On June 19, in the Central House of Officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv, the II All-Ukrainian Forum of National Minorities “We are one people” was held. The Forum was initiated by members of the board of the International Public Organization “International Union” together with the Public Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the public organization “New Generation of Ukrainian Scientists,” the Union of Lawyers of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Union of Public Organizations “For Civil Society.” The Forum was attended by guests and participants from different diasporas, representations of foreign states and minorities in Ukraine, including the President of the Shit International Congress, Mr. Daher Saleh Muhamed. The central theme of the event focused the speakers’ attention on the search for positive and effective solutions that need to be offered to the country’s leadership for further cooperation of the Ukrainian state and society in the field of ethnonational relations.
Larisa Abramovich, chairman of the International Union International Public Organization board, was the first to take a welcoming speech. In her address to the guests and participants of the event, she emphasized the importance of holding this Forum from the standpoint of the realities that are taking place in Ukrainian society and the state as a whole.
Mr. Salekh also made a presentation; in his report, he called for an example of tolerance for the whole country from Odessa, where representatives of 132 nationalities live peacefully; he further noted that migration problems are becoming more and more acute all over the world. According to some estimates, there are up to 200 million migrants on the planet, and a significant number of people may leave their country to move to another. Basically, the so-called economic migrants prevail over people looking for higher earnings and more stable living conditions.
Not the least role is played by the problems of safety, obtaining better education, and medical care.
It should be noted that Ukrainian law is extremely loyal to the category of “refugees.” In particular, the expulsion or forced return of a refugee to the country from which he came and where his life or freedom is in danger is prohibited. Family members of a person who has been granted refugee status for the purpose of family reunification have the right to enter Ukraine and also receive refugee status. Thus, an Asian illegal, breaking through to Ukraine, can call his entire large family to him without any problems. Refugees have equal rights with citizens of Ukraine. So, for example, in marriage and family relations (in case of marriage with a citizen of the country, a refugee has the right to obtain Ukrainian citizenship), to move and freely choose a place of residence, to freely leave the territory of the country, to work, entrepreneurial activity …
The large scale of migration has raised many questions for people, governments, and the public. The Congress, in its work with migrants, faced the problem that by-laws prevail over the law, for example, a foreigner comes to study, during his studies he marries or marries a citizen of Ukraine, he has a child, a citizen of Ukraine, accordingly his status changes, he becomes a member of the family a citizen of Ukraine and can legally stay on the territory of the country. However, there are not isolated cases when the workers of the migration service offer him to leave for the country of origin, then return and only after that apply for permission to immigrate to Ukraine. There are many problems with obtaining refugee status. The state needs to decide on the migration policy, to prescribe in more detail the mechanism for implementing the laws of Ukraine on emigration, on the status of foreigners and stateless persons, and, of course, there should be a controlling function of society, represented by public organizations.
We propose not only in Kyiv but also in all regional centers to create cultural centers, the purpose of which will be the adaptation of immigrants, the preservation of the culture of ethnic groups, teaching the customs and history of ethnic groups,
to explain and protect the rights and obligations of foreign citizens and stateless persons – immigrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, citizens of Ukraine, to acquaint all of the above persons with the culture, traditions, and sights of Ukraine. Expansion of cooperation with the judiciary, law enforcement agencies, justice bodies, state authorities, and local self-government bodies, with other instances and organizations, civil and charitable organizations.
The Forum ended with the final approval and signing of the Recommendations of the II All-Ukrainian Forum of National Minorities of Ukraine regarding urgent measures to implement the state ethnonational policy of Ukraine.