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On National Minorities

In the wording of the Law no. 2494-12 of June 25th, 1992.
(Supreme Executive Council, No. 36, Art. 529).

The Supreme Rada of Ukraine proceeding from the vital interests of the Ukrainian nation and all nationalities in matters of constructing an independent democratic state and recognising the inviolability of human rights and rights of nationalities, and aspiring to carry out the Declaration of the Rights of Nationalities in Ukraine, holding to international obligations for national minorities; passes this law in order to guarantee the right to free development for national minorities.

Article 1. Ukraine guarantees the citizens of the republic, regardless of their national origin, equal political, social, economical and cultural rights and freedom; supports the development of national self-awareness and self-expression.

All citizens of Ukraine shall enjoy equal protection of the state.

In carrying out the rights of persons who belong to national minorities, the state proceeds from the ground that these rights are an integral part of universally recognised human rights.

Article 2. Citizens of Ukraine of all nationalities must observe the Constitution of Ukraine, protect state sovereignty, territorial unity, and respect languages, cultures, traditions, customs, and religious originality of the Ukrainian people and all national minorities.

Article 3. To national minorities belong groups of Ukrainian citizens, who are not of Ukrainian nationality, but show feeling of national self-awareness and affinity.

Article 4. Relations, which occur as to the carrying out by Ukrainian citizens their rights and freedoms related to their belonging to a national minority, are regulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, this law, and other regulations passed on the basis of these as well as international treaties of Ukraine.

Article 5. In the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, and in case of necessity in local Councils of People’s Deputies, permanent committees on questions pertaining to nationalities are functioning. In the local bodies within the State executive power, such structural departments can be created correspondingly.

Consultative bodies on public grounds can be established and function, formed by representatives of national minorities by local Councils of People’s Deputies. The formation of such bodies are regulated by the corresponding Councils of People’s Deputies.

The central body of the state executive power in the field of relations among nationalities of Ukraine, is the Ministry for Nationality Affairs of Ukraine. As a consultative body there is a Council of Representatives for Public Associations of National Minorities of Ukraine at the Ministry.

Article 6. The state guarantees to all national minorities the rights to national-cultural autonomy: the using and learning of their native languages and the using and learning of their native languages in state educational establishments or at national-cultural societies; development of national-cultural traditions, using of national symbols, celebration of their national holidays, exercising their religions, satisfying their needs for literature, art, mass media, establishing their national-cultural and educational institutions and any activity, which is not in conflict with this law.

Nationalities’ historical and cultural heritage on the territory of Ukraine is protected by law.

Article 7. The State promotes training of pedagogical and cultural-educational and other national personnel through a number of educational establishments. State bodies assists the national minorities in training of specialists abroad on the basis of international treaties.

Article 8. At working places of state bodies, public associations as well as enterprises, establishments and organisations situated in places where the majority of a population is made up by a national minority, its native language may be used as well as the Ukrainian state language.

Article 9. Citizens of Ukraine who belong to a national minority have right correspondingly to be elected or appointed to any position in legislative, executive, juridical bodies of local or regional self-governments, in the armed forces, at enterprises or other establishments on equal rights.

Article 10. The State guarantees the national minorities the right to preserve their living environment in the places of their historic and present residence. Problems of return to the territory of Ukraine of people belonging to deported nations are to be solved by adequate laws and treaties between Ukraine and other states.

Article 11. Citizens of Ukraine have the right to a free choice and restoration of their nationality. Compulsion in any form to deny one’s nationality is not permitted.

Article 12. Every citizen of Ukraine has right to a national first name, second name and middle name.

Citizens have the right to restore their national first name, second name and middle name on the basis of the established regulation.

Citizens who by their customs do not have a middle name, have the right to write in their passport only the first name and second name, and the names of their mother and father in their certificates of birth.

Article 13. Citizens belonging to national minorities are free to chose measures and forms for the realisation of the rights given by this law and carry them out personally through corresponding state bodies and established public associations.

The membership or non-membership of a Ukrainian citizen, who belongs to a national minority, in a public association of a national minority, must not be a reason for the restriction of his rights.

Article 14. State bodies promote activities of national public associations, which are corresponding to this law.

National public associations have the right to nominate their candidates to deputies on elections to the state power bodies according to the constitution of Ukraine, the Law of Ukraine on Election of People’s Deputies and Deputies of Local Deputy Councils.

Article 15. Citizens, who belong to national minorities, national public associations, have the right, by the established regulations of Ukraine, freely to enter into and keep relationships with persons of their nationality and their public associations abroad, to receive help from these in order to gratify their linguistic, cultural and spiritual needs, and to take part in activities of international non-governmental organisations.

Article 16. The State budget of Ukraine stipulates special assignments for the development of national minorities.

Article 17. Ukraine promotes the development of international cooperation in providing and protecting the rights and interests of national minorities, also by means of concluding and carrying out multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements in this field.

Article 18. Any direct or indirect limitation of the rights and freedoms of citizens according their nationality is forbidden and subject to punishment by the law.

Article 19. If an international agreement of Ukraine does not correspond with the regulations established by Ukrainian law about national minorities, regulations of the international agreement has priority.

President of Ukraine L. KRAVCHUK
Kyiv, June 25th, 1992
N 2494-XII

Source: English-language version prepared by Abraham Korin & Michail Chevrichenko, Copenhagen