On March 22, the 18th session of the Crimean Discussion Club was held, dedicated to the seventh anniversary of Ukraine’s official recognition of the Crimean Tatar People as the indigenous one and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a fundamental source of their collective and individual rights.

Olena Bohdan, Head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People; Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Igor Yaremenko, Oliver Loode, a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and experts of our Association took part in this online discussion, conducted by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center and moderated by its Head Eskender Bariev

In his speech, Associate Professor Olexiy Plotnikov presented the thesis of his research on the forms of indigenous peoples’ realization of their right to internal self-determination in the modern democracies. He drew special attention to the fact that the forms of relevant autonomies (personal, cultural, territorial) can be variable. Professor Borys Babin noted the fragmentary reflection the UN Declaration’s requirements in the legislation and practice of Ukraine, and noted on the urgent need to approve a single profile law of Ukraine on indigenous peoples.

Dr. Borys Babin stressed that, unfortunately, the composition of the Council of Representatives of the Crimean Tatar People before the President of Ukraine has not been formed by Council’s appointed chairman since 2015 and so far, that it made the state financial and organizational support of the Mejlis, foreseen by the Presidental Decrees № 194/2015 and № 195/2015, impossible for next six years. The experts noted on the importance of the legislative protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine, taking into account the requirements of the UN Declaration, for the effective Crimean peninsula’s reintegration after its deoccupation.