On December 12, the Anti-Discrimination Coalition named the anti-award "Discriminator of the year" winners. They were the people’s deputy Anton Gerashchenko, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the village council of the village Loschynivka in Odessa region. Announcement of the results took place in Kyiv. According to those who made it happen, all the nominees were invited, but none of them showed up for the event.
On December 12, the Anti-Discrimination Coalition named the anti-award “Discriminator of the year” winners. They were the people’s deputy Anton Gerashchenko, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the village council of the village Loschynivka in Odessa region. Announcement of the results took place in Kyiv. According to those who made it happen, all the nominees were invited, but none of them showed up for the event.
The village council of Loschynivka has got the anti-award for “a really disgraceful deed” – the decision to forcibly evict the Roma community from the village.
Roma Program Initiative Director of the International Renaissance Foundation Olga Zhmurko commented on the announcement of the anti-award results, “Loschynivska village council that made a shameful decision to evict Roma from the village was regarded as a discriminator of the year. The symbolic diploma – Anti-Award Price – should remind all involved in the riots and their consequences, the lynching occurred is a kind of ethnic cleansing and contrary to all the values on which we seek to build a new Ukraine.
This prize is “worthy” to divide between other representatives of local and regional authorities which still haven’t publicly acknowledged discrimination and violence against people based on ethnic origin, stubbornly calling the tragedy a “social explosion, which wasn’t responded because of the lack of resources”, “regrettable incident” and “Media’s legend.”
We’d like to remind that the government authorities’ task is to look to the future, not just “put out fires”. Therefore, for the safety of the communities and peaceful coexistence, some steps should be made towards those groups who under different circumstances are excluded from social processes. As for the Roma minority, considering the needs and specifics, the state has adopted a strategy of social protection and integration into the Ukrainian society, and if it had been implemented properly, a tragedy in Loschynivka and other cases of aggression and violence against Roma could not have happened.
Those citizens of our country who do not want to join the discriminators should learn that supporting stereotypes and prejudices against people on any protected characteristics is unacceptable and can cause events as occurred in Loschynivka.
Three months in a raw human rights activists and Roma lawyers continues a complicated case on protection and restoration of the pogroms victims’ rights. Unfortunately, no promises to provide temporary housing for victims’ families have led to concrete results. 7 families with children are still not accommodated.
We thank the anti-award organizers that this symbolic honor continues to remind the public and those directly involved in the massacres and their consequences in Loschynivtka, such phenomena in a civilized democratic society are inadmissible. These crimes must be punished, the perpetrators must be punished and it mustn’t happen again. This problem might concern not only human rights defenders but everyone who understands the value of human rights and their fragility when they are forgotten.
This year, 15 nominees were fighting to be the main “discriminators”. Thus, in the nomination “The most dangerous legislative initiative” anti-award went to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which withdrew from the draft law on domestic violence prevention concepts of “gender” and “sexual orientation” as “unacceptable for Ukraine.”
Anton Gerashchenko, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, has won in the nomination “My tongue is my enemy.” In an interview with Correspondent.net he offered Nadiya Savchenko ” to get married and give birth, and not to engage in politics.”
Special award for “Discriminatory advertising” went to chain restaurants “Yakitoriya” for the creation and dissemination of sexist, discriminatory campaign “Festival of Japanese dumplings gyoza.”
NGO Social Action Center in cooperation with the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine and Campaign against discrimination supported by the International Renaissance Foundation were the organizers of winners’ announcement ceremony “Discriminator of the year – 2016”.
Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine is the Ukrainian non-governmental human rights initiative that emerged in 2011 and now brings together 50 civil society organizations. Coalition activities are aimed at actual providing the principle of civil equality for all people regardless of specific social or individual characteristics that are recognized in international, European and national law as in need of protection from discrimination in Ukraine; development, expansion and improvement of human rights in Ukraine; opposition attempts to unfairly and unnecessarily restrict the rights of certain categories of citizens; eradicate the phenomenon of discrimination from public life.