Comprehensive anti-discrimination law drafted
The Coalition on Countering Discrimination which is made up of over 20 civic organizations has prepared a comprehensive draft law “On protection from discrimination”. News about the draft law and why it is needed was provided at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday, organized by the Inter-regional Centre for LGBT Studies “Donbas-SocProject” and supported by the International Renaissance Foundation.
The draft law covers protection from discrimination on a wide range of grounds, including sexual orientation. According to the Leader of the Gay Forum of Ukraine, Sviatoslav Sheremet, if the draft law is accepted, it will bring Ukraine into a progressive position in Europe.
“The document we have drawn up complies fully with the demands presented by the EU. Democratic society is a society in which the interests of the majority are organically linked with protection of the rights of minorities”, Yulia Tyshchenko from the Ukrainian Independent Centre for Political Research, stated.
Oleksandr Naiman from the Anti-Fascist Committee of Ukraine spoke of the difficulties at present in fighting discrimination being linked with lack of clarity as to who is authorized to carry out an official assessment as to whether something constituted a call to national or religious enmity. He said that this leads to difficulties in the court’s application of Article 161 of the Criminal Code, the only anti-discrimination article in criminal legislation.
Gyulmar Nazarova from the Bukovyna organization “Prava Lyudyny” [“Human Rights”] pointed that the importance of bringing into legal and public circulation new concepts such as ableism – the discrimination faced by those with physical disabilities; ageism; as well as lookism – discrimination on the basis of a person’s appearance.
In April President Yanukovych signed a decree approving a National Action Plan on Implementing the Action Plan on Liberalization by the EU of the visa regime for Ukraine. This plan envisages introducing a national Strategy for Fighting Discrimination. The Coalition on Countering Discrimination was created at the same time.