COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered the thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports
of Ukraine (CERD/C/299/Add.14), at its 1256th and 1257th meetings, held
on 9 and 10 March, and adopted, at its 1269th meeting, held on 18 March
1998, the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the thirteenth periodic report submitted
by the Government of Ukraine and the revised core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.63)
as well as the additional information provided by the delegation in
response to the questions and comments of the members of the Committee.
However, it is noted that the report was not prepared in conformity
with the Committee's general guidelines for the submission of reports.
Equally, it was noted that the report lacked essential information on
the ethnic composition of the population. As a result it is more difficult
for the Committee to assess how the Convention is implemented in Ukraine
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
3. The Committee notes that the State party is passing through an important
historical period in its existence due to the deep political, economic
and social reforms it is undertaking. The Committee further notes that
a large number of formerly deported people are returning to their places
of origin in the State party and are seeking employment and shelter.
Solving these problems puts further strain on resources at the disposal
of the Government.
C. Positive aspects
4. The Committee notes with satisfaction the State party's efforts
and policies relating to the protection of national minorities, especially
the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of National Minorities
and the enactment of the Act on Ukrainian Citizenship, the Act on National
Minorities in Ukraine, the Education Act and the Act on Freedom of Conscience
and Religious Organizations.
5. The Committee welcomes the State party's accession to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the ILO Discrimination (Employment
and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). The Committee notes with
appreciation the State party's intention to ratify the European Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as well as the
European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages.
6. The Committee welcomes the creation of the post of Ombudsman as
the independent human rights representative of the Supreme Council,
and the establishment of an interdepartmental commission responsible
for monitoring and taking preventive action in matters of racism and
7. The Committee commends the State party's efforts aimed at the return,
resettlement and rehabilitation of a large number of over 250,000 Crimean
Tartars, as well as persons of other nationalities, who were forcibly
deported to different parts of the former Soviet Union approximately
50 years ago.
D. Principal subjects of concern
8. Concern is expressed at the fact that many of the Committee's previous
concluding observations (A/48/18, paras. 42-65) were not taken into
consideration for the elaboration of Ukraine's thirteenth report, especially
in regard to the extent to which the Convention is being implemented
in the State party (para. 47); lack of information on legislation enacted
to implement the punitive provisions of article 4 of the Convention
(para. 50); lack of information on complaints and convictions for acts
of racial discrimination established under article 66 of Ukraine's Criminal
Code (para. 52); and the inadequacy of demographic data on the different
ethnic groups living in the State party.
9. While the Committee takes note of the proposed amendments to the
Act on National Minorities in Ukraine, concern is expressed that the
State party is not fully implementing the provisions of article 4 of
the Convention and it has not provided sufficient information on the
practical implementation of the provisions of article 4.
10. In regard to article 5, paragraphs (a) and (b), of the Convention,
concern is expressed about reports of mistreatment by the police of
members of the Roma population, especially those living in the Transcarpathian
11. The difficulties experienced by members of minority groups, including
the Crimean Tatars, who were deported decades earlier and are now returning
to resettle in Ukraine, in acquiring citizenship in the State party
is a matter of concern. The Committee is also concerned about the situation
of certain other minority groups who do not enjoy all their economic,
social and cultural rights, notably the right to education.
12. It is also regretted that insufficient information was provided
on the implementation of article 6 of the Convention, notably on the
number of complaints of racial discrimination and available remedies,
as well as the practice of the tribunals.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
13. In light of article 3 of the Convention and General Recommendation
XIX, the Committee encourages the State party to monitor all tensions
which may give rise to racial segregation and to work for the eradication
of any negative consequences that ensue.
14. The Committee emphasizes that the State party should fully comply
with its obligations under article 4 of the Convention and that necessary
legislative measures of a more comprehensive nature should be taken
in order to give effect to the provisions of that article.
15. In light of article 5 of the Convention and the Committee's General
Recommendation XXII, paragraphs 2 (c) and (d), the Committee recommends
that the State party continue to take all necessary steps to fully restore
the rights of repatriated members of minorities, including the Crimean
Tatars, and to afford them just and adequate reparation where appropriate.
The Committee further recommends that issues relating to the citizenship
of the repatriated members of minorities, including the Crimean Tatars,
be solved as soon as possible in a just manner. In this regard, and
in light of article 5 (d) (iii) of the Convention, the Committee suggests
that the State party consider the possibility of acceding to the international
instruments on statelessness.
16. In light of article 5 of the Convention and the Committee's General
Recommendation XIII, the Committee recommends that the State party review
and improve the training of law enforcement officials to ensure that
in the performance of their duties they respect as well as protect human
dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all without distinction
as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin. The Committee also
emphasizes that the text of the Convention should be widely publicized
so that the judiciary, the legal profession, the relevant governmental
agencies and the general public are made fully aware of the provisions
and the potential of the Convention.
17. The State party is requested to provide detailed information on
cases of complaints of racial discrimination brought before the courts
and on remedies made available to victims of racism and xenophobia,
in accordance with article 6 of the Convention. Information is also
requested on cases filed by the Human Rights Ombudsman insofar as they
relate to the scope of the Convention. The Committee recommends that
the State party undertake awareness-raising campaigns on the use of
judicial remedies against racism, including the procedure provided for
in article 14 of the Convention.
18. The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate
measures to ensure education and teaching in the mother tongue of minorities
19. The Committee suggests to the State party that the report and these
concluding observations be widely distributed to the public in the various
languages of Ukraine. The Committee recommends that the State party's
next periodic report, due on 6 April 1998, which may be of an updating
character, address all the points raised in the present concluding observations.