Loshchynivka as an indicator of effectiveness of ethno-national policy


September 27, 2016

Loshchynivka as an indicator of effectiveness of ethno-national policy

 An extremely alarming sign of our time is the increase of intolerance and aggression in the society. Not a day goes by without information about the new facts and forms of its display. The developments, which took place in Loshchynivka a month ago, only confirmed this sad fact. 

For over 20 years, I have the honour to head the public organization (The Association of National and Cultural Unions of Ukraine) representing the interests of national minorities in Ukraine. I contact people a lot, I know about their problems, and I try to understand and help them if I can do this and if I am authorized to do this. During this time, the issues of xenophobia and extremism were the priority ones for me. Roma are the one of the most exposed ethnic groups in this sense. That is why, as far back as in 2005, we initiated the hearings in the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations “On the current condition of Roma in Ukraine.” It was a very representative forum taking its composition into account, and a very substantial one with regard to the decisions made. Various questions were discussed including vagrancy, education, children’s homelessness overcoming, unemployment (or disinclination for work) of adults, role of public organizations of Roma, and many other things. However, the hearings ended, all participants departed, and the wonderful decisions remained to live their life, while Roma continued to live their own life. It is terrible that this system became standard today. And, “on default,” no one expects the decisions to be fulfilled, while the control of their implementation was imposed on specific state authorities, local governments, and the main thing, certain people with names and surnames. I think that the root of all evil is exactly here, it is the responsibility. It is the personal responsibility of state authorities, mass media and public organizations. It is the first and the single condition of effectiveness of solution of all problems, it is the reduction of distance from “it should be done” to “done!” This simple formula has recently been confirmed with the developments in Loshchynivka. It happened that they became an indicator of the state ethno-national policy, which failed this test. 

I never doubted that the problems of Roma, regardless of their own specificity, is also the part of a global problem – the discrepancy between the ethno-national policy and the modern challenges. Understanding this, I initiated the parliamentary hearings on these questions last year. I don’t want these hearings to end as 10 years ago; so I decided to initiate the public expert examination of the implementation of these decisions. It is necessary to finally find those who were responsible and to estimate their work, the work of those state authorities, the competence of which included these issues. They include the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Education, the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Interior, the Ministry of Social Policy and other. It is necessary to define EACH PERSON responsible for the fact that none of the decisions was implemented. It is time to put an end to this established practice. It is time to stop multiplying the number of wonderful decisions; it is time to open the list of their implementation. 

Oleksandr FELDMAN