IOM trains Ukrainian public servants to combat discrimination

29 November 2014

Two years have passed since Ukraine adopted the Law “On Principles of Prevention and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”, when the Government of Ukraine, central, local authorities and self-government bodies were empowered to respect, promote and fulfil the right to non-discrimination. The special law defines the list of responsible public bodies and their functions, but much more has to be done to establish effective mechanisms to guarantee equality and availability of protection instruments for all social groups, especially those that are disadvantaged.

Ukrainian civil servants from Chernihiv, Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Lutsk and Kyiv were the key target group of six trainings organized by IOM Ukraine in cooperation with the Office of the Ukrainian Ombudsman and Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine. At the final training, which took place in Kyiv on 27 November, a newly developed manual for the civil servants was presented. The manual, produced by IOM, aims to promote understanding of various forms of discrimination among the representatives of the executive branch. It provides an overview of the categories protected from discrimination, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and citizenship, etc., as well as examples of positive policies and successful case studies from other countries facing similar challenges.

“People are the main asset of every country. Discrimination can ruin the self-esteem, motivation and personal integrity of one person or a group of people. This can lead to their exclusion from social life and negatively affect their productivity. In these tough times that Ukraine is currently experiencing, we cannot afford to exclude anyone from our common endeavors; we need to stay united to overcome all the hardships. That is why we must eliminate discrimination”, said one of the trainers, Serhii Ponomariov, Deputy Head of the Department for Observance of Rights of Child, Nondiscrimination and Gender Equality of the Ombudsman Office, opening the final training session in Kyiv.

The participants from the ministries of health, social policy, culture, internal affairs, youth and sports and other state bodies shared their views and experience on how they deal with cases of harassment, victimization and discrimination in their daily work. The majority recognized that the discrimination is rooted in the widespread social stigmas towards different groups and that such trainings are important to develop strategies to overcome these challenges.

To request a hard copy of the manual please contact Yana Salakhova at