State Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine is an integral part of the State policy aimed at regulating the area of ethnic-national relations with the purpose of securing harmonious development of Ukrainian nation as a whole, as well as national minorities and ethnic groups in Ukraine. It is implemented thorough adopting laws, normative acts aimed at ensuring rights, lawful interests and ethnic-cultural needs of citizens — representatives of Ukrainian nation, as well as through targeted activity of State authorities and local self-government bodies for establishing the atmosphere of interethnic tolerance and strengthening of all-nation unity in the country. The Subject of the ethnic-national policy is the State, the object of it — ethnic-national relations in Ukraine.
Ethnic group is a community of citizens of Ukraine united by common ethnic identity, origin, language, culture, and traditions. It is different from a national minority by the fact that an ethnos to which an ethnic group belongs has not in the process of its ethnogenesis established its own state.
Ethnos is a biosocial community that emerged as result of a long-lasting process of ethnogenesis in a certain territory, shares unique consciousness, mentality, psychology, behaviour, stereotypes, cultural identity and was formed as a result of common territory of habitation, history, culture, language and other features.
Ethnic identity is a person’s or an ethnos’ (ethnic group’s) understanding of its belonging to a community as a biogeographical and psychological phenomenon. Self-identification with a certin ethnos is not just an inherent feature, but also a systematic connection among people, and thus — the basis of ethnic identity. Ethnic identity includes irrational (unconscious psychological unity genetically characteristic for ethnos) and rational (conscious identification as a choice on the basis of known and comprehended belonging to a community). In the basis of ethnic identity there is understanding of common origin and its features.
Ethnic-national relations are relations between subjects of ethnic-national development: the State, Ukrainian nation, national minorities, ethnic groups for securing State sovereignty, nation unity, preserving ethnic-cultural identity of citizens, ensuring their constitutional rights, ethnic-cultural, social and political needs and interests, conditions for self-organization and self-governance.
Concept of the State Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine is a system of general provisions about aim, principles, objectives and directions of activities of State bodies of Ukraine in the area of ethnic-national relations. It determines content and direction of activities of the State in the ethnic-political area, as well as content and directions of legislative development, nation formation, and direction of scientific research in this regard.
Indigenous peoples are a community of citizens formed historically and sharing common features of ethnic identity, language, culture, customs, practices tribal or semi-tribal living, is not or little integrated in general national society, that causes its lower social-economic level of development than that of the rest of the population; legally life of the community is fully or partially regulated by own customs and traditions. As a result of insufficient potential for preservation and protection of their ethnic identity such communities require specific legal regime of protection and support.
Xenophobia is intolerant treatment of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups, their individual representatives, culture, language through illegal act and violation of rights of other people. The following actions are expressions of xenophobia: intolerant verbal expressions towards any ethnic community or its individual representatives, incitement to violent actions against them, direct violent actions, discrimination of citizens on the ground of national origin, expressions of disrespect to cultural heritage, history, traditions, culture, language, etc.
National identity is a feature of a modern nation that defines objective belonging of a person or a social group to national community, as well as their conscious identification with its values, history, territory, culture, symbols, state and legal institutions. Formation of the feeling of national identity among citizens of Ukraine is the key factor of establishing a nation and all-national consolidation. Major features of national identity are consciousness, citizenship, territory, language, history, and culture. National identity is based on a conscious choice of a subject and depends on rational factors — comprehending by a subjet of identification of historical, citizenship, political values that are secondary to values of ethnic identity that are usually constant and unchangeable. Therefore national identity is a historically and socially dynamic category, it should be analyzed in historic retrospective and future perspective.
National minorit is a community of citizens of Ukraine who are not Ukrainians by ethnic origin, express ethnic self-consciousness and unity among themselves, are a part of ethnis that has a national state outside Ukraine but reside in Ukraine, maintain long-lasting, strong and constant connections with it, constitute a considerable, though a lesser compared to the rest of the population of Ukraine, number.
