Hungarian Minority Parties Issue Critical Statement
Political parties representing the interests of the 150,000-strong Hungarian national minority in Ukraine published the following joint statement, expressing their disappointment with the Ukrainian Parliament’s new law on national minorities. The law “fails to guarantee adequate institutional foundations or legal mechanisms for implementing and protecting the rights of national minorities.”
We ask the United States Congress and Administration, NATO, the EU, and all other stakeholders to heed the concerns of the affected communities, and to urge the Ukrainian government to fulfill its international and Constitutional commitments to protect the rights of national minorities.
Hungarian Human Rights Foundation
Joint statement of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia (KMKSZ) and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Ukraine (UMDSZ) Regarding the Law on National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine
On December 13, 2022, by a vote of 324, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the law “On National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine” in the second reading. Legislators completely ignored the constructive proposals that were made earlier by Hungarian and other minority group organizations. The legislation not only strengthens all the restrictions that were previously codified in the Education and State Language Acts, but implements new ones as well. For example, it does not guarantee the preservation of compact ethnic settlement areas, or the use of one’s national symbols. The law interprets minority rights exclusively as rights that can be exercised individually by persons belonging to a minority group, which deprives national minorities (their communities, organizations) of any institutionally exercisable political, educational, and language rights, and therefore the ability to influence their own destiny.
In our opinion, the law in its current form is not suitable as an acceptable Ukrainian legislative instrument to implement neither the Constitution’s provisions, nor Ukraine’s international legal obligations as regards the protection of the rights of national minorities. The adopted law does not guarantee adequate institutional foundations or legal mechanisms for the implementation and protection of the rights of national minorities.
Uzhhorod, December 14, 2022