Study of legal probelm of Rroma people in Transcarpathia and Cherkasy Regions of Ukraine

Conducted researches in Ukraine demonstrated that discriminatory practices are purely distributed and actual towards particular ethnic groups. One of the most vulnerable stigmatized categories are Roma people, because most of them faced their rights’ violations are unable either to formulate their problems nor to protect their rights. In spite of the declared democratization processes in Ukrinae we still experiencing massive violations of Romas’ rights, neglecting human rights standards, humiliation of human dignity. The most distributed are violations of Article 11 (national minorities support), 21 (human rights priority), 24 (equality), 35 (freedom of religion), 37 (NGO activities) of the Constitution of Ukraine, Criminal Code of Ukraine. There are also violations of other legislation bills directed on human rights’ protection both originated from international obligations of Ukraine and national legislation, and particular International Covenant on civil and political rights, International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, Convention for elimination of discrimination etc.

Therefore, for this vulnerable group is extremely important all forms of legal aid - from information to representation in court. But it is obvious that for their introduction it is necessary to understand the existing situation of the Roma people in Ukraine, possibilities of their access to different sources of legal aid, tools which are usually used for protection of their rights.

NGOs are trying to draw attention of public authorities to Roma people problems, making emphasis on the problems of passports issue, employment, accommodation, education and medical aid. But this list is open - ended, because of the unidentified legal status of Roma people, every problem causes a number of other connected problems which are complicated for individual solution.

Kharkiv Institute for Social Researches together with International Renaissance Foundation conducted sociological study of Roma people legal needs, using synthesis of Roma population survey and experts’ opinion who are frequently encountering with Roma people in their work. Such a multi aspect approach gives us an opportunity of more precise study of Roma legal problems, reveal their reasons and identify effective mechanisms of addressing them.

As on object of the study we’ve selected Roma legal needs in Transcarpathia and Cherkasy Regions. The selection was identified by the lowest integration level of Roma people into community and because of absence of legal knowledge about legal problems. Addressing “problem” regions gave us an opportunity of deeper understanding of the object and see the whole scale of main problems of Roma people in Ukraine.

Proposed report consists of the research methodology description and also results, represented by 2 parts: studying Roma people opinion about identified problem and study experts’. Every chapter has short conclusions and also we’ve provided general conclusions for the whole study.

The report could be interesting for NGOs, public activists, involved in protection of Roma rights; public officials working with Roma, and also academicians, sociologists and everybody interested in the problem.

Svitlana Shcherban