National-cultural autonomy is a form of national-cultural self-identification of citizens who identify themselves with a certain national minority or ethnic group on the basis of voluntary self-organization for independent decisions on the issues of preservation of identity, language, education, culture. It is implemented through expression of will of population or by initiative of individual citizens, ehnic-cultural organizations or bodies of national-cultural autonomy that deal with a whole range of ethnic-cultural needs and interests of national minorities and ethnic groups.
Tolerance is perception and understanding of diversity of cultures, forms of human personalgity self-expression; unity in diversity; active position formed on the basis of recognition of universal human rights and basic freedoms; refusal of dogmatism and absolutism of a certain culture or ideology; ensuring relations with representatives of different ethnic communities and cultures are based on norms of international human rights law. Tolerance must be expressed by every person, ethnic community and the State as a whole.
Ukrainian nation (Ukrainain people, Ukrainian political nation) — all citizens of Ukraine regardless of their ethnic origin united by common citizenship, common territory, political interests, legal obligations, history, cultural traditions, understanding of common national identity and future of the motherland as of democratic, social and rule-of-law Ukrainian State.
The State Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine is based on the following principles:
Ø Recognition of polyethnic Ukrainian society as a value that requires protection and preservation.
Ø Promotion of ethnic-cultural rights of Ukrainian nation representatives, national minorities and ethnic groups through creation of legal conditions for their fulfillment.
Ø Priority of territorial integrity and State sovereignty of Ukraine regarding territorial self-determination of persons belonging to national minorities and ethnic groups.
Ø Protection of rights and interests of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups though ensuring individual rights of persons belonging to these communities.
Ø Ensuring rights of persons belonging to Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups as an integral part of universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Ø Ensuring rights of a citizen to freely choose and restore belonging to Ukrainian nation, a national minority or an ethnic group, express his/her national and/or ethnic self-identification.
Ø Equality of rights and freedoms of a human being regardless of race, colour of skin, political, religious or other believes, sex, ethnic and social origin, property ownership place of residence, linguistic or other features.
Ø Free enjoyment by citizens of their ethnic-cultural rights and interests for preservation and development of national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity.
Ø Prohibition of forced assimilation of representatives of Ukrainian nation: national minorities and ethnic groups.
Ø Prevention of interethnic, ethnic-political conflicts.
Ø Establishment of interethnic harmony in the society, opposition to any expressions of racial, national, ethnic, religious hatred.
Ø Promotion of fulfillment of ethnic-cultural needs of Ukrainians residing outside Ukraine.
Aim, objectives and directions
The main aim of the Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine is development and consolidation of Ukrainian political nation that provides for preservation and development of cultural, linguistic identity of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups on the basis of ensuring human and citizens’ rights and freedoms. This aim is guaranteed by the national legislation, work of State and local self-governanace bodies in cooperation with public national-cultural organizations.
Main objectives of the State Ethnic-National Policy are creation of independent conditions for ensuring equal relations among representatives of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups residing in Urakine, establishment of atmosphere of tolerance, interethnic harmony in Ukrainian society, ensuring equal opportunities in economic, social, political and cultural areas of the society for all citizens regardless of race, colour of skin, political, religious believes, sex, ethnic and social origin, property ownership, place of residence, linguistic and other features.
In political-legal area:
Ø Elaboration and improvement of legislative basis aimed at regulating development of ethnic-national relations on the ground of implementation of the European and the international law, incorporation of positive international experience of increasing effectiveness of State management in ethnic-political area.
Ø Elaboration of new, scientifically grounded approaches to resolution of issues of interethnic and ethnic-political relations.
Ø Ensuring communication among national minoritites, ethnic groups and the State.
Ø Promoting establishment of political-legal subjectivity of public organizations representing interests of ethnic communities in economic, social and cultural area.
Ø Implementation of constant systematic monitoring of ethnic-naitonal relations in Ukraine, economic, cultural, political situation of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups for revealing problematic issues in the area of ethnic-national relations, prompt reactions to them and implementation of effective political and legal mechanisms of prevention and resolution of conflict situaions.
