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Julian Kondur

HRC45 – MRG and Chiricli urge Ukraine to end impunity for intimidation and violence against Roma

1 October 2020

Human Rights Council – 45th Session
Geneva, Thursday 1st October 2020

Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner’s oral update on Ukraine – item 10

Speaker: Yulian Kondur, Roma Women Fund “Chiricli” (Ukraine)

Madam President,

Madam Deputy High Commissioner,

Minority Rights Group and Roma Women’s Fund “Chiricli” would like to bring to your urgent attention, once more, the ongoing culture of impunity by police and public officials, who facilitate and instigate acts of violence and intimidation towards Roma communities in Ukraine.

We have previously raised the 2016 case of the pogrom against Roma in the village of Loschinovka, in the Odessa Oblast. Led by the village council, Roma residents were forcibly evicted from their homes, while police officers took no measure to intervene.While court decisions in 2019 have granted some restitution to the victims, this year the Supreme Court of Ukraine reversed all previous decisions in favor of seven Roma families.

This climate of impunity has seen multiple instances since 2016, and in the last month in the village of Andriivka, Kharkiv oblast, public officials yet again supported vigilante action in an attempted pogrom of Roma residents. As of now, the Roma families who fled the village cannot return to their homes due to fears of being attacked again.

One cannot leave without attention that the far-right radical groups retain strong links with the political administration in Ukraine in civil affairs, and still regard Roma as an easy target for state endorsed racism and violence. Vulnerability and insecurity of Roma in Ukraine persists and has been further exacerbated

We urge Ukrainian authorities, to recognize and present clear actions that address public officials and police who engage in or whose actions facilitate acts of violence and perpetuate anti-gypsyism in Ukraine.

We also recommend that in Covid response and recovery planning, Ukrainian authorities cooperate closely with Roma CSOs and health mediators, to establish a specific action plan, which should be integrated with the ongoing development of a new national policy for Roma integration.

I thank you.