Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Journalists twisted survey results on xenophobia


The State Institute for the Development of the Family and Youth has issued a statement warning that the information presented in the media about the results of a sociological survey it carried out in June 2007 is inaccurate.  The survey investigated the attitudes of young people in Ukraine.

The statement reads that journalists from the Russian information agency “New region” falsified the data of a sociological survey and the assessment of an expert made public during a roundtable in UNIAN on 9 November 2007 entitled “Racism and xenophobia in Ukraine: how to overcome stereotypes”.

The false information was then published by some Ukrainian Internet outlets. The State Institute contacted one of them asking for the information to be refuted, but the request was ignored.

 The twisted information was also used in a letter from the National Deputy Ihor Sharov to Prime Minister Tymoshenko and in a report at LIGABusinesinform. 

The State Institute for the Development of the Family and Youth considers the use by politicians and journalists of unchecked information to be unacceptable and calls on all to uphold principles of objectivity in publishing information.

The survey

Carried out in June 2007, the survey asked young people to mark any groups whom they would not wish to live near to.

It turned out that young people are most concerned about being removed from the following: drug addicts; alcoholics; people with a criminal past; those suffering from AIDS.

The greatest level of intolerance was demonstrated by young people with a high level of education and of material prosperity (according to their own perception).

In middle position with regard to the rating for the most desirable neighbours was given to Muslims, Jews, migrants, and foreign workers. And the most desirable neighbours were seen as being diplomats, well-known political or cultural figures and foreign students.

As far as ethnic groups whom the young respondents would not wish to live near, the highest percentage (81%) named representatives of the Roma people.

Among young people who were neither working nor looking for work, the numbers of those with anti-migrant sentiments were twice as high, and those were anti-Semitic views – 1.5 times higher.

Overall young people demonstrated more distrust towards social, rather than ethnic groups, where they perceived the people to threaten their personal safety.

The attitude to migrants varied, however a third of those surveyed in 2007 believed that the number of migrants from “Third World countries” should be strictly limited, However around half (48%) responded that people should be allowed to come here to work.

38% said that migrants in Ukraine need support and that the main motive was sympathy for these people (31%).  One in five (21%) answered that “it’s my moral duty to help migrants”.

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