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Ukraine guarantees rights, status of Crimean Tatars

Parliament passes bill granting Crimean Tatars status as national minority, regional indigenous population.

20.03.2014 - Update : 20.03.2014
Ukraine guarantees rights, status of Crimean Tatars


The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on Thursday recognized the Crimean Tatars as both Crimea's indigenous population and an official national minority.

The Rada passed the measure on “A Guarantee of Crimean Tatar Rights in Ukraine” with 283 of its deputies voting in favor.

The resolution said that Ukraine guarantees the preservation, development and raising awareness of  the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious uniqueness of the Crimean Tatars.

Parliament will also begin the process for Ukraine to join the UN Declaration of Rights for Indigenous Peoples and prepare a series of laws to grant Crimean Tatars exclusive rights as the peninsula's indigenous population.

The resolution said Ukraine will cooperate with the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, the U.N., the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

Ukraine strongly condemned Sunday's Moscow-backed referendum, which was boycotted by the Crimean Tatar community. 

The Crimean Tatars make up roughly 13 percent of Crimea's 2.1 million people. They were deported en masse to Central Asia by Moscow in 1944 before being allowed to return to their homeland in the late 1980s as the Soviet Union began to collapse.


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