Ø Creation of conditions for restoration of rights of persons belonging to peoples that were deported in Soviet period on the ground of national origin and returned to Urkaine for permanent residence.
In social-economic area:
Ø Ensuring organizational and material conditions supporting recognition and fulfillment of needs and interests of representatives of Ukrainian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups.
Ø Elaboration of the State and regional targeted programs of resettlement, adaptation and integration of persons deported on the ground of national origin that have returned to Ukraine for permanent residence, as well as financing of these programs from the State and local budgets.
Ø Tax benefits for charitable activity aimed at preservation and development of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of Urakinian nation, national minorities and ethnic groups.
Ø Ensuring equality of citizens of Ukraine regardless of ethnic origin in utilization of natural resources as objects of the ownership rights of Ukrainian people.
Ø Creation of organizational and legal conditions for support of the development of entrepreneurship and traditional types of economic activity of national minorities and ethnic groups representatives.
In cultural-humanitarian area:
Ø Creation of conditions for preservation and development of languages of national minorities and ethnic groups, ethir ethnic-cultural heritage (history, national customs, traditions).
Ø Formaiton and promotion of values of interethnic harmony, tolerance through introduction of relevant programs in the system of elementary, secondary and higher education.
Ø Promotion of intercultural dialogue with the aim of establishing in Ukrainian society the atmosphere of tolerance, introducing programs on prevention of xenophobia.
Ø Establishment of tolerance and prevention of incitement of national, racial and religious hatred in public sphere: information, education, management, politics.
In area of foreign and migrtion policy:
Ø Promotion of preservation and development of culture, language, fulfillment of cultural needs of Ukrainians residing outside Ukraine through initiating programs supporting ethnic Ukrainian identity and motivate Ukrainians to support and lobby interests of Ukraine in countries of their residence abroad.
Ø Involvement of Ukrainians abroad and their public organizations to events, initiatives for promoting international image of Ukraine.
Ø Optimization of migration policy of Ukraine through adoption of the Concept of State Migration Policy, Code of Migration and establishment of a specialized State body responsible for its implementation.
Ø Elaboration and introduction of programs of integration of immigrants in Ukrainian society.
Ø Establishing cooperation with countries receiving working migrants from Ukraine to ensure their legal and social security.
Ø Creation of conditions for free establishing and maintaining connections of Citizens of Ukraine with representatives of their nationality and their public organizations outside Ukraine.
At the moment of adoption the Concept of the State Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine is based on the Constitution of Ukraine, the Declaration of Rights of Nationalities of Ukraine, the Laws of Ukraine On National Minorities in Ukraine, On refugees, On Legal Status of Foreigners and Persons without Citizenship, On Unions of Citizens, On Citizenship of Ukraine, On Languages in Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, On Education, On Information, On Printed Mass-Media, On Freedom of Consciousness and Religious Organizations, other legal acts and other international agreements ratified by Ukraine, namely the Framework Convention on Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages, the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights.
Proposals for improvement of the State Ethnic-National Policy of Ukraine legislation:
Ø Optimization of ethnic-national legislation through bringing legal acts regulation ethnic-national relations in Ukraine in accordance with the Concept.
Ø Introducing amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine with regards to the list of ethnic communities of Ukraine through exclusion of the term «indigenous people».
Ø Improvement of the Law of Ukraine On National Minorities of Ukraine (1992) through concretization and bringing it in accordance with modern realities of development of ethnic-national relations and norms of European and international law.
Ø Adoption of Law On National-Cultural Autonomy that will allow national minorities to exercise their right to national-cultural autonomy provided for by the Law of Ukraine On National Minorities in Ukraine by creating relevant legal and organizaitons conditions.
Ø Introducing amendments to legislation of Ukraine with regards to increasing criminal responsibility for incitement of interethnic, racial and religious hatred.
Ø Improvement of legal status and strengthening legal protection of Ukrainains abroad, including through introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine On Legal Status of Ukrainians Residing Abroad.