Open Letter to Hon. Justin Trudeau on the suppression of constitutional rights of minorities in Ukraine

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada ‎

 

September 22, 2017

RE: The Amendment of the Ukraine Education Act

 

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

The Russian Congress of Canada expresses its deep concern about the law on education adopted on September 5th, 2017 by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine that restructures Ukraine’s education system and specifies that Ukrainian must be the main language used in schools, rolling back the option for lessons to be taught in other languages.In an attempt to impose a mono-ethnic language regime in a multi-ethnic state, this  Amendment of the Education Act will deprive Ukraine’s ethnic minorities of their right to study in their own languages.

Ukraine’s decision violates the interests of millions of Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine and other ethnic minorities in Ukraine, and contravenes the Ukrainian constitution, Kiev’s international obligations and the UN’s regulations on minorities.

As you are aware, member states of the European Union such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Greece have already issued a joint letter asking the Ukrainian Authorities to rescind the legislation.

Canada is an example of a multicultural country where respect for other languages and cultures prevails. Ottawa should use its close ties with the current Ukrainian leadership to address the issue of suppression of constitutional right of minorities in Ukraine and educate them about the values of multiculturalism and diversity.

We call upon you, The Right Honourable Prime Minister Trudeau, and the Canadian government to put pressure on President Poroshenko of Ukraine to ensure that the new legislation does not come into force.

 

On behalf of the Russian Congress of Canada

Igor Babalich

President

Russian Congress of Canada