish that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine are the Crimean Tatars, Karaites and Krymchaks (in the territory of the Crimean Peninsula).
Indigenous peoples of Ukraine and their representatives:
- have the right to full enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms as defined in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and international treaties;
- have the right to self-determination in Ukraine, establish their political status within the Constitution and laws of Ukraine;
- freely carry out their economic, social and cultural development;
- have the right to self-government in matters relating to their internal affairs (including the establishment of their representative bodies formed and operating within the framework of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine);
- have the right to maintain and strengthen their special political, legal, social and cultural institutions, while participating in the economic, social and cultural life of the country;
- have the right to equal legal protection (any discrimination against the indigenous peoples of Ukraine in the exercise of their rights is prohibited);
- have the right to revive, use, develop and pass on to future generations their history, languages, traditions, writing and literature, to restore and preserve objects of cultural heritage;
- determine their own national symbols and the procedure for their application in compliance with the laws of Ukraine.
The state promotes the representation of indigenous peoples in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, etc.
The state guarantees the protection of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine from acts of genocide or any other acts of collective coercion or violence.
Denial of the ethnicity or ethnic identity of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine is prohibited.
The law guarantees indigenous peoples the right to legal protection against any action aimed at:
- deprivation of signs of ethnicity and integrity as original peoples, deprivation of cultural values;
- eviction or forcible transfer from places of compact residence in any form;
- forced assimilation or forced integration in any form;
- encouraging or inciting racial, ethnic or religious hatred against them.
Indigenous peoples will be able to direct part of the income from the use of natural resources located in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to their needs.
Indigenous representative bodies may participate in their international representation.
President of the aggressor country Vladimir Putin is dissatisfied with the law on indigenous peoples because of the status of ethnic Russians.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stresses that Russia’s interpretation of the law on indigenous peoples has nothing to do with reality.