Human Rights in Ukraine

Rights, Freedoms and Duties of People in Ukraine

The current Constitution of Ukraine was adopted on June 28, 1996. According to the Constitution, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, legal state.

Human rights in Ukraine are human rights enshrined in Section 2 of the Constitution of Ukraine “Rights, Freedoms and Duties of a Person and a Citizen”. A citizen of Ukraine has all rights and freedoms on its territory and has equal duties stipulated by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Constitution of Ukraine

The Constitution of Ukraine

The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees the following human rights:

Personal rights (most of these rights are natural - regardless of citizenship):

  • free development of one’s personality,
  • inalienable right to live,
  • respect for human dignity,
  • freedom and personal inviolability,
  • inviolability of the home,
  • confidentiality of correspondence, phone conversations and other correspondence
  • non-interference in personal and family life,
  • freedom of movement and free choice of residence,
  • freedom of thought and speech,
  • freedom of worldview and religion.

Political rights (arise as a result of citizenship, some of these rights may be restricted to foreigners):

  • unite in political parties and public organizations,
  • participate in the management of public affairs, in all-Ukrainian and local referendums, to freely elect and be elected to government bodies and local self-government bodies,
  • peaceful meetings, rallies,
  • appeal to public authorities, local self-government bodies and their officials.

Economic, social and cultural rights:

  • own, use and dispose of his/her property, the results of his/her intellectual, creative activity,
  • entrepreneurial activity,
  • work,
  • strike to protect economic and social interests,
  • rest,
  • social protection,
  • housing,
  • adequate standard of living for yourself and your family,
  • health protection,
  • safe and healthy environment,
  • the right conditioned by the provision of free consent for marriage, as well as the protection of motherhood, paternity, childhood and the family,
  • education,
  • freedom of creativity and the results of intellectual activity.

Legal guarantees:

the right to judicial protection of a citizen’s rights and freedoms, as well as the right to apply for protection of his/her rights to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and “after using all national remedies to seek protection of their rights and freedoms, in relevant international judicial institutions or relevant bodies of international organizations of which Ukraine is a member or participant”.

All human rights and freedoms are protected equally, the Constitution does not establish a hierarchy of rights and freedoms. Ignorance of laws does not exempt from legal responsibility. Rights are associated with duties.

Duties of a citizen of Ukraine:

  • compliance with laws,
  • not to violate the rights and freedoms of others in the exercise of their rights and freedoms,
  • care for their children, their upbringing,
  • on reaching adulthood, take care of their disabled parents,
  • basic general secondary education is compulsory,
  • protection of historical and cultural monuments,
  • payment of taxes,
  • protection of nature and the environment, careful attitude to natural resources,
  • defense of the Homeland.

Discrimination is prohibited by law. The Criminal Code provides legal protection for the rights and freedoms of persons and citizens.

Rights of children in Ukraine

Free basic general secondary education is provided to all children under the Constitution of Ukraine regardless citizenship and parents’ income. In addition to free public schools, there are fee-paying gymnasiums and lyceums, where parents pay for education of their children.

Government subsidizes day-nurseries and kindergartens, where kids stay in the daytime while their parents are at work. Most of the families can afford to pay the stay of their kids there (with the food price included).

According to the legislation, children reach full-age at 18. Since this age, they possess all civil rights: vote at elections, commit any transactions, contract marriage without parents’ permission.

Ukrainian companies have the right to employ children 16-18 years old only if they provide them with such conditions as a reduced working day and an annual vacation longer than usual. Juvenile labor at dangerous and harmful enterprises is prohibited.

Violations of human rights in Ukraine

In 2015, according to the report of Freedom House, Ukraine received the rating “partially free”. According to Amnesty International, the pro-Russian mass media are oppressed in Ukraine.

In 2016, Human Rights Watch noted cases of enforced disappearance, secret detention and torture of people in the Security Service of Ukraine, mainly for people detained in the conflict zone in the east of the country.

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