“Discriminator of the Year”: anti-award winners

The names of the worst offenders of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Ukraine

Human rights activists have promulgated the names of the worst offenders of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Ukraine and awarded these individuals and organizations with Discriminator of the Year anti-awards. The anti-award was the initiative of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine and is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation’s Rule of Law Program.

The winners will be sent diplomas of shame and shades – a symbol of their myopic views, along with educational materials and a glossary of anti-discrimination terminology.

Winner for the most discriminatory statement was Yalta Mayor Serhiy Ilash, who compared the Roma to “animals”: “Watch for photographs with these little animals: don’t let them command the situation. By animals I mean everyone – gypsies, bums, and chinchillas.” Tetyana Pochonchyk, head of the Human Rights Information Center, called such remarks “offensive and discriminatory against the Roma community in Ukraine.”

The award for the most disgraceful act went to Bishop Pavlo of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and President of the National Academy of Medical Sciences Andriy Serdyuk for evicting from the territory of the Lavra the Hromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases that was providing treatment to HIV patients. Five people died as a result. “The Kyiv-Pechersk Patericon of the XII century tells of monks who cured people, seeing this as an expression of their Christian duty and mercy. Apparently, views on Christian values have changed dramatically over the past 500 years,” said Nazar Boyarsky, co-chair of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination Coordination Council. He said Serdyuk and Bishop Pavlo’s act demonstrates “how people with stereotypes condemn patients to death.”

Top honors for the most dangerous and discriminatory legislative initiative went to Party of Regions MP Vadym Kolesnichenko for his draft law “On the prohibition of propaganda of same-sex relations.” According to Olena Shevchenko, director of the Insight NGO, Kolesnichenko’s bill #1144 was nominated because it is a dangerous legislative initiative that legalizes censorship and legitimizes violence against the LGBT community in Ukraine.

November 16 is International Day for Tolerance.

Human Rights Information Center
Tetyana Pechonchyk


The aim of the Rule of Law Program is to support the civil society initiatives directed to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, to promote strengthened legal consciousness and public activity at the central and local levels.

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