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MRG and partner advocate for adequate action to tackle hate speech against Roma in Ukraine

5 October 2021

Human Rights Council – 48th Session
Oral Update of the High Commissioner on Human rights in Ukraine
Tuesday 5 October 2021
Speaker: Yulian Kondur, Chirikli

Madame President,

It is now 5 years since Chirikli and MRG reported on the pogrom initiated against Roma residents in the village of Laschynovka, Ukraine. The problem was initiated by public officials, with the complicity of police officers. Despite universal condemnation, including the Ukrainian government, the affected families have still not been able to return to their homes, receive justice or see the officials held accountable.

We welcome the adoption of the new National 2030 Strategy on Roma Integration and the cooperation between national ministries and Roma CSOs. However, only today, another example of hate speech by public officials towards Roma in the village of Torhyn took place, following a reported conflict between a Roma and non-Roma resident. Incidents of public anti-gypsyism by officials continue without any check, breeding a culture of impunity that continues to lead to incidents such as those in Laschynovska.

New evidence demonstrates exercise of social and economic rights among Roma is worsening despite the last phase of the Roma Strategy.

While the new Roma strategy again fails to include clear and adequate allocation of resources against the goals and has so far not developed the required regional action plans. Review of the previous strategy showed the lack of adequate funding and effective decentralisation.

Finally, gains made under the last strategy almost always resulted from cooperation with the Roma mediator networks. Mediators have become essential in liaising with public services and acting as early warnings mechanisms against conflict. Yet their funding is still dependent on CSO support.

Therefore, we recommend:

  • To provide adequate justice system response to cases of hate motivated violence against Roma and other minority groups, including by referring to the existing practice of the ECtHR;
  • To hold accountable public officials for resorting to hate speech;
  • To ensure participation of local Roma mediators and NGOs in the process of drafting the National and regional actions plans on the Roam Integration Strategy;
  • To introduce the profession of the community mediators in the classifier professions.

I thank you.

Watch the statement