Ukraine has declared integration with European Union as its strategic goal. The main condition for implementation of this task is a respect of human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, tolerance and non-discrimination. Achievement of this aim is possible only through close cooperation between public administration, politicians, mass-media, non-governmental sector, citizens.
Society, where everyone has the right to be himself, where no persecution or harassment based on nationality, language or religion exist, is the only possible environment for a human being to live. Desire for such a society is as constant as the challenges on its way: intolerance, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, gender inequality. To overcome them it is not enough just to declare the basic norms and values in the Constitution.
The everyday attention to the cases of disrespect to human rights, investigation of their reasons, tendencies of the development, elaboration of methods of neutralization, implementation of steps and actions to create the society free of intolerance. Ignoring the acts of xenophobia, false feeling of satisfaction with the present level of social tolerance will only increase the negative trends that sooner or later can gain extremist forms.
Ukraine, which lies at the crossroads of civilizations and is a unique multilingual and multi-confessional country, is much more vulnerable to negative global processes than monoethnic countries. Outbreaks of intolerance, which in France lead to burned cars, and in China to the deliberate infection diseases, in Ukraine may have more dramatic consequences. In Ukraine, the daily work is required to remove even the smallest manifestations of intolerance.
A system of collaboration between the state and the society is needed, where any display of intolerance, especially extremism, would immediately cause public rejection and condemnation. A forum for research and comprehensive analysis of the situation around human rights, development of means to prevent extremism and xenophobia is necessary. Therefore a platform to discuss these issues and ways of their solving not only in Ukraine but throughout the Eastern Europe region, if necessary – in the entire European continent is needed.
The Institute of Human Rights and the Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia should be a very good basis for such a forum. Created by a group of civil activists, politicians, researchers and just people who care, the Institute will allow to combine the best world experience in protection of human rights with practical projects to prevent extremism and xenophobia.
The Institute will provide a real assessment of the human rights situation in Ukraine and the region, will coordinate state, public and private institutions for the most effective protection of human dignity. Under the leadership of the Strategic Council, which includes leading Ukrainian and European politicians, scholars and statesmen, the Institute will be the support for efforts to create a space of tolerance in Ukraine and in the region.