On December 8, in Odesa, the representatives of the civil society together with the national police of Ukraine and the local authorities of Odesa and Mykolaiv regions discussed the issues of discrimination and hate crimes prevention. The regional meeting was organized by LGBT Association ‘LIGA’ and LGBT Rights Defense Centre “Our World.”

During the meeting, the participants discussed an important question: the ignorance of the hate crimes towards different societal groups including LGBT. The representatives of the organizations working with the LGBT community presented statistic data on violations of the rights of LGBT and discrimination cases collected in the period of 2014-2017.

The meeting aimed to bridge a dialogue between police and civil society as well as to work out mechanisms of investigation motives of the hate crimes. Ukraine still does not have a comprehensive legislation on combatting crimes based on LGBT-phobia and there is no punishment for committing such crimes. Therefore, in 2015 Ukraine adopted the National Strategy on Human Rights. The goal of the Strategy is to guarantee priority of rights and freedoms for all as deciding factor for state policies and decision-making process of governmental bodies and local authorities. But, unfortunately, the executive authority still did not put enough efforts to fully implement the Strategy. Instead, the elect removed such notions as gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation out of newly adopted laws, for out of the law No 4952 On Domestic Violence and Marriage Enforcement, which was recently adopted.

The representatives of investigation departments of police from Odesa and Mykolaiv stated that there are gaps in legislative acts hindering to investigate hate crimes committed towards LGBT.

This meeting was one of the activities that LGBT Association ‘LIGA’ held as part of the Human Rights Week dedicated to the Human Rights Day. On December 11, FREE AND EQUAL PR campaign started in Mykolaiv: posters promoting tolerance and human rights for all were posted on advertisement boards all over the city. On the same week LIGA rewards winners of the national contest on the Best Human Rights Videos on LGBT topic.

Above all, LGBT Association ‘LIGA’ produced a video “TO RECOGNIZE OR TO IGNORE” promoting backlash to hate crimes. The video underlines the problem of hatred directed on different discriminated groups. You can watch it by following this link (language: Russian/Ukrainian, with English subtitles).

The Human Rights Day is an international holiday initiated by the UN General Assembly and celebrated all over the world on December 10: on this day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted back in 1948.

Press service

LGBT Association ‘LIGA’