La Strada – Ukraine outraged by unconstitutional Cabinet of Ministers Instruction
In response to the latest discriminatory “innovation” in domestic legislation which is this time seen in an experiment which cuts access for Ukrainian women to studying in Ministry of the Interior higher educational institutes, La Strada – Ukraine has sent letters to the President’s Administration, the Verkhovna Rada, the Council of Ministries, the Prime Minister and the Human Rights Ombudsperson. We are asking for reconsideration of legislative innovations which violate the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Ukraine’s Constitution.
The letters explain that on 29 December 2010 the Prime Minister signed Instruction No. 2355 “On carrying out an experiment for training specialists for the Ministry of the Interior”. This involves an experiment in 2011 on organizing selection of students for MoI institutes and their subsequent studies according to a programme for training specialists at baccalaureate level according to a scheme “cadet – military serviceman – cadet”. The Ministry of the Interior., the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sport and the Defence Ministry are instructed within a month to agree procedure for carrying out the experiment ().
We must thus conclude that in 2011 a ban is being imposed on admission to MoI institutes of women, as well as a number of other groups of citizens which is in breach of Ukraine’s Constitution, the Laws on the Police, on Education, on Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women and others, as well as international human rights documents which Ukraine has ratified.
This conclusion regarding restrictions based on gender discrimination follows from the norms of the Law on Military Duty and Military Service, specifically Article 15 ( Conscription Age. Conscription of Ukrainian Citizens for Military Service) which states that “male citizens of Ukraine who meet the health requirements and at the time of being sent to the military unit have reached the age of 18 shall be called up for military service during peacetime”.
Given the clear contradiction between this Instruction and the Constitution, together with a number of Laws of Ukraine, La Strada-Ukraina asks that the Instruction be revoked as unconstitutional.